Used car that was owned by rental agency, should I buy?

I found a 2013 Mazda mazda3 with 75k for sale in my area. The carfax report is clean and shows 3 owners - one of which was a rental agency.

The car has several minor scratches on the interior, 6-8 minor scratches/dents on the exterior, and the dealer had to replace the front struts when they got it in.

Is this typical wear and tear for a vehicle this age, or is it excessive? To me, it seems like the car was driven mercilessly at some point (probably while it was a rental) and I’m not sure I should trust the mechanical integrity of it. The dealer only offers a 3 mo./3k mile powertrain warranty on it, and they are asking for the blue book value for the car.

Any advice on whether or not I should buy this car and at what price (relative to the blue book value) I should offer them is much appreciated!

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If it was a really good vehicle the two owners other than the rental agency would have kept it longer. I always say if you have to ask complete strangers on the internet if you should buy a vehicle keep looking. There are used vehicles all over the place that will not have you asking questions. And Carfax is a guide not something to be considered 100% accurate. If you really want it make an offer that you will pay and if rejected just walk away.


From the question you ask, YOU should not buy the car. I might buy it after a good looking over and test drive if I was looking for basic transportation back and forth to work but the price would have to reflect its condition and the fact it was a rental. A car like this would likely go to auction if traded in and a used car dealer would be unlikely to sell it at a price that reflects its condition. they will probably sell it to someone who is overexcited by the year and thinks they are getting a good deal. If they can’t sell it it will wind up at a buy here pay here dealer where it will probably be sold many times.

3 month limited warranty and top list price? Walk away. Someone here had posted that used cars are like public transit buses, skip this one and another one will come by soon enough.

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While I generally would buy a former rental car as they tend to be offered below book and see regular maintenance, I’d shy away from this one. 3 owners in 75K. The rental agency sold it at 35K (at, say, 1 year) and each successive owner drove an average of 20,000 miles. Neither thought enough to keep the car more than 18 months.

Walk away, this car has yellow flags if not red ones!

It’s not the rental agency I would be worried about; it’s the other 2 owners. I friend of mine works for a major rental agency and when they change their fleet the really bad ones (not Many) get wholesaled to garages who refurbish them. All cars are well maintained and would not hesitate to buy one of their cars.

If the rental agency is a reputable national chain, I’m OK with that. The don’t want a bad reputation.

However, I would skip on this car since 3 owners is suspicious.

Thank you all for the replies – you echoed my worries, and it seems obvious now that this is not a normal history for a car this old and that I should keep looking.

5 years is not old. With decent care most modern vehicles can easily reach 20 years.
The 1998 GMC Sonoma I sold in 2014 is still running around town with a teenager at the wheel.

oh I wasn’t trying to refer to it as old – I should have said “for a car this age”

I like that.

Thurman , you can use the like button and you won’t need to revive a thread that has reached a conclusion.

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Thank you.