Should I buy a previous rental?

When you buy a used car, one option to consider is buying a vehicle that used to be a rental. Thousands of cars in rental fleets are sold off to used car dealers every year, so there is always a wide variety for you to choose from. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of buying used rental cars.

Advantages

  • Documented history. Rental cars will have meticulously documented maintenance history, so the usual stigma against used cars that you don’t really know their history will not be as much of a concern. This doesn’t just apply to bigger accidents or breakdowns, but also to routine services, oil changes, or other bits of maintenance. Many rental car agencies service the cars more often than normal car owners do, as they do not want to gain a bad reputation from their cars breaking down and having the engine lights come on all the time.
  • Price. You can often buy a used rental car for less than the same used car that was privately owned.
  • Warranty. Rental companies usually sell off their cars to dealers while they are still in their warranty period, and a lot of car makers will let you buy the rest of the extended warranty as long as the car is still under the manufacturer’s warranty period.


Disadvantages

  • Wear and tear. Rental cars can have much heavier and punishing usage than normal cars, as they go through a wide variety of drivers who operate them. People who drive rental cars don’t often provide the same level of care for it as they would if it were they own car, so it can accumulate more bumps, scratches, or interior stains.
  • Options. Rental cars are most often the base model or generic specs of the model, so if you wanted better specs or trims you’ll be out of luck.

So if you don’t mind getting a more basic level of car, you can save some money and get more peace of mind from buying a previous rental car.