View Full Version : buying fleet/rental cars?
I'm looking around right now for a used car and happened to log onto Carmax. It looks like a lot of the cars they have were previously used as rental cars.
A part of me thinks a rental car would be kept in top shape to keep renters from being stranded or endangered from neglect.
Another part of me remembers the few times I've rented a car and drove them pretty hard.
Any thoughts? Is it worth a shot?
BTW, I'm looking at a 2006+ Rav4 with the 3rd row.
I used to work in a dealer that had an internal rental dept and nobody takes care of rental cars while driving them.
Most rental companies now get rid of the units before they have many miles on them so they still have plenty of warranty left for the next buyer.
I've also done a lot of service work for different Carmax locations and have never seen one that did not truely inspect every car that came on the lot and repaired everything that needed it. They also stand behind their cars, unlike most used car dealers.
I would not hesitate about buying a car from them BUT I would make sure to see it and drive it BEFORE committing to anything, but that pretty much goes for any car from anyone.
Much appreciated spotco2!
That's what I was hoping to hear. I was thinking about this last night when I posted it and realized that I know people who own their cars and drive the crap out of them worse than I have ever driven a rental car.
Good point on the warranties also.
It depends on the cars alot of times. Alot of people treat their own car well but treat a rental car like garbage since its not theirs and they have insurance on it. It is the same with old police cruisers for sale. The take home cars are usually taken care of alot better because that is their car and they want to take care of it since it is the one they are always driving and depend on. The fleet cars get the crap beat out of them since they are not the officers personal car that he uses every day hes working and if it has problems there are plenty of other cars out there for him to use
It depends on the cars alot of times. Alot of people treat their own car well but treat a rental car like garbage
I would have no problem selling my personal car to a friend, however, give me a rental for a week and I feel bad for whoever buys that car.
Having worked (many years ago) for a major rental chain, I would NEVER buy a former rental car.
Yes, we had a maintenance schedule we were supposed to stick to, but... if someone wanted that car and it was due for an oil change, guess what... they get the car without waiting. I frequently had cars on the road that hadn't had the oil changed in 10k miles.
Not only do the customers treat the cars like crap (they were routinely trying to squeal the tires just pulling out of our lot...) but as employees, we took the opportunity to drive "someone else's car" as if we had stolen it. :)
Those cars get rode hard and put away wet... there's just no other way to describe it.
That said, you might get one that will run fro another 100k miles with no problems, but you also might get one whose engine has had 3 oil changes during the 30k+ miles it's got on the odometer.
jeff foxworthy once said, that buying a rental car equates to choosing a wife that works/worked in a brothel.
Drove a Dodge Charger through three feet of water while on my honeymoon. Barely made the 200 yard trek to where we were staying. Picked up the wife and she says what's wrong with the car. "I don't know. It just started doing that."
Married 24 hours and I've lied already. The car had 2400 miles on it.
I always feel a little bit guilty when dropping off a rental.
I can't understand why people wouldn't drive a rental car exactly like one borrowed from a friend. HH
My folks picked up 15 passenger van that was a rental car. It was super clean and didn't have that many miles. But shortly after purchase it started falling apart. People don't treat rentals/fleet vehicles with any kind of respect. I would stay far far away from them.
The last 2 cars we have bought were rentals with major chain. One was a 2002 Taurus SE and the other was a 2006 Taurus SE. Both were fully equiped and one had under 50,000 and the other had under 40,000. Still have both and both have been almost Glock like in their performance to date. Both get driven about 75-100 miles per day until I retired this year and now mine (2002) lives the good life and spends most of its time on the carport. I've had NEW cars that were not any better than these two have been and, yes it took about a month to find the "right" 1st one and about 2 months to find the "right" 2nd one. I'm very satisfied....
I am apparently one of the few who drive a rental like I would my own car or a friend's car (basically I don't thrash it). Since I am apparently one of the few, I would be cautious about buying one that has been thrashed.
here is a perfect example of why I wouldn't buy a former rental. My car was hit 8 weeks ago and I was in a rental for the last 7 weeks.
It was an '08 GMC acadia. Decent ride, not bad overall, best 7 seater that I've seen so far. In playing with the features in the "car" it has an oil life reading that tells you the condition of your oil (or probably just tells you by miles when you should change the oil)
On my second day with the car it had 27% "oil life remaining". a couple days later the change oil light came on. I called enterprise to see if they wanted me to take the car in for service, or if they wanted to swap out rides, they told me no and that they would take care of it when I returned it.
I explained that I drive alot (1500 miles a week) and that I was going to be in the car for at least 5 weeks, maybe longer. They said don't worry about it.
I had the car for 7 weeks and over 10000 miles, 6 of those weeks it was over due for an oil change. I returned the car last wednesday, and while I was waiting for the body shop to pick me up, they rented the same car to someone that was driving it to Georgia (from Mass) for vacation and was going to have it for 10 days.
I had it washed a couple days before I returned it so it was clean, they vacuumed the carpet and sent it on it's way.
We buy SD/HP retired cruisers.At $1500ea we get a car that if you keep gas/oil in them they will run forever.'08.
I bought my 2002 F150 SuperCrew (w/40,000 miles) in Feb 05 from Thrifty Rental Car sales.
Came with a full 12-month warranty that I never used.
I checked it before I bought it of course, but it is the best vehicle I've ever owned.
That honor used to go to my old BMW.
Back in the 1980ís my folks bought two cars in 4 years from Avis and they where very happy with them. Itís how I got the idea to check with the rental agencies.
At the place I used to work the company bought me a former rental Toyota truck from Enterprise. I drove all over the state of Florida in that thing for work racking up some serous mileage over a couple of years and never had any problems.
Anyone who beats the **** out of a rental car just because it isn't theirs is an immature simpleton with the mind of a child!
Any time I have needed a rental car I drove it just like I would drive any other car, to go where I needed to. I really don't understand why anyone would feel the need to beat on a car just for the sake of doing it.
That being said, people who exhibit a certain personality trait tend to overestimate the number of people that share that same trait. A thief thinks that everyone has stolen something in their lifetime, a cheating spouse thinks that everyone has cheated at least once in their lifetime. A non-trusting person is the one who themselves should not be trusted as they overestimate and assume that 'most' people are as untrustworthy as they are. People who beat the crap out of rental cars assume that everyone does it but I would say that the majority of people just rent them and drive them as they are intended.
Don't let the few idiots out there sway your decision as I have known several people that have bought former rentals and had them run as intended with scheduled maintenance. One of my former coworkers ONLY purchased former rental cars as they were such a great deal.
A lot of our employees buy our fleet vehicles which we otherwise wholesale out. I was talking with our fleet manager last week to get some idea of what kind of deal I can get: within the past two weeks he sold an employee a 4x4 Ford Ranger with 140K miles on it for $1200. He (the fleet manager) did not want to say how much he paid for the Ford Explorer which had been his company car (I figure they gave it to him and he did not want to set the precedent/plant the idea that we might have our fleet vehicles given to us.) - I am hoping that when it is time to turn over my 08 F150 CrewCab 4x4 (Lariat package) that I'll be able to buy it for no more than $2-3K. Not bad, especially seeing as how I will have been the only driver! There are some folks who appeared to be driving company vehicles (to my surprise, given their role in the company) only to learn they were not issued a company car, their vehicle looks just like one of our fleet vehicles because it is an ex-company fleet vehicle they purchased.
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