Buying an ex rental car is something that a lot of drivers out there are very scared to do. After all, it’s common knowledge that a rental car is practically a toy for any driver. However they are used, there are no consequences for long term wear and tear, no depreciation for their drivers… It’s practically free reign, right? In actual fact, that’s not entirely true.
Buying an ex rental car actually has the potential to be one of the most cost-effective used car buys that you could ever make. After all, they have to be kept in usable condition for customers, and throughout their life, they actually don’t get the stick that they are infamous for. Although some may be ragged around and treated poorly, the majority are actually fine for resale and could be a great addition to your household.
Desirable Age & Milage?
The main argument for buying an ex rental car is that they usually enter the used car market with an extremely pleasant age and mileage on them. The average car rental organisation only keeps new cars in their fleet for around a year (or two at most), and after that, they are auctioned off to car dealers often in bulk. This means that they’re then available to buy at just a year old, putting them at the forefront of the used cra market.
As well as their age, their mileage is also often exactly what you’d expect for any used car that’s only a year old. In most cases, rental cars aren’t used for much more than a few days a week, and as a result of that, even if they are driven far when they are used, on average, they tend to meet standard usage for any UK Cars, between 5 and 15 thousand miles per year. That’s really the best you can ask for when buying used.
Increased Wear and Tear?
On the other side of the coin, most people look straight toward the fact that rental cars are treated terribly when they are in use, even if it isn’t every day. People drive uneconomically, aggressively, and with little care for the car since it’s simply a temporary measure. While that may be true in some cases, realistically with the legalities of driving and the high insurance excess that comes with used cars, the reality of that is that it’s just not as bad as it’s made out.
If you’re buying an ex rental car, you’re almost always going to be buying a used car that has been meticulously maintained and kept in solid condition throughout its entire lifespan. That’s for customer use and the business’s reputation more than anything. It’s common for rentals to be served monthly and part serviced even weekly. On top of that, you then have dealers and dealerships valeting and servicing the cars themselves, and fixing any cosmetic issues in-house to increase sale value. All of that means these problems are addressed well before the car gets to you if they existed at all.
A Cheaper Deal?
Looking more toward the financial side of buying an ex rental car, there are even more points to consider before you make your final decision. That’s mostly because buying an ex rental car can actually save you money in some instances by being an ex rental car itself. Just having this quality to them, many people are scared of the potential problems that they might have. It makes complete sense since you have no idea how roughly they have been treated. The result however is that sellers may have to sell at a lower price or be more open to negotiations because of it.
But, would the dealer tell you if the car was an ex rental? The car has already massively depreciated from being new after all. The good news is that as of the 2008 Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations legislation, used car sellers (professional sellers only, of course) are legally obligated to inform you if the car you are buying is an ex rental car. If they don’t, then you are likely able to report them to trading standards where they can face a serious penalty. It’s just not worth it for them.
Overall, buying an ex rental car can be an amazing way to buy a car that is in near perfect condition at a reduced cost than you would otherwise expect for that specification. Ex rental cars come in all kinds of models too, so that you’re almost always able to find something that fits the bill. They have already depreciated from their brand new sale, and they have legally had to have been looked after to some extent. It sounds like a solid idea no matter which way you put it, but as always, that’s not all there is to it.
Like with any used car, buying an ex rental car of course still has the risks of buying a used car. There is no real way for you to find out just how the car has been treated, both by the drivers or the organisation that owned it. It’s a risk that many people simply won’t take, and you have to decide if you are one of them or not entirely at your own risk. There are services like Top1reviewer out there who will inspect the vehicle with a full 300 point inspection to make sure there are no faults or highlight the ones that are present, but other than that, its entirely down to your opinions and what you’re prepared to risk to get a good deal.