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Purchasing Rental & Program Vehicles

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  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    I once rented a sedan to get me from MA to Long Island for a business trip.
    They dropped off a brand new Pontiac Grand Prix GT.

    I drove it like I stole it for 2 weeks.

    I got home on a Friday night and it didn't need to be dropped on until Monday morning.
    My house had just been built and the driveway pavement had not yet been done, so there was a good 2-3 inches from the gravel to the garage floor.

    Although my Toyota Tacoma had no clearance issues... the Grand Prix did.
    I went to pull the GT into bay #2 and heard this AWFUL grinding dragging noise. It was the Pontiac getting caught up on the floor of the garage...ooops. :blush:

    I figure, I'll pull out and back in, thinking the front lower spoiler was to blame.
    Backing in...ooops again...came very close to ripping out the entire exhaust system.

    Point here is, don't buy a rental...at least not the ones I've driven! :P
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,411
    ...go to You Tube and watch "2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse off Road Adventure" :surprise: :lemon:

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,411
    CORRECTION: Go watch any video under "rental cars". God, I wanted to slap some of those kids! :mad:

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • nthenthe Posts: 414
    "I've never been a fan of purchasing former rentals. I've seen too many people abuse rental cars while they have them and return them back with a smirk on their face."

    just watch the first "jackass" to learn more about this. :surprise:
  • nthenthe Posts: 414
    "That's why I tout certified cars...they are held to higher standards. "

    for the most part, this is a myth. honda, toyota, ford etc want you to THINK they are held to a higher standard, but they really aren't. The dealership does no more to these cars than they do to their "regular" used cars. the only diff is the ext warranty is already been bought for the car. i bet if you ran carfax on these certified cars, you would find some ex rentals.
  • The value of the certification depends on what the certified program is. I wouldn't pay anymore for a certified lexus as there is little value in the warranty they put on those cars and the chances of them breaking down is less as well.

    The euro CPO cars seem to have a little better value and usually give you special APRs. If you can save a point or more on the interest rate by going with a CPO car that could cover the difference in extra cost of a CPO vehicle.

    Also for wear items and such our CPO guideline requires items to be replaced if they are more then 50% worn. On non-CPO cars we could let cars go as long as they are above the state minimum for wear. We generally replace all wear items, tires/brakes/rotors, if they are below 50% anyway but we are ONLY required to do that on CPO vehicles.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,679
    Not true. At least with Honda.

    We are required to replace things that we otherwise wouldn't.

    We throw away perfectly good brake pads that I know would last me another 20,000 miles simply because they are half worn out. Same with tires and other items.

    Floor mats have to be in new condition etc.
  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    I guess it all depends on the dealer you buy it from.

    We sell ex-rentals every day, cpo and non cpo. Never have any reoccurring problems with them.

    You don't ever see any videos on you tube of people driving them the as intended (99%) because that would be boring to watch.
  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    I guess it all depends on the dealer you buy it from.

    We sell ex-rentals every day, cpo and non cpo. Never have any reoccurring problems with them.

    You don't ever see any videos on you tube of people driving them the as intended (99%) because that would be boring to watch.
  • I've always like the idea of buying year old rentals with about 12,000 miles then trading them in on another year old rental at around 36,000 miles. Keeps payments down and always under factory warrenty so no extended warrenty cost. Three year old car with 36,000 miles still gets a good trade in value. Same idea as leasing but I decide when it's time to trade or how many miles I want to drive a year. I'm interested in your thoughts. Thanks.
  • I guess it would depend on the type of car. If we're talking about say, a Ford Taurus, with horrid resale value, it'd be fine by me.

    New 2007 Ford Taurus after rebates and dealer discounts: $17000
    Used 2007 Ford Taurus with about 12-15K miles on it: $12000
    Used 2005 Ford Taurus trade-in value with about 36K: $6000

    $6000 for two years of driving isn't so bad. But I'd take it a step further and buy the three-year old Taurus with 36K and a warranty to 75K covering powertrain, AC, cooling, electrical, and a few other bits, and drive it for four years to use up the warranty:

    Used 2005 Taurus with 36K miles and 75K warranty: $8500
    Used 2001 Taurus trade-in value with 75K miles on it: $2500

    $6000 is the same, but twice the driving!

    Of course this might even be more appealing with a car that has better resale, but the purchase prices would be much higher although the overall cost would be about the same. I'm just partial to used Tauruses as basic transportation because they are so cheap used.

    For example, my wife paid about $7500 for a 1999 model with 97K on it. She put $1300 down. I could have bought her the same car with 137K miles for $1800 cash off a Craigslist ad. Had she been willing to buy a newer model (she doesn't like the looks of the 2000-up models) that $7500 would have put her in about a 2003-2004 model Taurus even at retail pricing. Last Taurus I looked at for $7500 was a 2006 model with 52K on it, incidentally, and now that I'm in the market again for a commuter car, I wish it was still for sale at that price. Still looking...best deal yet is a 75K mile 2004 for $4500, still waiting on an extended warranty quote on that one and hoping it'll be worth it.
  • Hi, Thanks for the detailed responce. I currently have a 98 Taurus with a 130000 miles that I bought 1 year old with 20000 miles as a ex-rental. I also bought the ex-warrenty. So suggesting the Taurus was right on. I'm thinking about buying an ex-rental and trading it off every 2 years to avoid the costly extended warrenty and have some value as a trade with only 36,000 miles and 3 years old. I had really good luck with my Taurus but I like the idea of having a newer car with low miles and always under factory warrenty. But I have to admitt you have me rethinking ex-rental with extented warrenty for the best overall cost. Thanks again, John
  • bayhookbayhook Posts: 2
    Going to a major auto leasing firm tomorrow to look at a 2007 Honda SE. Their cars are cheaper than the Honda dealers, but are not Honda certified. They advertise a "No Haggling" approach to their sales price, however, the sales agent has been very aggressive to sell me a car. Should i believe the "No Haggling" statement and make an offer?? Thanks.
  • fordfoolfordfool Western New YorkPosts: 87
    I've had pretty good luck buying ex-rental Fords and Mercurys. I'll price a leftover new car, then figure I should save several thousand off of that buying a current model year ex-rental.

    I'd avoid a rental that came from or near an airport. The lot kids drive like maniacs, much harder on the cars than the renters who get dinged in the wallet if they ding the car.

    Don't believe the "no haggle" nonsense. Make an offer, then leave. Walking is the only way to find the seller's low price. Haggling is just a way of giving the seller more money. The seller will call you.

    You can start to find prices on this Web site:
    link title

    and the NADA site:
    link title

    and Kelley:
    link title

    You should ask to see a CarFax, the car's original sticker, the service records, and the mileage verification form.

    Good luck.
  • nkareknkarek Posts: 1
    I was talking with a friend recently about buying a rental car. He said something that needs a little more research.

    Cars sold to rental car companies are less safe than cars sold to private owners. Is this really true? I can understand the perspective of the rental car companies that they want to save cost but cutting corners wherever possible. My friend was told that rental cars use thinner metal. This helps save cost but as a result make the car less safe.

    Does anyone know about this?
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,411
    "...My friend was told that rental cars use thinner metal..."

    Sounds like an urban myth to me.

    The rental companies tend to buy base models with fewer options, but thinner metal?

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Cars sold to rental car companies are less safe than cars sold to private owners.

    OK, does that even SOUND reasonable????
    Well, if they are renting KIA's instead of Volvo's maybe :P

    Seriously, rental cars are the same as any other car coming off the assembly line.
    they may have fewer options, but thats all.
  • lhylhy Posts: 48
    I am thinking about buying a 1999 Integra LS sedan that has been used as a rental.

    It has about 123K, an automatic tranny, and has 3 owners (2 are fleet/rentals I believe).

    Asking price is $4000.

    What do you think? Should I stay away from this car just because of the rental history?

    I'm also looking at a 1995 Maxima GLE. 116K. One private owner. Asking price $3800.

    All things being equal, I would prefer an Integra over the Maxima, but the Integra's rental history raises questions in my mind.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,450
    If it was truly a rental, that was so long ago that any problems associated with it would have certainly surfaced by now...

    More likely it was a lease... not too many Integras in rental fleets...

    It sure looks like a better price than that Maxima... I'd go with the Integra, and try to bargain it down closer to $3K..

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    Cars sold to rental car companies are less safe than cars sold to private owners

    Not even a drop of truth in that one.
  • lhylhy Posts: 48
    I believe the first owner was private and kept it for 48K.

    Then it was a rental/fleet car till about 120K.

    Now it is owned by a small rental place.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,450
    Either way.. It's a ten year old car, with over 100K miles.. No matter what it's history, it's all about the present condition...

    Have a mechanic check it out.. and, if it's decent, work the price down..

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,411
    "...it was a rental/fleet car till about 120K..."

    Yikes! Over 70K miles of dozens of different yahoos "seeing what it can do"? I would be leery of ANY car with 132K miles but a rental with that milage? Get it checked top to bottom and then offer them $500.

    If they argue with you tell them that the price for scrap metal is way down. :cry:

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    Seriously, rental cars are the same as any other car coming off the assembly line.


    You know, in the 80's I bought a Toyota Tercel with 12K miles on it from National Rental Car.....figured - Hey! It's a Toyota and a pretty simple one at that. What could go wrong?

    Well, nothing did, except that the tires, brakes, and battery all only lasted until 15 k miles.

    My theory at the time was that - when making purchase of 100's of cars that you know that you will sell at 12K miles, you could decrease your costs measurably by making an agreement with the manufacturer to use 'minimumally sufficient' wear items, such as, say tires, brakes, and batteries.

    I don't think that it would be cost effective to make any structural parts especially for rental car fleets. But the consumables.... that makes sense to me

    I don't say that this is TRUE, mind you.... but my personal experience led me to believe in the possiblity and my analytical nature made me see the cost benefits.

    A good rule in figuring out almost anything in modern life is
    "Follow the money to find the answers".

    I also tend to believe that if I'm clever enough to figure out how to save money, I'm still usually way behind the smart kids! :cry:
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    My theory at the time was that - when making purchase of 100's of cars that you know that you will sell at 12K miles, you could decrease your costs measurably by making an agreement with the manufacturer to use 'minimumally sufficient' wear items, such as, say tires, brakes, and batteries.

    100% rubbish.

    Tire and brake wear is subject to the type of usage, not just miles.
    If the car is driven mostly in a city with a lot of stop and go driving and changes of direction it is quite possible to wear them out quickly.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,344
    That was my thought. If you're going to abuse a rental that's where I'd expect the problems to show up.

    I haven't bought such a thing but wouldn't have any concern about doing so.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Just another argument in favor of buying a CPO car!
  • johnwnyjohnwny Posts: 7
    I read somewhere that the factory warranty on ex-rental cars is voided. Can anyone confirm this right or wrong? I'm looking at a ex-rental that I was going to get a extended warranty to pick up where the factory warranty leaves off. But I want to make sure that the factory warranty is still good and that I can buy a extended warranty to cover after that. The deals on ex-rentals are really good but I will not buy one without the factory warranty and extended warranty available. Also, is a ex-lease a better bet? They have more miles and are a year or two older but less abused. Thanks for any input.
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,411
    "...They have more miles and a year or two older but less abused..."

    I used to think the same thing until I read on these forums that dealers only care about the APPEARANCE of lease returns. It seems that if you bring the car back looking good it doesn't matter if you neglected the maintenance entirely.

    This means you could be buying a car that hasn't had an oil change in 36,000 miles.

    How about it car sales professionals, is this true, or am I talking through my hat?

    I actually hope I'm wrong on this one because I would consider a lease return if there was some sort of maintenance requirement.

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • joel0622joel0622 Posts: 3,302
    No the warranty is not voided.
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