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Purchasing Rental & Program Vehicles

slamkimslamkim Posts: 5
edited October 2014 in General
Does anyone have an opinion on buying a rental?
I know they typically have a certification program but they are rentals. I also know that the dealerships buy most of their used cars from the rental companies. Would it be smart getting it from the source? I guess it would make sense for them to select their better batch and wholesale the rest to the dealers that sell it back to me, anyhow.


  • ConnieConnie Posts: 1
    We are thinking of purchasing a 1997 Camry LX from
    Hertz Resale. The cars look good and the price is
    too. Do you have any experience with this kind of
    purchase or any opinions? Thank you for your
  • toyomantoyoman Posts: 5
    buying from a rental car place can be a gamble, people just don't take care of rentals, I would prefer looking into a leasebuy-back or perhaps a demo.
  • ryenryen Posts: 3
    I disagree with toyoman... "Buying from a rental car place can be a gamble..."

    For two reasons:

    Well let's put it this way, when you buy a used car (rental or privatly owned ) it's a gamble. However, Hertz has a pretty good reputation for taking care of their cars, with regular scheduled servicing and oil changes. My boyfriend's folks just bought a car from Hertz, they were able to look at all the service records from day one.

    And: Even from a dealership, you often have not idea where it's been and how the prior owner took card of it. Listen to all the posts here from people that bought used cars from dealerships only to find out later that it was a leased/rental car vehicle anyway. At least with the Hertz vehicle you know what your getting and have access to all the service records. Even when the car has been owned by "one owner / little old lady," without the service records, it's still not a gaurantee that the vehicle was well taken care of.

    As far as people not "taking care of rental cars." I would be curious to some documented statistics on that, compared to how people drive their own vehicles, before I believe that line. I have rented numerous cars, and I've alway taken care, and am perhaps more cautious than when I'm driving my own vehicle. Consider the psychological factor of not wanting to be liable for damages... for a 20,000+ vehicle that doesn't belong to you, that's always in the back of my mind whenever I rent a car. Of course that's just me. Bottom line, when you buy a used car, I think it's more important to have access to all the service records... that would give me more peace of mind than knowing whether it was a rental car or not. Just my opinion.
  • Buying ANY car, new or used is a gamble. I bought one used car from a dealer once and probably wouldn't do it again. Thought I was getting piece of mind with a 6 month warranty - wrong. Seems like the car may have been in a bad accident, lots of problems with it. My wife always says that you have to not only look at the car you are buying but also the seller. We've walked away from a lot of used cars because something about the person selling wasn't right.
    My parents just bought a Sebring Convertible from Hertz - against all my arguements. Sure Hetz may change the oil, but I for one am a rental abuser - why - because I can - it's not mine, I don't care, "let's see what this baby can do." Years ago, I took a fishing trip with a friend to Colorado, had reserved a subcompact, but when we saw the mountains, asked if we could get a Jeep. It was going to be 4x's as much, so we kept the subcompact and got the CDW. Driving through fields at 80MPH is a real kick if you are used to commuter city traffic and you don't care what happens to whatever you are driving. Thattrue story may be an extreme, but I don't think most people care any more about the rental care they drive than the grocery cart they borrow at the supermarket.
    BTW, my parents have brought the Sebring back 3x's already, steering wheel still vibrates at highway speed even though cars has less then 12k on it. They'll never do it again.
    When shopping used, people like "Original Owner" cars, they figure they can asses if that 1 owner cared or not about the car. Would you want a used car advertised as having "Over 200 Owners - but well maintained"?
  • CGBCGB Posts: 1
    I agree with millerick, most of the people I have ridden with rental cars tend drive tromp and stomp - tromp on the gas to go and stomp on the brakes to stop. They also tend to start and go, without letting the car warm up. Why not? Its not theirs. All the regular service and oil changes in the world at the rental office won't make up for abuse wear and tear.
  • bimmer5bimmer5 Posts: 3
    Buying a rental (used and abused) car is BAD choice. It doesn't matter how meticulous is the maintenance, it's whose driving is the problem. Rental customer comes in different shape and form.
    It's better to buy it to original owner with meticulous maintenance record plus you also get better price. Just don't make a mistake of not having a mechanic checkout the car. It will save you alot of headaches down the road.
  • hheaphheap Posts: 1
    We have a13-year-old Toyota and have rented from our local Enterprise people for out of town trips.
    The agent and I go over the car with a fine-toothed comb before he hands me the keys, and I am aware that I pay for ANY scratches, dents or abuse that shows up while I have it. So I treat it pretty well and drive VERY defensively. On the other hand, the business about just jumping in the cold car and taking off is true, and that is a major reason for engine wear. But - I know a lot of one-owners that jump in and take off, and think that changing the oil every 3000 is a gimmick - 8000 is fine!
  • zhdzhd Posts: 18
    Image you want to drive from Detroit to Florida on the vacation and you rent a car from Hertz. it happens to be a gorgeous brand new with 0 miles on the odo., would you, out of your kind nature, do the "break in" for it on the free way. Same thing happens to the demo car.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    Most people don't rent cars to go from Detroit to Florida. They fly; and it costs much less to fly.
    Also around here (florida), it's rare that you ever see the tourists in rental cars even going as fast as the normal speed limit(55 mph). They're always slowing down and blocking traffic, as they're reading their site maps and looking for their turn offs.

    Also, not all car owners follows that "break-in" schedule either. At least with Hertz, you know they changed the oil changes and routine services. Matter a fact, there service records are much better than my prior vehicle service records.
  • zhdzhd Posts: 18
    To Pocahontas

    Thank for your response to my post.

    Acctually I am a student and have never gotten a chance to buy a brand new. I heard from one of my friend who recently got a job and bought a '98 Camry how tedious the break-in driving is. Need to drive under 50MPH for 500 miles and let the car run in each gear. I am not sure what a percentage of new car owners do not follow the break-in schedule and cut budget to the service of their brand new vehicles which are bought by hard-earned bucks. I asked our secretary who has a Bravada, how she did break-in to it. She said she intentionally drove it in town for the first several hundred of miles. I guess most of the car renters, including myself, will put the rental vehicles in highway or freeway and will not always drive under 55MPH. If the rental vehicles happen to be brand or very new and the renters happen to have interest to what they can get outof it.

    For the cost effective affair, a car has 5 to 6 seats and a van has more than that. Acctually last Christmas break my friends working in Detroit rent a van and drove it to FL, my friends in IIT (Chicago) rent a pretty new LeSabre and put almost 8000 miles on it.

    The demo car is an extreme example, my friend once test drove a '97 Mercury Saber and ...
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    Actually, the break-in period is usually not so extreme as 50 mph. "Usually recommended at about 55 mph; don't go over 4000 rpm; don't drive in same speeds for long periods of time." However, Two days after I bought my 98 Quest, I had to go to to Miami and back; that's 10 hours round trip. No way, did I go only 55mph... AND that's been the case with every new vehicle that I've had. I know some people do follow a more stringent break-in schedule. However, my Nissan service manager says:" just drive it."
  • dmkdmk Posts: 22
    All Posters,
    Great comments! I see where all of you are coming from. There are many angles here. I have rented many of vehicles and done all of the above!
  • zhdzhd Posts: 18
    To dmk

    Back to the original question. Do you think Hertz resale is a good buy?
  • L8_ApexL8_Apex Posts: 187
    I guess this isn't a good time to mention my practicing handbrake turns (those rally aspirations) in a rented Grand Am...
  • millerickmillerick Posts: 3
    Price is not the only determining factor of what a "good deal" is. buying a car driven by a bunch of people who don't care about it makes about as much sense to me as buying a car from one of those auctions where it's cash on the barrelhead, no test drive, you buy it "As is", and take your chances. I read recently that a guy in NY got more than he bargained for getting a car at auction, there was a dead body in the trunk. DO NOT buy a car that might have been rented by people like me. I take meticulous care of the cars I OWN because I expect them to last to 200k, but the cars I rent only have to last a week, and if the tranny drops out or a cv joint blows in that week, I don't care, they'll give me another. Buy a car from a person advertising in a local paper, talk to the driver, do they have all maintenance records?, why are they selling it?, does this person seem honest? Is the engine clean but not too clean of oil? What is the condition of the normal wear stuff - tires, brakes, timing belt, exhaust? Can you take it to my mechanic to look at? If you don't have the warm fuzzies with any of these questions, keep looking.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    Of course, price is not the ONLY determining factor, and I certainly didn't say that, BUT it's an important factor for many. Of course if one has the opportunity to buy a car from a "one owner, good car care" person that's trying to resell their car prior to 24K miles, great. However, you'll probably find a lot more late model cars under 24K/24m in the rental resale market than you will from a private owner. And for some, a 1000-2000 discount from Hertz can certainly make up for a lot the uncertainty...

    The fact is, when you buy used, you never know what you're getting, PERIOD. Read some of the posts here from people that bought a used car from a local dealer, only to find out the car was a previous rental car, anyway! With a Hertz resale, you at least know it's a rental car, and you can take the extra precautions to thoroughly inspect the car, weigh the all the factors; and then decide for yourself if the discount is worth it or not. For many people, that are on a limited/fixed income, such as my boyfriend's retired folks, it was a "great deal."
  • stolistoli Posts: 7
    I rent a lot of cars from Hertz and can attest to how I (representative sample) drive them, which is no different than how I drive my own car, except I throw the trash on the floor. The condition of the typical Hertz car, when rented to me, is no different then what you would typically find when they're put up for sale, which is to say clean and normal.

    The average Hertz car is driven by hundreds of individual business people on one or two day business trips. When you're lost in a strange city, you're not likely to partake in stoplight racing. The Hertz lots are full on the weekends, indicating that they don't get steady local business from casual renters off the street. Chances are L8_Apex rented the GrandAm from Enterprise when his car was in the shop (they usually rent outside of airports).

    I've rented long term at Alamo (I'm not the typical 2-day traveler). There, when I wanted to keep a particular car beyond the maintenance limit of one month, the manager would just punch some numbers into his computer and...whoala, instant maintenance. At Hertz, no dice. They are the favorite company for business travelers because they are more professional and streamlined than the others, albeit more expensive. When your company picks up the tab, its Hertz. When renting for a joy ride, whatever's cheapest.

    Would I buy from Hertz, well, not exactly.
  • bababooeebababooee Posts: 1
    I worked for Hertz my first job out of college. It was a transition job knowing that I would only be there until I found something better which I do today of course. I would never recommend buying a rental car under no conditions. It is not the people renting the cars you have to worry about, it is the EMPLOYEES. After my first week on the job one of my managers showed me how to pull the hand brake of a Pontiac Sunfire in gravel going 35 miles an hour causing us to do a 180. I have to admit doing the same on other occasions as well as going 50 miles an hour then downshifting to second gear and jolting the car all over the place. Several of the guys I worked with did just the same. We seemed to do it to break up the boring times of the day. Hey, what can I say? We were young back then. Anyways, that's my 2 cents worth
  • PhaidPhaid Posts: 1
    For my $0.02... I bought an ex-Hertz '94 Ford Taurus GL as a program car from a Ford dealership in the summer of '95. The car had 16K miles on it, was basically loaded minus leather and CD player, and was in excellent shape. The only way to tell it had been a Hertz was from the no-smoking sticker on the window and one of the sunvisors had a typical Hertz sticker on it. In any case, the car was excellent for all 3 years I owned it, it needed only a few trivial repairs - a cracked radiator hose, a squealing belt, and a sticking speedo cable.

    At the time I bought the car, I had just graduated college and wasn't in a position to buy a car as nice as a Taurus new. I got an excellent deal (around $11,000 at the time) for a nearly-new car with 20,000 miles left under warranty. It's probably not something I'd do again - I bought my first completely new car this past March - but it's a good option for folks who can't quite swing the full new car price and don't want to settle for a lesser car.

    My recommendation to anyone considering buying an ex-Hertz vehicle: go for a more sedate vehicle like the Taurus. I've rented dozens of Tauri from Hertz, always on business trips, and never drove them "hard" - I just didn't have time to fool around. On the other hand, I have also rented Mustangs from Hertz, either on business when I knew I'd have time to kick around, or on holiday. While I wouldn't say I ever abused these cars, I certainly drove them enthusiastically - and judging from their condition (rough-shifting transmissions, etc) I'd wager others had done the same.
  • arnetarnet Posts: 1
    I would disagree. Buy rental cars from Enterprise Rent A Car. Just about all of the cars are sold with factory warrts. and all of them come with 1yr/12000 mile warr. I work for Enterprise and know for a fact we do not beat on our cars. They are well maintained and we pride ourselves on providing the best for our customers. Call 1800RENTACAR for info...
  • L8_ApexL8_Apex Posts: 187
    arnet, you guys may not beat on them but that doesn't speak for the customers...
  • rmbrmb Posts: 2
    NEVER BUY A RENTAL CAR..... that I've driven anyway. Previous jobs have had me travel all over the country. During these trips I would rent many different kinds of cars from Hertz, Alamo, National, whoever. If the car was a pig (Buick Century, Olds Achieva, Pontiac GrandAm) I would treat it as such. One of my favorite things when bored was massive neutral-drops. Another was how many 80-0 stops I could do with ABS until the brakes caught fire(which happened on a century) or the rotors warped so bad that you'd swear the pedal pulsations might break your knee. Off-roading in California was a fond pastime in GrandAm's.

    If the vehicle was a SLOW pig then rarely did it ever see third gear.

    When I returned these cars they looked fine (except when I hit a vulture at 70+mph) and typically showed little outward symptoms of having been severely beaten and abused.

    Oh my god, memories of youth, never buy a rental.

  • NYNik888NYNik888 Posts: 2
    I am considering purchasing a 1996 Hyundai with 30,000 to 35,000 miles from Enterprise Rental Cars for around $7,000 with a 1 yr/12k warranty. Any comments regarding that make/model/year? I confess I am concerned to buy a Hyundai which may or may not have been "beaten" by potentially irresponsible drivers, though I recently rented one at 6k and loved it. But that's at 6k.
  • NYNik888NYNik888 Posts: 2
    That's a1996 Hyundai Accent.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,603

    You drove a Hyundai and loved it??
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    Hello Mr. Honda
    Okay, Hyundai would not be my first choice, but not everyone can afford a Honda. And, actually, Hyundai does make a much better product than it used to. I drove an elantra the other day; it was pretty decent... the interior/seats were attractive/comfortable, and the ride was smooth. byw, seats are comfortable than the Accord...;-)

    If you're going to buy a rental car from Enterprise, see if they can show you the service records. I know that Hertz will do that.
    As for possible prior abuse, sure there's no guarantee that the car may not have been abused..., however if that were such a common problem as speculated by some of the posts here, I'm sure we'd be seeing more topic subjects at town hall on this very matter; and coming from ACTUAL car rental/resale owners... right? So far, I have not seen a singe topic here about: "My rental car resale is a lemon because of prior abuse..." The only posts about this concern are from people speculating... and reminiscing about their wild youth... and their own rental car abuse.

    If you want to guarantee that your car has had not prior abuse, buy a NEW car. A well made car is made to take a certain amount of abuse..., I'd be more concerned about the reputation of the Make/Model. Have a mechanic inspect your prospective car carefully, and check out the service records. If the price is right, go for it.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,582
    > Most people don't rent cars to go from Detroit
    > to Florida.

    Correct; they drive their own.

    > They fly; and it costs much less to fly.

    Also correct--if you have a Valentine One it should only cost you the price of the detector.

    BTW my dad and two coworkers got crammed into a 1996 Accent in Chicago while there for training (company picked the car). Of course it was full with luggage and 3 big guys but it eventually made it up to 80 mph on the interstate, at which point the person in the passenger seat violently jerked the parking brake... nothing happened. Go figure.
  • tdawgtdawg Posts: 1

    How true. I own a previous Hertz car ('93 Mazda MX-3; 12K original miles) and there was not any sign of abuse. The odometer just turned 122,000 miles and the most expensive repairs thus far have been the 60K timing belt changes (roughly $600 to pull the head off this 4 cylinder) and the 7K in damages when a Mercedes hit my parked car back in '95. You can't go wrong with buying previous rental cars because they sell them with a major balance of the warranty still intact. If any big problems arise, just leave your checkbook at home and drop it off at the dealer.
  • DodgersDodgers Posts: 4
    I heard that quite a few rental companies sell cars which were never in service with them. This means that they buy used cars from auctions and other dealerships. I've read numerous rental car ads which welcome trade-ins (which I'm sure they resell on their lots). So, not all cars they sell are from their own retired rental cars with all maintenance records.

    I've rented many cars from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and found most cars are in average to below average condition. One car didn't eve have a gas cap!!!!!! The "best" rental car I drove was the '98 Maxima which convinced me not to buy a new Maxima. I bought a new Accord instead. I kinda wish Honda would sell more cars to rental cars so I can rent them but that would also lower the resale value like it has to Taurus and Camry. 50% of Taurus sales are to fleet (rental co.) compared to 15% Camry and only 5% Accords. No wonder Taurus has horrible resale value and Accords have the best in its class.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    I'm sure what you say is true about some "rental car companies" ...but this topic is about Hertz resales. And they provide complete service records with all their resales.
This discussion has been closed.