Should you buy a used rental car?
Blog Car Guide

Sep 7, 2023

5 Overlooked Advantages of Buying a Rental Car

Is there such a thing as a great deal when it comes to buying a used rental car?

Most car buyers know the benefits of buying a used car including reduced depreciation. However, one option that often flies under the radar is purchasing a used rental vehicle. The general sentiment around rental cars is that they experience heavier wear and tear, or that rental companies dispose of their inventory because the cars are in rough shape. 

The truth is buying a used rental car has some big advantages; you just need to know what to look for. 

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of buying a used rental vehicle to help you make an informed decision.

5 advantages of buying a used rental car:

Buying a pre-owned vehicle that once belonged to a car rental company has five main benefits.

1. Well-Maintained Vehicles

One of the primary advantages of buying a used rental vehicle is that they are usually well-maintained. Rental car companies have a vested interest in keeping their fleet in excellent condition to ensure customer satisfaction and safety. They typically adhere to strict maintenance schedules, which means that you are more likely to get a vehicle that has been serviced regularly and kept in good mechanical condition.

2. Lower Mileage

Rental cars are driven by various customers, but they don't accumulate as many miles as personal vehicles. This is because rental cars are often used for short-term purposes, such as vacations or business trips. As a result, you are more likely to find a used rental vehicle with lower mileage compared to other used cars of the same age.

3. Relatively New Models

Rental car companies frequently update their fleets with the latest vehicle models to attract customers. This means that you have a good chance of finding a relatively new vehicle, often less than two years old, when shopping for a used rental car. A newer model can come with the advantage of having modern safety features, improved fuel efficiency, and advanced technology.

4. Competitive Pricing

Compared to buying a brand-new car, purchasing a used rental vehicle can be significantly more affordable. Rental car companies often sell their older vehicles at competitive prices to make room for newer additions to their fleet. This can save you a substantial amount of money, especially when considering the rapid depreciation that new cars experience in their first few years.

5. Warranty Coverage

Many rental vehicles are still covered by the manufacturer's warranty when they are sold as used cars. This can provide you with peace of mind knowing that you have some protection against unexpected repairs. Be sure to check the warranty details and verify whether it's transferable to the new owner.

Potential disadvantages of buying a used rental car:

The biggest concern when considering purchasing a used rental car is the uncertain driver history of the vehicle. While rental cars are often well maintained, they are subjected to a different type of wear and tear compared to privately owned vehicles. Rental cars are often driven by various individuals who may not treat them as carefully as they would their own cars, and it’s impossible to know exactly who has driven the car before you.

For added peace of mind it is wise to get a vehicle history report whenever you purchase a used vehicle. These reports will reveal important history about your vehicle - such as any past accidents or claims. So while you won’t necessarily know who has driven the car before you, you can at least see if there are any major concerns you should be aware of.

Another potential disadvantage of buying a used rental is that you may be limited to more common makes and models. These days rental agencies offer a decent variety of vehicles, but it will likely be more difficult to find specialty vehicles or anything that is less common. 

Tips for buying a rental car 

  • Look at the vehicle’s history: Aside from telling you if the vehicle was previously a rental car, the vehicle history report, such as a CARFAX report informs potential buyers if there have been any accidents or breakdowns. You’ll definitely want to know this information before buying. Look for a CARFAX Vehicle History Report and be sure what you’re buying isn’t a car crash survivor among other issues.
  • Think about warranty protection: You should check to see if the car’s factory warranty is still valid before you buy. If not, you might want to consider extended warranty options. Some retailers and rental companies will include 30-day warranty coverage upon purchase to cover any issues that may arise in the first weeks of ownership.
  • Have the Car Inspected: Before finalizing the purchase, have a trusted mechanic inspect the vehicle thoroughly. They can identify any hidden issues that may not be apparent during a test drive. If you are purchasing the car from a reputable dealer they will likely have an inspection report available for you already.
  • Get financing pre-approved: The most confident purchase decision comes when you know all the variables. If you get your financing pre-approved, you will know exactly what price range you qualify for, and what kind of car will be available to you.

Shop confidently with Canada Drives 

Buying a used rental vehicle can be a cost-effective way to acquire a relatively new car with lower mileage and a well-documented maintenance history.

Canada Drives works with hundreds of certified dealerships across the country that carry a wide range of vehicles, including used rentals.

Get pre-approved for your next car loan online in minutes and we will connect you with a local dealership in your area who will show you a selection of vehicles you already qualify for! Saving you time, and avoiding the stress of traditional car shopping.

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