Used cars are better bargains than new ones. Did you know rental car companies are a source of well-maintained, late-model used cars you can buy cheaper than at a dealership? Photo by rapidtravelchai.
You might be turned off by the thought of numerous strangers having previously driven your car-to-be, but Kiplinger says that if you can get past that stigma, buying a used car from a rental company could mean significant savings:
We compared prices for that automotive commodity, the Toyota Camry, at Hertz, Avis/Budget and Enterprise. As a benchmark, we used the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price — what you might expect to pay a dealer — for a good-condition 2014 LE model with about 40,234km on it, which in late April was $17,716 [$AU23,504].
The lowest price was at Hertz, where our Camry went for $16,000 [AU$21,228]. It was $17,600 [$AU23,350] at Avis/Budget and $17,999 [$AU23,880] at Enterprise. Prices for some other vehicles we checked, including the Hyundai Elantra, Mercedes C250 Sport sedan, Nissan Rogue and Ford Expedition, in a variety of trim levels, also showed savings — sometimes slim, sometimes huge. The Elantra at Hertz had 56,327km and was 15% below the KBB Fair Purchase Price.
Rental car companies are quick to point out that the vehicles they offer for sale go through frequent inspections and are regularly serviced. They all provide a report on the car's history and offer a range of car models, and some let you do an extended test-drive of several days, during which you can (and should) have a mechanic look at it.
It's another option if you don't want to haggle for a used car with a dealer or other seller.
Surprisingly Good Reasons to Buy a Rental Car [Kiplinger]