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Should you even consider buying a former rental vehicle?

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2020 | Consumer Protection

There are so many things to consider when buying a used car. You have to get an idea of the budget you have and the kind of driving needs you have. Then, you need to find vehicles that meet your requirements both in price and performance.

Additionally, you will have to take steps to protect yourself from unscrupulous businesses that might try to take advantage of you by passing off defective or even dangerous vehicles to buyers who don’t recognize the signs of future issues when they make an as-is vehicle purchase.

For buyers on a budget, saving money on a late-model vehicle can be tempting. Purchasing a former rental fleet car can allow you to buy a vehicle that may only be a few years old at a low price. Is doing so a good decision?

Fleet vehicles often have excellent maintenance but also lots of wear

Rental vehicles might get rented out by the day or week to tourists or by the month to companies that send staff members to different places. As a general rule, the shorter the term of the rental, the more people will have possibly mistreated the vehicle in question.

People may not be as careful in a rental vehicle when it comes to things like speed bumps, braking and accelerating. That could mean that rental fleet vehicles will sustain more wear and tear when compared with standard used vehicles with only one or two previous owners.

However, a fleet vehicle will typically get an inspection every time it gets brought back to the rental facility and will receive excellent maintenance to help protect the rental company from liability.

There may be a lot more miles to offset that lower price

People sometimes rent vehicles when they have to make a long trip that they know would damage or age their vehicle. You may be able to get a much newer and nicer car on your current budget if you purchase a former rental fleet vehicle. However, there will likely be a lot of miles on the vehicle, which means it will have a shorter working life than other vehicles the same age.

Regardless of the price or the age of the vehicle, you should receive information about its condition, any issues it has had and any commercial use, such as rental vehicle status, before you make a purchase. If a seller commits fraud by not disclosing known issues or the fleet status of a vehicle, you may be able to take legal action against them for their unscrupulous behaviors.

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