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3 minutes read Read Published March 02, 2023.

Writer: Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She is a specialist in helping readers to navigate the details of borrowing money to buy cars. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain the confidence to manage their finances by providing precise, well-researched, and well-sourced information that breaks down otherwise complex topics into manageable bites. The Bankrate promise

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We are compensated for the placement of sponsored products and, services, or through you clicking certain links posted on our website. So, this compensation can impact how, where and when products appear within listing categories, except where the law prohibits it for our mortgage, home equity and other products for home loans. Other factors, like our own proprietary website rules and whether the product is available within your region or within your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this site. Although we try to offer an array of offers, Bankrate does not include information about every credit or financial product or service. Most drivers only interact with the rental car for vacations or time away -in some cases it is also an option to acquire a vehicle of their own. While rental cars are owned by a number of drivers, they typically have extensive maintenance records and a low price tag. But before you drive off the lot in one of these cars there are some factors to account for. How do you purchase an automobile rental Just like would you buy any other used or new vehicle, buying a rental will require some research prior to the time. Budget Know the amount and the financing options that will best suit your budget. Since rental cars are considered used vehicles, there are plenty of financing options available. The rates averaged of 10.26 per cent in 2022’s fourth quarter according to figures from . But keep in mind that it’s more than just the price you see advertised online. Look up websites such as Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book (KBB). Both have breakdowns of expected repairs and maintenance costs for a variety of vehicles. Find a car to compare The best sources to look into rental vehicles for sale include Enterprise, Avis and Hertz. Simply go to their websites and check out the available cars in your local area. Again, Edmunds and KBB can serve as a great guide. They can show you average prices in your area for the cars you are interested in. This way, you’ll be certain that the used car dealer is offering a good deal. And because rental cars have more damage, check to see whether you can get a price lower than average to make up for potentially higher maintenance costs in the future. Prequalify Once you have an idea of a car Apply for preapproved financing. Although many rental companies offer financing options of their own, it is important to are sure you’re getting the most competitive price. Prequalifying also allows you to budget more accurately. When you know what you’re able to spend and have a clear idea of the monthly cost of your purchase — you can shop for just the right fit for your budget. Examine the vehicle. Take a test drive and view the car in person if possible find the car’s history report. It will provide you with details about any damages or prior ownership, as well as information about the car’s hood. Because rental cars see a lot of drivers, they can rack up some miles. The odometer is likely to be high despite relatively new vehicles, so prior to buying. In addition to the car’s history report, it will give you an accurate picture of how hard the car was driven during the time it was rented. Make sure to check the warranty. Finally, ask if the vehicle comes with a manufacturer’s guarantee, and you may be able to get additional security from the rental company. It could be a good option even if your car is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Extended warranties cover more common repairs and maintenance requirements. But they are an extra expense, so make sure you know what it covers and if it makes sense before signing up. Do rental cars make sense to purchase? Similar to many things related to car buying one must take into consideration the financial implications and fit for your lifestyle. Although rental cars are a bit of a bad reputation but there’s no guarantee any used car you buy hasn’t been used in the same manner unless you personally know its history. Benefits of purchasing a rental car Rental cars may have a bad name, but there are a few motives why they might be a good fit for you. Warranties: Rental vehicles typically have a warranty that lasts for about a year- even cars that are no longer covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty. Buy-back policies: Rental car companies may have the option of buying back your car if you change your mind immediately after you have purchased. Vehicles that are well-maintained The car rental company should have kept the vehicle maintained and cleaned after every driver. So even with more wear and tear on the car you are considering the vehicle has been inspected more than the typical used vehicle. These kinds of features could provide extra peace of mind that might not be available when purchasing used elsewhere. Cons of buying a rental car Despite having quite some advantages, there’s drawbacks to going with renting a car. The high mileage of frequent drivers and lengthy journeys could be more costly than regular maintenance. Sky-high mileage accrued by renters could lead to more issues or a shorter life span for your car. Limited options: Along with this, purchasing a rental means a much more limited selection of vehicles available for purchase. If the rental company does not have the vehicle you’re looking for then you’re out of luck. Basic features: The cars available do not typically come with all of the features some drivers seek. Most are simple models that don’t come with the premium amenities other used cars might include. The bottom line If you decide to go with a used rental car, do your research on typical vehicle costs, check a car history report and look over the fine print at rental vehicle websites -they often offer special offers or buy-back alternatives. And, as with any used car, getting the vehicle inspected through an experienced mechanic can give you extra peace of mind. Find out more


The article was written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She has a specialization in helping readers in navigating the details of borrowing money to buy a car. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances by providing concise, well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into digestible pieces.

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