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Buying a rental car: What you need to know Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our mission is to help you make smarter financial decisions by offering interactive financial calculators and tools as well as publishing original and objective content. We also allow you to conduct research and compare data without cost, so that you can make financial decisions without trepidation. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers, including but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Profit The deals that are advertised on this site are from companies that compensate us. This compensation could affect how and when products are featured on the site, such as, for example, the order in which they may be listed within the categories of listing in the event that they are not permitted by law. This applies to our mortgage, home equity and other products for home loans. This compensation, however, does affect the information we provide, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not include the universe of companies or financial deals that might be accessible to you. SUBSCRIBE: BraunS/Getty Images

3 min read . Published March 02, 2023

Authored by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers in navigating the details of borrowing money to purchase a car. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances with precise, well-researched, and well-sourced information that breaks down complicated topics into bite-sized pieces. The Bankrate guarantee

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If you have questions about money. Bankrate can help. Our experts have been helping you master your finances for more than four decades. We strive to continuously provide our readers with the professional advice and tools needed to make it through life’s financial journey. Bankrate follows a strict policy, which means you can be confident that our content is honest and reliable. Our award-winning editors and journalists produce honest and reliable content that will help you make the right financial decisions. The content created by our editorial team is factual, objective and is not influenced by our advertisers. We’re honest about the ways we’re in a position to provide quality content, competitive rates and useful tools to you by explaining how we earn money. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for the promotion of sponsored goods and services or when you click on certain hyperlinks on our site. Therefore, this compensation may affect the way, location and when the products are listed within categories, except where it is prohibited by law for our mortgage, home equity and other home loan products. Other factors, like our own website rules and whether the product is available in your region or within your self-selected credit score range can also impact the way and place products are listed on this website. We strive to offer a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include the details of each credit or financial item or product. Most drivers only interact with a rental car on vacations or time away -and for a lot of people these, they could also be a means to getting an automobile of their own. Although rental vehicles are used by many drivers, they also typically come with extensive maintenance records and an affordable price. But before you drive off the lot in one of these cars there are some aspects to take into consideration. What is the best way to purchase an automobile rental Just like if you were purchasing any other brand new or used car, renting a vehicle needs some preparation 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. Rates averaged a rate at 10.26 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022 according to figures from . However, keep in mind that it’s more than just the price that you see advertised online. Look up websites such as Edmunds as well as Kelley Blue Book (KBB). Both offer breakdowns of the expected repairs and maintenance costs for a wide variety of cars. Compare cars The best resources for looking into rental cars available for sale include Enterprise, Avis and Hertz. Go to their websites to see the available cars in your area. Also, Edmunds and KBB can be useful guides. They will show you the the average cost in your region for the vehicles you’re looking at. This way, you’ll ensure that the used car dealership is offering a good deal. And because rental cars have more use and wear, check to see the possibility of a lower price than the average to make up for potentially more costly maintenance expenses later on. Prequalify Once you have a vehicle in mind Apply for preapproved financing. While many rental firms will provide financing options of their own, it’s important to are sure you’re getting the most competitive price. Prequalifying also allows you to plan your budget more precisely. When you know what you can afford to buy and have a clear idea of the monthly cost of your purchase will be, you are able to shop for the ideal car for your finances. Examine the vehicle. Take a test drive and inspect the vehicle in person if you can and then look up the history of the vehicle. It will provide you with details about any damages or prior ownership, as well as information about the car’s engine. Because rental cars are used by many drivers, they rack up many miles. You should expect the odometer to be high despite relatively new vehicles, so prior to buying. In addition to the car’s history report, this will give you a complete picture of how hard the car was driven during the time it was rented. Also inquire if the car is covered by a warranty is covered with the manufacturer’s warranty, and you may have the option of getting additional assurances from the rental firm. It could be a good option even if your car is still covered by an official warranty from the manufacturer. Extended warranties cover more frequent maintenance and repairs. However, they come at a expense, so make sure you know what it covers and if it is worth it before you sign up. Do rental cars make sense to purchase? Similar to many things related to purchasing a car one must take into consideration the financial consequences and appropriateness for your needs. While rental cars have somewhat of a bad reputation but there’s no guarantee the car you purchase hasn’t been used in the same way unless you know the history. Pros of buying a rental car. Cars that are rented out may have a bad reputation however, there are several reasons they may be the right choice for you. Warranties: Rental cars often include a guarantee for a period of one yearincluding cars that are no longer covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty. Buy-back policies: Rental car chains may offer a buy-back policy when you make a change of mind within a few days of the purchase. Well-maintained vehicles The company that rents the car should have had the car clean and maintained after each driver. This means that even with more wear and tear on the vehicle you’re considering purchasing, it has still been inspected more than the average used car. These features can provide some added assurance that could not be found in used vehicles elsewhere. Pros and cons of renting a car Although there are quite a few benefits, there’s also disadvantages of a rental car. A high mileage: Drivers who are frequent and long trips may outweigh regular maintenance. Renters who have a high mileage could lead to more issues or a less long life for your car. There are fewer options available: In addition to this, buying a rental is a lot more restricted in inventory available to shop. If the rental company does not have the vehicle you want in stock You’re out of luck. Basic features: The vehicles available do not typically come with all the bells and whistles drivers want. Many are basic models that don’t come with the premium features other used vehicles might have. The key point to consider is that if you choose to use a second hand rental car, you should do your homework on the typical prices, conduct a history report and check out the fine print at websites for rental vehicles — many offer special deals or buy-back offers. As with any other used vehicle, having the vehicle inspected through an experienced mechanic will give you extra assurance. Find out more


Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers with the ways and pitfalls of taking out loans to purchase 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 manage their finances by providing concise, well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into digestible pieces.

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