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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 goal is to help you make better financial decisions by offering interactive tools and financial calculators as well as publishing original and objective content, by enabling you to conduct research and analyze information without cost, so that you can make decisions about your finances with confidence. Bankrate has agreements with issuers including, but not limited to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Money The deals that are advertised on this site are from companies that pay us. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on the site, such as for instance, the order in which they 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 home loan products. This compensation, however, does have no impact on the information we provide, or the reviews you read on this site. We do not contain the universe of companies or financial deals that might be accessible to you. SHARE: 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 helping readers to navigate the ways and pitfalls of taking out loans to buy an automobile. 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 the confidence to control their finances by providing precise, well-researched, and well-sourced information that breaks down complicated subjects into digestible pieces. The Bankrate promise

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There are money-related questions. Bankrate has the answers. Our experts have been helping you master your money for more than four decades. We strive to continuously give our customers the right guidance and the tools necessary to be successful throughout their financial journey. Bankrate follows a strict , so you can trust that our information is trustworthy and precise. Our award-winning editors, reporters and editors produce honest and reliable content to help you make the best financial choices. The content created by our editorial staff is objective, factual, and not influenced by our advertisers. We’re honest about the ways we’re able to bring quality content, competitive rates, and helpful tools to our customers by describing how we make 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 by you clicking on certain hyperlinks on our site. Therefore, this compensation may influence the manner, place and in what order the products are listed within categories, unless the law prohibits it for our mortgage or home equity products, as well as other products for home loans. Other elements, such as our own rules for our website and whether or not a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range could also affect the way and place products are listed on this site. We strive to offer an array of 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 an option to acquire a vehicle of their own. While rental cars are owned by several drivers, they also typically come with extensive maintenance records and cost-effective. However, before you leave the lot with one of these vehicles there are some factors to account for. What is the best way to purchase an automobile rental Just like when you purchase any other new or used vehicle, renting needs some preparation ahead of time. Budget Understand how much and the financing options that will best suit your budget. Since rental cars are used vehicles, there are plenty of financing options. Rates sat at an average 10.26 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022. 10.26 per cent in 2022’s fourth quarter according to figures from . Keep in mind, however, that the is much higher than what you can see advertised on the internet. Visit websites such as Edmunds as well as Kelley Blue Book (KBB). Both have breakdowns of expected maintenance and repair expenses for a range of vehicles. Find a car to compare The best sources to look into rental vehicles available for sale can be found at Enterprise, Avis and Hertz. Visit their websites to see what is available in your region. Again, Edmunds and KBB can be useful guides. They will show you the an average price in your area for the vehicle you’re looking at. This way, you can be sure the used car company is offering a good deal. Since rental vehicles are subject to higher damage, consider whether you can get a price lower than average to make up for potentially higher maintenance costs down the road. When you’ve got an automobile in mind, apply for pre-approved financing. Although many rental companies will offer financing options on their own, it’s always smart to so you are sure you’re getting the best deal. Prequalifying also allows you to budget more accurately. When you know what you’re able to spend — and know your monthly budget will be, you are able to shop for just the right fit for your budget. Check the car Take a test drive and inspect the vehicle in person if possible, then seek out the car’s history report. It will provide you with insight into any damage incurred, previous ownership and some specifics about what’s underneath the under the hood. Since rental vehicles are used by a lot of drivers, they accumulate many miles. It is normal for the odometer to be high despite relatively new vehicles, therefore, prior to buying. Along with the history of the vehicle report, this gives you a full idea of the intensity with which the vehicle was driven during its time as a rental. Check the warranty Finally make sure you inquire about the warranty comes with a manufacturer’s guarantee, and you might have the option of getting additional security from the rental company. It could be a good idea even if your vehicle is covered by a manufacturer warranty. Extended warranties cover more common repairs and maintenance requirements. However, they come at a cost, so be sure you know what it covers and if it is worth it before signing up. Are rental cars a good thing to purchase? Like the majority of things related to buying a car, you should fully consider the financial consequences and appropriateness for your needs. Rental cars may have a bit of a bad reputation but there’s no guarantee the car you purchase isn’t abused similarly unless you are familiar with its history. The advantages of renting a car Rental cars may be viewed as a negative, but there are a few reasons why they could be the right choice for you. Warranties: Rental cars often include a guarantee of about one year -including cars that are no longer covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty. Buy-back policies: Rental car rental companies might offer an option to buy back the car in the event that you decide to cancel within a few days of the purchase. Clean vehicles: The rental car company should have had the car maintained and cleaned after every driver. So even with more wear and tear on your potential car it’s been inspected more than the typical used vehicle. These options can give you additional security that may not be available when purchasing used elsewhere. Pros and cons of renting a car Despite having quite a few advantages, there’s also drawbacks to going with the rental vehicle. A high mileage: Drivers who are frequent and long trips may outweigh regular maintenance. The high mileage incurred by renters could lead to more issues or a shorter life span for your vehicle. Limitations on options: In addition to this, buying a rental is a lot more restricted in selection of vehicles available for purchase. If the rental car provider doesn’t have the car you’re looking for You’re out of the woods. Basic features: The cars that are available don’t come with all of the features some drivers are looking for. Most are simple models that do not come with the luxurious features that other used cars have. The key point to consider is that if you decide to go with a used rental car, you should do your homework on the typical costs, check a car history report and look over the fine print at websites for rental vehicles -Many offer discounts or buy-back offers. As with any vehicle that is used, getting the vehicle inspected through an experienced mechanic will offer you security. Find out more


Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She has a specialization in helping readers with the ins and outs of securely taking out loans to purchase cars. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances with clear, well-researched facts that break down otherwise complicated topics into digestible pieces.

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