Would you buy a low mileage rental car ?

Discussion in 'The BS Topic' started by Chevyforever, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. Lowend

    Lowend Administrator. .a car, a man, a maraca. Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Knuckle - I can't speak for other rental companies but at Enterprise cheap cars (EX Chrysler 200's, Kia Rio's) mostly went out to insurance customers who had low rental car coverage and happily beat the crap out of them. <sidebar: make sure your insurance covers at least $30/day for rental cars>.
    Mechanical damage is actually pretty rare, everything is under warranty, and nothing is in the fleet for more than 12 months. However, body and interior damage is common and goes to the cheapest body shops the company can contract (<$45/hour isn't uncommon). The body repairs are executed as cheaply as possible knowing the cars won't be in fleet for long. There's a lot of substandard body and interior work out there.
    In general, beware of Economy cars and Vans of all sorts.

    The car rental is a business that works very differently than most people realize from the outside. At its core, car rental is about buying new cars at extreme discounts, then using rental fees (mostly from insurance/dealership replacement) to offset depreciation until the cars are sold used. A lot of the time, the money made on used car sales (flip) was more than operating profit. There are large teams of people whose job is to forecast vehicle depreciation vs vehicle age vs mileage vs rental income.

    Major car rental companies need to keep 90%+ of their fleet on rent, all of the time to be profitable. This year sees major decreases in general miles driven, which means fewer accidents, which means fewer insurance rentals. Combine this with lower travel, and it's a bloodbath.
    For the major rental companies, it's better to sell off vehicles early in their lifecycle than to let them sit and depreciate when not being rented. The same thing happened in 2008/9

    So yeah, there are some outstanding deals to be had on used rentals right now and a lot of the rules of buying cheap vehicles don't apply. If you find something with over 20K miles on the odometer, see previous statements on Economy cars and Vans.
     
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  2. budro6968

    budro6968 Veteran Member

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    Worked for a Pontiac dealership. Salesmen take cars home. Go drinking and boom. I did lots of minor bodywork and paint B/C of that. No police report so the Carfax never is documented.
     
  3. Knuckle Dragger

    Knuckle Dragger Mayor of Simpleton Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I can't speak for what you saw, only for what I saw. Paint, body interior, etc were all stuff we had to check and had to be 100% before we put them on the lot. Previous body damage no mater how well it was repaired could not be certified. Everything we bought from the rental companies was going to be certified and the standards were tight. I never saw much of a difference in work needed between high and low end vehicles.

    Weren't you in the fleet rental truck end?
     
  4. Fbird

    Fbird Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    for a simple eco-box I would be fine buying a rental as its no worse than what a kid is going to do to it anyway...mechanically. Its NOT a trophy...its a nice beater! If it can survive being BEAT on for 1-2 yrs...obviously its put together pretty good....and whatever has FAILED has already been replaced.
     
  5. xten

    xten Veteran Member

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    Shops don't report to Car Fax. Pretty sure it's the ins. companies. Have seen many erroneous ones. Damage exaggerated. Also have seen huge damage not reported. Had a new mustang in my shop with a clean car fax, and I know for a fact a local shop had repaired it. Had over $20,000 damage after all the supplements were in.
    We have customers in rentals every day, and I would buy one from what I've seen. These companies take care of their cars better than most of my customers.
     
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  6. kenny77

    kenny77 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    My next door neighbor is Ft Lauderdale Police Diver. He said that when the big Rental Companys order cars from the factory for their fleet ....there is some type of designation in the VIN.
     
  7. Lowend

    Lowend Administrator. .a car, a man, a maraca. Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    No designation I'm aware of, other than the VIN's tend to be sequential
     
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  8. Coadster32

    Coadster32 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I can only speak from my experience on this topic. I asked a local reputable shop in town about doing so, and they said go for it. Their shop services our town's Enterprise rentals, and said they take care of their vehicles, so that's where we went. They didn't have the one we wanted on their lot, so they drove one up from two states away, just so we could look at it. I brought it to my local garage, they made a "hit list" of things to do on it on a "once over". We brought it back to enterprise, and made the deal, with them ponying up the bill on the hit list. (Hit list was brakes, tires, oil change, normal stuff). The local shop that checked it out, got all of the work. On top of all of this, I had a timing chain tensioner issue, that turned out to be a factory problem. The dealership took it in, fixed it, and reflashed the computer for us...all at no charge. We are still driving the vehicle today. with over 100k on it. Just like any vehicle, it's all about the maintenance.
     
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  9. Chevyforever

    Chevyforever Veteran Member

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    In Canada, Enterprise no longer sells directly to consumers. All "deletes" are wholesaled to dealers. Even employees are not able to buy direct, at least in Ontario.
    I really appreciate all the replies from you folks, the car in question is a 3 1/2hr drive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
  10. Knuckle Dragger

    Knuckle Dragger Mayor of Simpleton Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Kind of the same crap-shoot buying any used car isn't it?
     
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