Buying an ex-rental car

Last updated May 05, 2021

Buying an ex-rental car is an option for anyone in the market for a car and could be worth investigating for those seeking a bargain. But while buying an ex-rental car could save you some cash when buying a second-hand car, there are several factors to consider before making your purchase. This article discusses the main pros and cons of buying an ex-rental car, equipping you with the all the essential knowledge to make an informed decision.

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Ex-rental car advantages

  • Potential savings

    Perhaps the most obvious advantage of buying an ex-rental car is the potential savings you can make – new cars lose value the moment they’re driven off the forecourt. Technically, ex-rental cars should help you avoid the worst of this depreciation hit, as their value reduction typically occurs during the hire car period. Whist this might not always be the case, it’s a useful rule of thumb.

  • A vast range of models to choose from

    Several thousand ex-fleet cars are sold every month, giving motorists a wide range to choose from. As a potential buyer, you can survey the market or compare the price and condition of the exact make and model you’re considering.

  • Sold by reputable car hire companies

    Ex-rental cars sold by reputable hire companies are generally in good condition, with many firms hiring service teams to ensure their vehicles remain in peak condition. Hertz, for example, carries out oil, water and pressure level checks every six days, guaranteeing a smooth, efficient ride.

Ex-rental car disadvantages

While there are several reasons to consider buying an ex-hire car, there are also some potential drawbacks to be aware of:

  • Rental cars can see heavy use

    Rental cars are used by several drivers for various purposes, so it’s impossible to get an idea of how well they’ve been treated. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll all be in bad condition, as the rental firm conducts maintenance but vital internal parts like the brakes and clutch might sustain more wear and tear. However, this is not a consistent issue and you can avoid unpleasant surprises by verifying the car is in the advertised condition.

    As a counterpoint, it’s worth remembering that rental cars often include hefty nsurance excesses, which might encourage renters to drive sensibly and return the vehicle in prime condition.

  • Unscrupulous sellers

    While most rental companies are likely to be reputable businesses, it’s almost never sensible to take that on blind faith. Therefore, when shopping for an ex-hire car, check that its parent company is a member of the British Vehicle and Rental Leasing Association (BVRLA) – this will ensure processes are in place to make the ex-rental fit for purpose.

Buying an ex-rental car: the bottom line

Bypassing the ex-rental market could limit your options but it’s vital to conduct the appropriate research before you decide to buy any used car.

This guide has weighed up some of the pros and cons of buying an ex-rental car but the decision is ultimately yours. If you’re set on purchasing an ex-rental car, it might be worth selling your current vehicle. For a 30-second, hassle-free quote, enter your reg here.