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A Guide to Buying a Rental Car

buying a rental car

When on the hunt for a new set of wheels, a car rental company may not be the first place that comes to mind. Many people don’t even realize that you can buy a rental car. But purchasing a car from a rental company possesses many advantages over picking up a vehicle from a used car lot. It may prove to be the perfect solution for you.

Why Rental Companies Sell

Rental companies buy new vehicles to build and upgrade their fleet. Then, to keep their inventory up-to-date and make room for newer models, they sell some of their cars at auctions or to dealerships. In fact, some people buy rental cars from used-car dealerships without even realizing it. The top rental car companies in the country, however, sell cars directly to consumers through their car sales divisions.


Rental cars tend to have more miles on them than a typical used car of the same age. This might scare off buyers, but this should not immediately be cast away into the “con” column.

Most major rental companies will pull cars before they reach 40,000 miles. Because rental cars are reaching that mark faster than regular cars, they are being pulled at a relatively young age. This gives rental companies the ability to offer substantial warranties. For example, Hertz covers their sold cars with a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty. You can also extend your warranty for further protection.

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You may also fear that previous customers didn’t take great care of an automobile that wasn’t theirs. But most people do not want to be burdened with any damage fees. Plus, because rental companies need to continually rent these cars out to customers, great lengths are taken to ensure the vehicle is well-maintained, both functionally and aesthetically. So yes, the car will have some miles on it, but it will be better condition than most used cars.


Above all else, price may be the biggest selling point for opting to by a rental car. As stated before, rental companies need to rid their inventory of older cars so that newer models can join the fleet. This need forces companies to price to sell. Therefore, they will often sell cars below Blue Book value at a no-haggle price – the price you see is the price you get.

buying a rental car

Limited Options

If you choose to buy from a rental agency, you’re limited to the inventory they have in stock. This could mean they do not have the car you’re looking for. If they do, it may not be the desired model or have a specific upgrade or safety feature. There’s little room to be particular. On the other hand, inventories are frequently upgraded, so it may just be a matter of patience.

Before You Buy

Take the car for a test drive. Most companies will allow for an extended drive. Some may even allow you to rent the car for a few days. Hertz’s Rent2Buy program allows potential customers to take a complimentary two-hour test drive or rent the car for up to three days at a special low rate. Afterward, all charges are waived if you purchase the car.

Even when purchasing from a reputable company, make sure to do all your homework before buying a used car. Get a third party’s opinion you trust; feel free to have your mechanic inspect the vehicle during your three-day test rental. When you’re ready to buy, rental companies can provide financing options suitable for your budget. Many also offer trade-ins of your old vehicle to help subsidize the cost.

Interested in purchasing a rental car? Visit a Hertz Car Sales location to get behind the wheel of your new set of wheels.

Learn about exclusive Hertz discounts for AAA members.


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3 Thoughts on “A Guide to Buying a Rental Car

  1. Bought a rental car 1 Year out and had it for 7 years and 147,000 miles with no major problems

  2. Ok bought a car from a rental company and for the reasons you state. I have owned it for six years now and without a doubt would do it again.

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