Where to Buy Used Rental Cars? – A Comprehensive Guide

If you ever wondered how to buy used rental cars, now is the best time to look into the subject more thoroughly. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the majority of rental car agencies started to lose profit. Some of them even declared bankruptcy.

This means that they are willing to sell their vehicles rather cheaply. Though it might seem risky, a well-inspected rental car can become your lifelong partner.

It’s time to stop hesitating, research the necessary information, and give rental cars the appraisal they always deserved. Let’s see what they have to offer!

Pros of buying a used rental car

Purchasing used rental cars can be quite beneficial, especially if you’re tight on a budget. These vehicles have a lot of advantages compared to those we encounter at dealerships.

They are quite affordable

Rental agencies usually purchase their inventory in a bulk, which means they get amazing discounts. And since they pay less initially, they usually sell their cars quite cheaply. The difference between their prices and that of a dealership could add up to 10%.  

They are “younger”

Due to the “aging” policies of rental agencies, their used cars are usually quite young. You’ll rarely encounter a vehicle that is older than 2 years here. Therefore, a rental car is a great option if you’re looking for modern features within a tight budget.

They are simple and convenient to purchase

Buying rental cars is quite convenient since you get the chance to enjoy longer test drives. Some companies even have the option to rent a car for three days before purchase. They will refund the rent money once you buy the car.

In other words, you can test the performance of a vehicle thoroughly.

They usually come with some sort of warranty

When you’re buying a used vehicle from a rental agency, you’ll get a 12-month (12,000 miles) limited warranty. Even though some dealerships offer similar package, private sellers or local dealers might not have that option.

They are usually in great condition

Rental companies are serious about maintenance and, therefore, their fleet goes through all the necessary checkups. This means that their cars are in good condition in the majority of cases.

Before you start wondering “where can I buy used rental cars”, it’s a good idea to weigh in all the perks and drawbacks of rental cars. That way, you’ll know what to expect.

Cons of purchasing a used rental car

Even though a rental car can be a wonderful investment, we should still take such cars with a grain of salt. They are great, but certainly not perfect. They have certain disadvantages that you should keep in mind before making a purchase.

They have higher mileage

Rental cars have to go through the most driving. A one-year-old rental vehicle can have up to 25,000 miles on the clock. In comparison, an ordinary car will have around 12,000 miles on average.

They have a vague history

Rental car history reports aren’t as thorough as we would like. Certain agencies have their insurances, which means they might not report every single accident. Though you’ll be able to check the history reports, you won’t be able to get the full information.

History reports are more detailed with used cars that you purchase at dealerships.

They can be overly abused

Rental cars can have different drivers every single day. Some of them are more careful than others. Some drivers can be vigorous about their driving, start and stop the car abruptly, and cause some damage to the vehicle.

However, thanks to the longer test-drive you get the chance to double-check the condition of a used car you want to buy.

Regardless of all the disadvantages, rental cars are still quite reliable. You simply have to know how to buy used cars from car rental agencies and how to make sure they are in good condition.

How to buy used rental cars from a dealership?

It will be harder for you to buy a rental car from a dealership, but if you decide to do so, you’ll need to follow several steps.

I’ll be honest, if you’d ask me where to buy used rental cars, I would certainly suggest a rental agency instead of a dealership.

But there’s a reason why it’s important to know how to buy used rental cars from a dealership. When agencies can’t sell their vehicles, they send them off to the auction.

Dealerships purchase the majority of their inventory on the auctions. Hence, you might be buying a rental car at a dealership without even knowing. That’s why it’s important to take extra measures and make sure the vehicle you’re purchasing is in a good condition.

Compare mileage with the car’s age  

If you’re not sure whether a used car is a rental or not, you must compare the mileage with the car’s age. If it’s unusually high for a younger vehicle, then the chances are it was a rental car.

The average mileage for a typical car is 10,000-12,000 a year. You can use this rule to calculate the estimated mileage.

Discovering that a car is a rental isn’t a bad thing by any means. It simply indicates that we should take extra measures to verify its condition.

Inspect the condition vigorously

Since dealerships won’t enable you to test drive the car for a couple of hours or rent it for a day or two, it’s crucial to inspect the condition as thoroughly as you can. The best way to do that is to take the vehicle to the private technician.

Check the paperwork

Examine all the paperwork you can get your hands on. Double-check VINs and read the history reports. In short, collect all the information about a car you are interested in.

Where can I buy used rental cars?

The easiest and most convenient way to purchase a used rental car is to buy directly from rental agencies. You’ll be able to get a better deal, a no-haggle purchase, and a decent warranty.

Plus, you won’t have to play a guessing game to figure out if a car is a rental or not. You’ll know that from the beginning and take extra safety measures accordingly.

Where can I buy used rental cars?

You have three main options: Enterprise Holdings, Hertz Global Holding, and Avis Budget Group. These are the parent companies of all the main rental agencies.

All three have websites where you can easily check out inventory or make a purchase. Don’t forget that you should inspect the car in person and use the test-driving option.

Of course, there might be other rental agencies available locally, but Enterprise, Hertz, and Avis are the biggest and most reliable options you have. If you’re willing to buy a used rental car, these companies are worth checking out.

How to buy used cars from car rental agencies?

You’ll need to go through several steps here. Don’t worry, there’s nothing complicated and you’ll easily learn how to buy used cars from car rental agencies.

Determine the budget and choose the desired vehicle

You should always set a budget before you do anything else. Once you figure out how much you’re willing to spend, you can easily go to the website of a chosen rental agency and check out their inventory.

You could even visit several websites to compare the prices and deals. The main thing is to pick out a specific model and make, verify its reliability and continue from there.

Take care of the financial side of things

Get pre-approved for a loan if you’re not paying with cash. You’ll save a lot of money that way and simplify the whole process even further. You’ll also be certain about your budget, which will prevent you from overspending.

Get your hands on a vehicle history report

You already know how important it is to get a vehicle history report, so get one without any excuses.

Use the rent-to-buy feature no matter what

The majority of rental agencies offer a rent-to-buy feature (rent for three days, get a refund after purchase). It’s a wonderful way to test the performance of a car thoroughly. Since rental vehicles are associated with greater risk, it’s always a good idea to use this feature.

Inspect the chosen car

This step is important with any used car, but it’s particularly crucial with rental cars. Take it to the technician and inspect every nook and cranny.

Check out the warranty

Finally, make sure that you’re getting a warranty. It’s the best way to safeguard your purchase.

Where to buy used rental cars, after all? – rental car agencies are the obvious choice.


Even though used rental cars are tricky, they aren’t as risky as people think. If you do everything right, you’ll find a vehicle that will stay by your side for a really long time. Even if you’re not looking for a long-term commitment, you’ll still get a car that will offer an enjoyable experience. The main thing is to know where to buy used rental cars. If you get your vehicle from a reliable company, the chances are you won’t encounter any problems. Good luck!