Struggling rental car companies expected to sell vehicles at deep discounts

But is the car in good shape?

Take advantage of tryout periods

The thought of owning a rental car makes some people uncomfortable. The car Might’ve had a tough life. Renters have little concern to handle a car with gentleness, the thinking goes. Rental vehicles most often travel more miles in a year than individual-owned or leased vehicles.

At the other hand, rental car companies have an incentive to keep the vehicles well in order to maintain as much interest as possible in them, and to ensure that their customers have no issues with them.

Potential buyers should take advantage of the long trial periods and get a mechanic and test the vehicle to make sure it has no invisible problems, said Jon Linkov, an editor with Consumer Reports magazine. Rental companies also sell used car services “certified” and pledge rigorous inspections. Yet having an independent inspection is still better yet, Linkov said.

Shoppers should also search for vehicles the way they would before purchasing any used car, Linkov said. Many used vehicles, no matter where they are bought, are simply cheaper and more durable than others.

He also suggests renting from one of the big car rental firms, rather than a smaller one. That’s because smaller car rental companies could be renting cars already leased when they rented them.


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