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Everything you need to know before buying a former rental vehicle

Purchasing a former rental vehicle may seem risky, but like every other second-hand car purchase, it has its pros and cons. And, if you know exactly what to look out for, you can get the best value for money car in South Africa. All you need to do is understand what type of vehicle you’re getting and whether it’s worth the money. But, before you go and make a purchase, read the pros and cons as part of the initial stage guide to buying a new car. 


You can get a fairly new model 

Every used-car shopper loves finding a good deal, and the chances of that when buying an ex-rental is high. In most cases, the rentals you see at a dealership are fairly new models. This is because car hire companies are always changing and upgrading their cars to entice their customers. No dealership will have a rental car for more than 15 years. Their version of an older vehicle is the exact car you may be looking for. Unlike when you purchase a second-hand vehicle, buying privately or from a dealer, that has usually been used for several years. When you think about it, a private seller has no reason to chop and change vehicles every 10 or few years because it’s their car. Private sellers usually change their vehicles for safety reasons, cutting back on repair costs, and looking for vehicles with better features. But, in South Africa’s economy, these reasons don’t justify selling a vehicle when it’s still new. So, if you’re looking for an affordable second-hand model, then a rental is the best way to go. 

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You’ll get a vehicle in good condition

Although rentals have been driven around by different individuals, they’re still in great condition. Rental car companies are strict about the condition of their vehicles, so anyone who is renting out a vehicle needs to ensure they handle it with care. Trusted companies ensure that they comply with maintenance intervals, and they’ll have in-house mechanics who will look after their vehicles. Of course, if you’re still sceptical, you can ask to take the vehicle for a test drive, view the vehicle history report and bring your trusted friend or mechanic for a quick inspection of the vehicle. When you feel more certain, then you can arrange a deal. 

They’re affordable 

Everyone loves being able to save a few Rands here and there. Rental companies often sell their vehicles at an affordable price, and they never have to haggle prices. So, this is great for someone who is getting financed and looking to find a vehicle with affordable monthly payments. But, even if you’re paying cash upfront, being able to save is always a benefit. The reason why dealers offer ex-rentals at such a low price is that they need to remove the vehicle from their fleet fast. Which, of course, benefits you, helping you to get a budget car. 

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You know where the vehicle is from 

One of the drawbacks of buying a second-hand vehicle is that you often don’t know exactly where the vehicle has been, or if you are being lied to by the seller. But, because you’re getting an ex-rental, you can have peace of mind knowing the vehicle you’re about to purchase is coming from a business. Yes, it may seem like the opposite because of all the drivers who’ve used the vehicle. But, as mentioned previously, these vehicles have been well looked after and have been maintained after use. So, you can rest assured that you won’t be sold a lemon car


High mileage and wear and tear

Unfortunately, as much as a rental business can stipulate the rules, they don’t have much control over whether the driver follows it or not. Many ex-rentals have high mileage with wear and tear. This is because many drivers don’t treat rentals like their own car; instead, they treat these vehicles like a rental. This is unfortunate, especially for you, who considers purchasing one. But don’t let this discourage you. There are still many ex-rental cars for sale that are in good condition, and the wear and tear is manageable. 

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Yes, it will still have high mileage, but that should not be the only thing stopping you from making a purchase. And, as we know, mileage isn’t the only indicator of reliability. It depends on how properly maintained the vehicle was during usage. And, with modern technology, a vehicle’s lifespan is much longer than it was in the past. If you’re still unsure, you can take a look at the cars book value and decide from there if it’s worth the money. 

Has a lower resale value

Whenever you read guides about “how to buy a car” you’re always told about the vehicles resale value. Well, it is something you need to keep in mind because even though you pay less when purchasing the vehicle if you were planning on selling it down the line, you won’t get much value out of it. And, the reason why it’s so difficult to get the value back from an ex-rental is that many buyers are sceptical about buying an old rental, and it can make it difficult for you to find a buyer in the future. But, if you aren’t planning on changing your vehicle anytime soon, then it won’t have an impact on you.

There’s a chance it might be out of warranty 

When buying a former rental, there is a high chance the vehicle will have past its factory warranty. This is because of its high mileage, meaning you’ll pay for any repairs once the purchase has gone through. This may not be ideal for many people, and it’s advisable to be sure before any purchase. Because you do not want to have to spend more money than what the vehicle is worth. 

Not much variety available 

When in search of a new vehicle, do not expect to find the top of the line vehicle or all the latest models. Remember that rental companies look for regular models for price reasons and simplicity. So, if you’re looking for the top of the range vehicle, you might need to consider going to a private seller or car dealership. 

Is it worth buying a former rental? 

Buying a second-hand vehicle is always a daunting process. However, brand new vehicles are expensive, and nowadays, you can enjoy a fruitful journey with a second-hand vehicle. 

Now, the question still remains, is a rental still worth buying? And to be frank, yes it is. Rentals, like any other second-hand vehicles, may have its drawbacks. However, it still has its positives. You can get a vehicle that’s in good condition, fairly new, and one that can last you a couple of years with barely any issues (even with high mileage). And, as mentioned before, there are many other factors that need to come in to play when you’re looking to buy a vehicle. You need to take a look at the vehicle’s history report as that will help you to see whether the vehicle is in good condition, and suits your needs. 

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