Buying a former rental vehicle might seem like a bad idea to some people, but Budget Rental car sales replenish their fleet often, putting their rental cars up for sale at affordable prices. Some even have a remaining manufacturer warranty making them a good buy.
Where to Find Budget Rental Car Sales
Budget Rental Car
Budget Car Rental - Budget partners with Autonation to sell fleet units when they are ready to re-stock their inventory with new vehicles. Visit Budget/Automation and find out how to browse their virtual inventory and have a sales representative contact you. You'll find great deals on General Motors, Toyota, Chrysler, and Ford vehicles at heavily discounted prices. Many of the vehicles from Budget rental car sales have a remaining manufacturer transferable warranty and Autonation can help you finance a Budget rental car.
Many dealerships purchase fleet vehicles from Budget Car Rental. They do this through online and onsite auctions that are not open to the public. Dealers buy these former rental vehicles at deeply discounted prices and then re-sell them in their used car departments. If you want to buy a Budget rental car from a dealership, call the GM, Ford, Toyota or Chrysler dealers in your area and ask if they have any for sale. Keep in mind that dealers will mark-up the price of these rental vehicles more than Autonation, who partners with Budget to sell retired rental vehicles.
Is It Safe to Buy a Rental Car?
If you buy a former Budget rental car directly from Autonation, they perform a complete service by a qualified mechanic before they are available for sale. Ask to see the vehicle's repair history including any damage reports.
If you buy from a dealership, some do service the vehicle prior to sale, however, they are not required to. Servicing and detailing used vehicles is a cost all dealerships should incur to help them sell their used inventory. This is called reconditioning cost, so ask the dealership what reconditioning has been done to the vehicle.
Wherever you decide to purchase a rental car, ask the sales representative to run a CarFax report. If they don't have access to CarFax, ask them for the vehicle identification number or the VIN, and visit CarFax on your own to purchase a report. Vehicle history reports include important information such as prior owners, warranty and recall repair history along with any accident history.
How Much Should You Pay?
Unless you have a family member or close friend who owns a dealership, dealers sell cars to make money so keep that in mind when shopping. Arm yourself with used car valuations by visiting Edmunds, a new and used vehicle resource website, and get price ranges for the different makes and models you're interested in. Remember, most rental cars will be later model year cars from years 2007 to 2009. Don't expect to find a rental car for sale much older than that. Most rental car companies, including Budget, sell vehicles when they top out at 15,000 to 30,000 miles.
Search for more than one make and model on Edmunds and print out your research. Remember that Autonation and dealerships that sell Budget rental cars will have a smaller selection of these vehicles to choose from than their other in-stock used vehicles they received as trade-ins. While you can save money, be prepared to choose from a make or model that might not be your first choice. Read our buying guide for used cars before you make the trek to purchase that rental car.
Rent Before You Buy
Another great avenue for the rental car buyer is to go to Budget and rent one of their vehicles before you buy one. Even if you rent it for one day, you can get an idea of the comfort and performance of the vehicle before purchasing.
Buying a rental vehicle through Budget rental car sales can save you money, and you can own a vehicle with relatively low mileage and possibly some remaining warranty. Be a smart consumer before you buy and think of your rental car purchase as a large purchase, so put in the due diligence first.