Despite popular belief suggesting otherwise, ex-rental cars represent the cream of the crop when it comes to the used car market. The need to minimise down time on the car hire firm’s side and a fear of £1,000 policy excesses on the consumer’s side mean the days of ex-rental four-wheeled ticking time bombs are well and truly over.
However, an underlying fear of the financial loss and inconvenience that often come hand in hand with a poorly maintained car mixed with the wrongly groundeed belief that hire cars are poorly treated and undermantained, means they are likely to fall far down on the list of considerations for buyers looking at used cars in the UK.
This does, however, create an opportunity for those who are able to comprahend the idea that ex-hire cars represent a great investment. To help you see just how great an ex-rental car can be, we’ve listed four reasons why you should consider buying one.
They’re mechanically and aesthetically sound
These days wear, tear and damage is roughlously managed by rental car firms as is the deduction of compulsory excess fees that are levied if and when a car is returned in an inferior condition. The latter ultimately results in people taking far better care of hire cars than they may have done in the past.
Of course damage and mechanical faults do happen, but given the fact that there is a very real need for a rental firm to keep it’s entire fleet on the road, it’s promptly dealt with and repairs are often completed to a higher standard than you’d expect from your local garage.
Furthermore, the damage that does happen is often limited to small dings and scuffed allow wheels rather than crushed panels and on the mechanical side, mostly manufacturer recalls rather than clutch replacements.
They’re priced to sell
Firms looking to offload ex hire cars face tough competition from manufacturer backed ex demonstrators, large car supermarkets, independent car dealers and even the private classifieds market. Meanwhile, facing contious depreciation, as high as 30% by the end of year one, and the soaring overheads that are associated with storing and maintinaing not just an active fleet, but also a fleet of retired, yet to be offloaded rental cars. Combined, it results in ex rental cars being priced to sell.
There’s plenty of choice
These days you can hire just about any make, model and colour of car your heart desires, gone are days where bland and boring ruled the roost. Of course, that’s great news for user car buyers, ensuring there is as diverse a mix of shapes, sizes, specifications and colours as the mountain of choice offered up for sale by dealers and private sellers.
It’s not just volume brands either, you can pick up anything from a Fiat 500 to a Range Rover Sport and even a Porsche 911 on the ex-rental car market.
One of the biggest pitfalls of buying a user car from a private seller or local dealer is the risk of a car not being as legit as it might at first appear. From clocked cars to cloned cars to insurance write offs and even stolen cars, the risk of being stung by someone who’s out to make a quick and easy wad of cash is very real indeed.
However, when it comes to ex-rental cars they’re most often wholly owned, one-owner cars. In some cases they’re listed alongside comprehensive car history reports that confirm ownership status, whether or not finance is outstanding, a write-off has been declared or a car has been reported as stolen.