If you need a car with low mileage at a great price, you might be in luck. Hertz (a major car rental company with over 3,000 locations in the U.S. and 74 in North Carolina) has started selling some of their fleet cars at discount prices. North Carolina News Daily has the guide for what you should know about snagging one.
What’s a Fleet Car?
A “fleet car” is a rental car which an outside organization owns through the rental agency. Many organizations might keep a fleet car for their own exclusive use – companies, government entities, car dealership, and rental agencies.
These used cars become available for purchase once the organization ends its agreement. Rental agencies then sell them to recoup some of the costs of first buying them.
Hertz Sells Its Cars Following Hard Times in COVID-19
Hertz’s cars entered the market after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late May 2020. The company had accumulated more than $24 billion in outstanding debt, pushed over the edge by the significant decrease in rentals due to COVID-19, according to USA Today. The company had already missed payments to creditors by April. But Hertz also suffered from management turnover, naming Paul Stone as its new CEO (the sixth CEO in the last four years). Stone, formerly Hertz’s executive vice president and North America chief retail operations officer, received the promotion on May 18.
This Hertz sale means hundreds of thousands of near-new cars selling well under their market average.
In addition to lower prices, Hertz also offers buying incentives to customers. These options include a seven-day, 250-mile buyback guarantee and dealer warranty options, as well as no-haggle pricing. Hertz is also offering incentives such as trade-in, and a free 75-mile delivery for your vehicle from select Hertz dealership locations.
Should You Buy From Hertz Right Now?
That depends on the car and on the larger auto market. Buying used cars from a dealership like Hertz has both advantages and disadvantages compared to buying from an auto dealership.
Rental companies maintain their cars’ maintenance checks, so buyers can expect a certain base-level quality in fleet cars from Hertz. Their variety of used cars will also be large: sedans, SUVs, trucks, and minivans. Between a base-level quality and wealth of options, you might snag a good deal on a car you’d like from Hertz.
Rental-car purchases might have greater long-term savings. Analysts from Edmunds report that, compared to buyers of used cars from dealerships, people who bought from rental companies saved about 9% on average. Though, as a caveat, the difference in savings remains complex.
For one, used rental cars’ quality might vary. It’s hard to guess the usage that a Hertz car will have received once it’s sold. Consumer Reports explains the risk of wear-and-tear: “Miles are piled on at a much faster rate, and renters may not have been the most considerate drivers.”
And if you buy a fleet car, its model may become so common that your eventual trade-in will suffer. Hertz carries mostly base models in its stock. That means you’ll likely face a saturated market of the same models down the line. Matt Jones, a senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds, explained that more competing models “might give you a depreciation curve that’s a little bit steeper than when you might normally get when you were trading in a car.”
Hertz cars are now available in North Carolina.
Where can you find these used rental cars for purchase? The entire stock is available on the Hertz Sales website.