Consumer Reports: Should you buy a used rental car?

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Consumer Reports: Should you buy a used rental car? Nydia Han reports during Action News at 4:30pm on September 13, 2018.

There are lots of ways to buy used cars and you could get an incredibly good deal when buying directly from a rental car company, but there are certain things you need to check before signing on the dotted line.

The rock-bottom prices offered by rental car companies are tempting but before you dive into that purchase, Consumer Reports has important advice.

You've probably seen the promotions - used rental cars - low prices, big savings.

"That low price can be attractive, and most rental companies do maintain their vehicles. But you still have to be a savvy consumer," said Jon Linkov, Consumer Reports Auto Editor.

Rental cars can rack up substantial miles. Hertz, Avis and Enterprise show mileage running on their cars anywhere from about 10,000 to more than 50,000 miles.

And while most of those cars are no more than 18 months old, they have had many drivers. Avis says on average cars are rented between 55 and 65 times annually.

"With that much use and by drivers who don't have a personal stake in the rental car, these vehicles have likely taken a beating," said Linkov.

There are protections in place. Most rental companies do inspect their cars regularly.

In addition to the manufacturer's warranty, many rental companies offer them for a year or up to 12,000 miles - whichever comes first - and include roadside assistance. And it pays to look for cars which have 5 year or 60,000mile warranties from the manufacturer, like Hyundai or Kia.

But Consumer Reports says nothing beats knowing the history of the car - and recommends Carfax.com or Autocheck.com to see if it has ever been in an accident and recommends getting an independent mechanic to inspect it too.

It's also a good idea to take a look at Consumer Reports' Used Car Reliability Scores. They tell you which cars have demonstrated years of better-than-average reliability.

To read the full story from Consumer Reports, visit: https://www.consumerreports.org/buying-a-car/should-you-consider-buying-a-used-rental-car/

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