Hertz Rent2Buy Program a New Way To Buy Used Cars

Program Allows Buyers To Rent Car for 3 Days, Buy It, or Return It

2016 Chevrolet Malibu will make a great used car. (c) Chevrolet

There's a new way to buy a used car - and it's something used car dealers might want to consider with their fleets if they can work out the liability and regulation issues. Hertz Car Rental is selling off its used fleet through its Rent2Buy program

Basically, as Hertz explained in announcing the program, "[the] online car sales program … allows customers to reserve a rental car they might want to buy for a three-day test drive.

Used car shoppers visit www.hertzrent2buy.com and select the car of their choice at the nearest Hertz location."

The press release further explains, "Customers have full use of the vehicle for up to three days and if he/she chooses to purchase the vehicle, they simply keep the car and pay the listed price without any haggling and the rental fee is waived. If the customer decides not to purchase the car, the vehicle is returned to the renting location and the transaction is treated as a standard rental with a $49 per day rental fee, or a $99 per day fee for higher end vehicles such as Corvettes, Mercedes E Class, etc."

Further clarification is Hertz now charges that $99 rate for cars selling for more than $25,000, which isn't that high and makes for an expensive test drive if you end up not buying the car. You should see if you can avail yourself of a cheaper rate through other special offers.

This program is the best way to buy a used car because there is little chance for buyer remorse because the buyer lives with the used car for three days before having to make the decision.

Advantages

  • No time pressure: the potential buyer takes the car for up to three days. It gives the buyer the opportunity to engage the car in the typical daily driving situations.
  • No sales person along for the ride. The potential buyer is able to come to a decision with sitting in a dealership waiting for the final offer to be made.
  • Plenty of time for a thorough inspection by a mechanic. The consumer doesn't feel as if the owner is being inconvenienced by keeping the car away from other potential buyers.
  • Rental cars can make good used cars. It's an urban myth that all rental cars are mechanically abused on a regular basis. Rental car companies lose money when their cars are parked. These vehicles get regular maintenance or else they become a drain on the bottom line. I worked part-time for a rental car company during college. Trust me.
  • These are typically young cars (usually 24 months or younger) with 35,000 miles or less on the odometer. They have depreciated significantly in value, which means good savings for the consumer. Plus, rental cars aren't usually loaded down with a lot of extras.
  • Hertz does offer complimentary two-hour test drives, which could give a consumer a good taste of a used car in the early stages of used car hunting. Maybe consider this for the more expensive used cars.

Disadvantages

  • Hertz says there is no haggling. Plus it needs to provide more detail on trade-in allowances.
  • The decision has to be made when the car is returned at the end of three days or the full $49 per day (at minimum) is going to be charged. Hertz should have a proviso that a customer has up to a week to decide - especially because it can be difficult to get a financial commitment in a timely manner.
  • Rental cars tend to be fairly sedate. That's going to save you money but it's also going to mean a consumer will rarely find used cars with all the bells and whistles.
  • Consumers who find a car with all the gadgets they like may be surprised to find them removed before the sale is finalized. Make sure the equipment wanted is included.
  • Hertz isn't going to provide service. There is a "comprehensive limited warranty for at least 60 days or 2,000 miles that comes at no extra charge." However, a consumer is not going to be able to build a relationship with the dealer's service department. There's something to be said for that, even when buying a used car.

    Hertz Rent2Buy is currently available in 22 states: Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.