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Experiences using Hertz Rent2Buy to buy a used car

Old Oct 19, 11, 7:22 pm
Thread Starter

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Programs: Centurion
Posts: 78
Experiences using Hertz Rent2Buy to buy a used car

Experiences using Hertz Rent2Buy to buy a used car? Anyone bought one before?

I am interested in a vehicle I saw advertised in Atlanta by Hertz Rent2Buy. Since then, I have been researching this program and think it is interesting. I am posting here as I think others may be interested and I would also like to hear if anyone has had an experience with this program.

Basic Premise: Hertz sells late model rental cars to the public at roughly the same price they are getting at auction to avoid transportation & auction fees. The customer rents the car for $49/day for 3 days to test the car before buying. During those 3 days you can inspect the car, etc.

The prices are quite competitive and are "firm" from what everyone tells me. There doesn't seem to be any room to negotiate and if anyone has been able to negotiate I am curious how they went about it.

I am picking up the car tomorrow morning and I will update this thread as I go through this experience with my thoughts and ideas in case anyone else is interested.

A few of the downsides of this program are that you're buying an ex-rental car which has likely been driven rougher than average. Many of the cars are rather new but have a lot of miles for their age. On the other hand, I take some comfort in the fact that the routine maintenance has been performed regularly and many are still under factory warranty.
timtim2008 is offline
Old Oct 20, 11, 5:42 am

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: HNL
Programs: Hertz Gold
Posts: 108
I'm not a fan of Rent2Buy, but I have a Hertz Car Sales lot at the airport which is a better option if you have it. The cars can sometimes be a little more ($500-1000), sometimes they're the same price as Rent2Buy, but they've been detailed, had an inspection + oil change + new tires/brakes if need be, and they'll repaint one or both bumpers for free.

I agree that the prices are VERY good. Each time I go to my local Hertz Car Sales lot, I see tons of Camrys and Corollas with "SOLD" on it - the sales guy said all of the local dealers buy them for resale. And they're right, I see them in the newspaper and on dealers' websites for +$3-5K!

The reason why I'm not a fan of Rent2Buy is that although HNL has been a participating location for a while, they still didn't quite know how to do the whole thing. Once they were able to find the car we reserved to look at, it was scratched and dented all over the place. As you already know, it's sold as-is so that's just how you get it. This brings up another downside of Rent2Buy - you can't know the actual condition of the car you're booking. There were lots of Civics to choose from so I just picked one for my aunt and we went down. She ended up buying her Civic from the Hertz Car Sales lot which was in prestine condition.

When the topic of buying an ex-rental car comes up, everyone is quick to say "well, I would never buy one, think about how they've been driven!" and when I ask how many have actually bought one and had a bad experience, no one answers because they're just spouting crap. Go figure.

I bought my '05 Camry from Hertz Car Sales in '06 and it's been a great car. My mom's '95 Camry is an ex-Hertz rental too, it has been ridiculously trouble free. My gf bought her '09 ex-Hertz Camry in '10 w/ 25K miles for $13.9K which was a good deal. My aunt bought her '09 ex-Hertz Civic in '10 and couldn't be happier. My other aunt bought her '04 Accord from a dealer but she didn't know it was an ex-Enterprise (yuck) rental, but it's been a great car.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I plan on buying ex-rentals from Hertz for a long time to come. They're timely with their oil changes (you can look at the service records) and they have a good variety of cars to choose from. I would NOT buy an ex-Enterprise car because I always see Enterprise rentals around with expired inspection/registration and the one time I rented from them, our Escape's TPS was tripping because some times were at 45psi and some were at 20psi. Doesn't seem like they maintain their cars well, at least not here.

Good luck! I'm curious what your experiences are. I know the cars at SFO were all in good shape (a lot of them had their tires sprayed too, which I thought was odd because it was such a small detail; sure made the cars look nice!) so if your airport is like that, maybe you'll be happier than I was with the scratched up Civic we looked at.

May I ask what kind of car you're doing the Rent2Buy program for?

My '05 ex-Hertz Camry

My gf's '09 ex-Hertz Camry

Last edited by TRD_808; Oct 20, 11 at 5:55 am
TRD_808 is offline
Old Oct 22, 11, 11:04 pm

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 1,044
My brother bought an ex-rental and the transmission went out 6,000 miles after he bought it and it wasn't even a Chrysler product. There were some other accelerated repairs as well. The car came from an Enterprise fleet, but it definately made me more hesistant.
JLewisinSyr is offline
Old Oct 23, 11, 8:32 am

Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, Earth (PIT)
Programs: Airline/TSA Avoidance Platinum, Hotel Disloyalty Silver, Hertz 1.7*
Posts: 5,277
On the other hand, we had an ex-Enterprise car that was fine. Had 30k miles on it when purchased and 90k or so when we sold it a few years later, not because of anything wrong but because we downsized to one car (and the other one was worth less $$ to others but perfectly fine to us). Never had any serious problem that I can remember. Was a Mitsubishi Galant, 2003. There was admittedly a family of employee discount involved in the purchase that made the price that much lower.

So I wouldn't rent from them but wouldn't rule out buying from them.
CrazyOne is offline
Old Oct 24, 11, 5:48 pm
Thread Starter

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Programs: Centurion
Posts: 78
was looking at camry

they are asking $16,500ish, i wanted to know if it was very firm?
timtim2008 is offline
Old Oct 27, 11, 5:16 am

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: HNL
Programs: Hertz Gold
Posts: 108
Originally Posted by timtim2008 View Post
was looking at camry

they are asking $16,500ish, i wanted to know if it was very firm?
R2B and Hertz Car Sales prices are firm.

$16.5K is okay, I'm assuming for a 2010 LE? You have to watch their prices, sometimes they're good sometimes they're just average. I'd only buy from Hertz if it was a really good deal. If not I'd just go to my local Toyota/Lexus dealer, pay $500-1000 more than Hertz and get one that's had both bumpers repainted along with an oil change and brake fluid flush.

Right now Hertz doesn't have any Camrys in my area but they do have 2011 Malibu "1FL" trim (fleet trim) for $13.9K with 21K miles. Very good deal for a full sized car with good reviews.

I don't care for the 2012 Camry so if I can find a good deal on a 2011 through Hertz I might try and swing that. I'm thinking $14K toward the end of 2012 if I'm lucky. We'll see.
TRD_808 is offline
Old Dec 7, 11, 1:08 pm

Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,116
Originally Posted by TRD_808 View Post
This brings up another downside of Rent2Buy - you can't know the actual condition of the car you're booking.
I was wondering about that. In the NYC area they have tons of cars available through Rent2Buy, but the only info available on the website is mileage and color. Is there a way to call to ask more detailed questions?
themicah is offline
Old Dec 7, 11, 6:12 pm

Join Date: May 2010
Location: WAS
Programs: Lotz
Posts: 1,384
Low-End Models Have High Mileage

Checking out DC area was surprised that most models have 40K up miles, especially economy cars (who rents those?). Not good prices.

OTOH there are tons of 2011 Mustangs with 21K miles for $20K- a gr8 deal and in Miami there are plenty of Mustang convertible V-6 premiums for $18K with about 38K miles.

Last edited by tassojunior; Dec 7, 11 at 7:33 pm
tassojunior is offline
Old Mar 19, 12, 4:16 pm

Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,116
We just bought a Mazda5 through Rent2Buy (still haven't gotten back our title and registration, but signed the purchase agreement so it's "ours" at this point) and I thought I'd report back.

Some notes:
  • One quirk is that they don't guarantee the car will actually be available at the reserved time, since it's an active rental vehicle up until the moment you decide to keep it and could get returned late or to the wrong location or whatever.
  • The HLE location in the 'burbs where I reserved mine was happy to pick me up from the train station a mile away.
  • To answer my own earlier question, there isn't really any way to determine details about the car beyond what's on the website. The Rent2Buy people know nothing and the pickup location probably won't have the car until a day or so before you're scheduled to pick up. They DO, however, allow you to return the car without any charge within 2 hours of pickup if you don't like it.
  • An individual can only hold one Rent2Buy reservation at a time. So you can't reserve several cars and then take the one you like best when you show up (although I guess spouses could make two reservations). Also, because you have to reserve at least a couple days in advance, if you're really picky it might take several weeks of rejecting cars before you find one you like.

We're not that picky, though, and were fine with the first one we tried. It was the color we wanted, had reasonable mileage (about 34k) and was a couple thousand cheaper than anything I could find through conventional used car channels (many of which had Carfaxes indicating they were also former rental fleet cars).

As soon as I picked it up I drove straight to a mechanic who put it up on a lift, checked the computer and generally poked and prodded and declared it in decent condition. Yes, it has a couple little dings on the doors and some scratches on the bumpers, but we're going to be keeping it in Manhattan (sometimes on the street) where it's bound to get dings and scratches anyway.

The only unpleasant surprise so far has been the cost and hassle of getting additional keys. The rent2buy site said it would only come with one key, and I learned after I bought it that if you have less than 2 keys you HAVE to go to the dealer to get a second key (and to reset the codes for the whole system). I imagine anybody who has owned a car in the last 10 years would know this, but my last car was a hand-me-down my parents bought 25 years ago.
themicah is offline
Old Mar 19, 12, 7:23 pm

Join Date: Feb 2012
Programs: Hertz PC
Posts: 298
Make sure and check that it is not a rejected turnback!!

Hertz has been buying less and less cars the last few years and renting/leasing cars from car companies for a period of months or miles whichever comes first. They call them turnbacks (GM and Ford mostly) If you see a GM or Ford product, maybe others, on a Hertz Sales lot more than likely it is a turnback regect. If they go over a certain mileage or if it was in a accident that been repaired they will not take the car back and hertz ends up buying it and using it longer and then selling it themselves.
bhunt is offline

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