Enterprise Car Rental...buying used

frannyoNovember 22, 2006

Has anyone here ever bought a used car from Enterprise Car Rentals? They're certified and you have 7 days or 1K mi to change your mind and get a refund.

The reason why I'm even considering this...I'm a single woman wanting to get a new "used" car...but, hate (and I do mean hate) the car buying experience. Most cars available are 1-2 years old. Buying from Enterprise offers no haggle prices. (the only other place locally that offers that is buying new from Saturn dealership) They claim blue book or even w/ some models below blue book. However, in checking Edmunds TMV...I found that Enterprise prices are running around $200 over Edmunds listing of what most dealers would price the car. However, some are much lower.

Anyway...any good/bad experiences...or caveats?


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Personally, I wouldn't do it. I see how poorly most people treat cars they own; I don't want the aftermath of some car people don't give a hoot about. Rentals in larger metro areas also do a surprising amount of short-hop, stop-and-go driving, which is very hard on a car. Rentals may receive more maintenance and a closer eye than most cars, but IMHO they receive more of the behavior that damages cars most.

I also would advise that you check a few sources for prices. Edmund's is one, but I've heard comments about how accurate their prices are. You can try kbb.com (Kelly Blue Book) or even call your lender to ask about resources they have.

One other option when you speak with your lender or poke around the "benefits" you may receive from professional organizations/alumni associations/affinity groups is the ability to buy through "fleet" representatives at local dealers. That eliminates most or all of the typical "I gotta check with my Manager but he won't like this" kind of BS.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 4:44PM
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I've heard some horror stories about people abusing rental cars where this question was asked on other web sites. I think they are well maintained (my mechanic has a contract to service cars at a nearby Enterprise) but you are taking your chances.

A way I found to eliminate much of the used car buying hassle is going through the internet and making contact that way with the dealer. The car dealer I ended up buying from had just 2 salesman that did nothing but deal with inquiries that came from the internet. No checking with the manager, no chasing me down in the parking lot if I didn't buy that day -- just me and one salesman through the whole thing. 90% of the unpleasent BS was eliminated.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 7:23PM
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Buying over the Internet is an option, too. I bought my current car over the Internet. It was pretty painless. However, they wouldn't talk trade at all until I brought the car in -- a reasonable stance, but that part of it subjected me to the usual B.S. I also chose to finance with the dealer (1.9% was cheaper than I could do through my credit union), so I had to endure that experience as well. But if you were just buying, not trading, and had your own financing, it certainly is a way to go.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 9:15AM
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Scion (made by toyota) is a no haggle buy, pruice you see, is the price you pay. We have a Scion XB and for the $$ it has been a super car (or box)
My sister bought a Grand am that was a lease or from a rental company, and they have had nothing but problems with it. Then again my parents bought an Alero that was a lease back and has been fine. One takes there chance. I know when I have a rental, I tend to drive it a bit harder than my own car!!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 11:10AM
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Thanks all for your replies. I'm not trading in...and no lenders involved...paying cash. But, even though I had the same thoughts about rental cars being abused/ridden hard...the fact that they're well-maintained (I was told by Enterprise that only the top 5% of their fleet ever gets put on the market to sell to customers) + 7day/1000 mi return option (I only drive about 50 mi a week) sort of gave me pause to re-consider.

I've contacted dealers online for internet sales...and have been deluged (no lie) w/ e-mails.

I know about the Toyota Scion no haggle pricing too. Not sure if that cars for me though. Guess I need to think about this some more.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 5:02PM
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There is a glut of off lease and rental cars on the market, you can save a very large number of dollars by going this route. Smart move, just be careful to pick up a low mileage model that still has some factory warranty (preferrably a bunch). I bought a Ford Taurus 03 SEL model in 04 had 10k on odometer and clean history with rental company, it was perfect just like a brand new vehicle. I paid $9,000.00 cash. This car has made a great vehicle. My wife drives it every day. Of course it could have turned out to be a lemon but hey lots of factory warranty left. Only drawback is that you are limited in the models you can choose from the Taurus and the Malibu are popular rental comapny vehicles and are basically a dime a dozen, lots of other models out there also lol. Good Luck

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 9:11PM
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We use rental cars when out of town on vacation, and we never abuse them in the least. If you like the car, and the price is right, I would go for it. I like the 7 day-1000 mile return option. You could purchase the car at the beginning of a 3 day weekend, take it on an extended trip, have it checked over by your mechanic, and then decide to keep or reject.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 10:16AM
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Good to hear that dnt 1 has had a good experience. Eric...you offered a really good suggestion. Since I'm self-employed a 3 day weekend can be planned at any time.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 1:43PM
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In the distant past, I had good luck with buying two Chevys (at differecnt times) from a car leasing firm. Typically, these are 3 yr old vehicles with 40,000 to 45,000 miles and leased as a company car to an employee. The leasing agency had a strict policy on maintence. If the leasee did not follow up on maintence, they would void the lease and demand the user to purchase the car at remaining value computed by a predetermined amount at the time of lease. (It was in the contract.) This leasing company supplied maintence as part of the lease. One of these cars had racked up 65,000 miles in 3 years - used by a sales representative - and its price had been reduced accordingly. I bought that car for a commuter and ran it to 130,000 miles.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 12:26AM
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One time I was tapped into by an engineer who's firm had given him an enterprise car. It was a honda accord. We were talking about all the ways he could hide the damage. LOL
My point is you might find cars there that haven't had many drivers are in good shape but the "It's not my car" attitude will undoubtedly be there.

"No haggle" might be convenient for people that don't want to or are afraid to negotiate and yes it does save time and is more pleasant but you should learn how to negotiate, it's a very useful skill to have and it will you money when buying cars.

With that said, I wouldn't buy a rental or short term lease car and although I have in the past with a comm. truck (I genuinely felt there was no wiggle room and it was a good deal), I would hesitate to buy with a dealership advertising the no-haggle aspect of it. I'd buy a used car from Granny. Or from Gramps. They're easy to deal with and they don't do any hotrodding and they don't drive a lot.

If you do choose to go with enterprise, ask them for the maintenance records and there should be a big stack of papers there and might reveal how many times the car was leased out.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 12:05PM
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"My point is you might find cars there that haven't had many drivers are in good shape but the "It's not my car" attitude will undoubtedly be there."

I agree. Nearly 30 years ago when I was a dealership mechanic, one of my duties was to check in lease return cars. Some of them were fine. Some obviously had the holy p*ss ran out of them. Never had the oil changed, never washed, just ran into the ground. By the time I went through them and replaced everything that needed replacing, change all the fluids, and the detail shop got done with them, they looked like a million bucks. My feeling is that though they only had 12k - 24k miles on them, they probably had more like 124k miles worth of wear on them. I wouldn't have wanted one.

Not to say I would never buy a former rental car, but the deal would have to be pretty good. I'd look really really close for signs of abuse, and even at that, I wouldn't be surprised if it suffered premature tranny trouble, excess oil consumption, ect, earlier than one would expect buying brand new. That assumed risk would be the reason the purchase price would have to be pretty attractive. jmo

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 2:03PM
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i bought 2 chevys from enterprise about 4 yrs ago, 1 was fantastic cond. and still is, the other had some problems in the 1st couple days, enterprise replaced that one, with no hassles. if you go that route, i would suggest driving several b-4 making your final decision. all in all i didnt have any complaints with enterprise, and would consider purchasing a car from them again.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 12:46AM
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I have purchased 3 cars from Enterprise, got great deals and had very good luck with all three.They check the vehicles out and seem to only sell the good ones. Also they do not sell high mileage cars, one had 14K , another 15 and the last one an 05 Buick Le Sabre had almost 20K. I now how have 75K on car and my only repairs have been brakes and a thermostat that stuck open. one thing if you do purchase a car from Enterprise, hang tough and make then waive the document fee. They wanted to charge me about $125 for preparing title. I started to walk and salesman juggled figures so it was removed. hang tough on this issue, there is a glut cars and they want to sell them. they will tell you this is set by head office and they can,t do anything about charge, but if you hang tough they will. Good luck Iggie

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 10:19AM
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IRVAUTO, the link you provided is for a 2009 Honda with a Salvage Title. In most states a vehicle with a salvage title or a salvage certificate can only be repaired by a body shop certified by the State. And after it is repaired it has to be taken to the state garage with all the receipts for the parts so it can be inspected (not to be confused with state emission and safety inspection). Once it is inspected they issue a Salvage Title for that state. Now you can go to the DMV and register the vehicle. Now you could repair the vehicle yourself but you are not allow to take it to the state to get it inspected (only certified body shops allow). Also going from one state to another with a state issued salvage title can create a lot of problems. Each state has different hoops that you have to jump thru. Been There Done That.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 7:48PM
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I have purchased three cars from enterprise, a 93 Pontiac Bonnerville, a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix and 05 Buick le Sabre. had fine luck with all. The Bonnerville had 40 k on it had 212 k when I got rid of it, Repairs, a water pump at 120K 2 alternators, and of course a battery and brake pads. The Grand prix, a battery, serpentine belt, power window on drivers side, Pontiac paid 250 0f repair even though warranty was out car had 140k when I got rid of it. Had 25k at purchase. The Le Sabre had 21 K drove it until las Nov when it was totaled 97K only repair, a thermostat was totaled last Nov. Got a good deal on a Ford product so did buy another enterprise vehicle, however I must say I had very good luck with my purchases. The only thing I do not like about their deal is the ripoff document fee, and if you hold firm they will take care of this to make a sale. Good luck Iggie

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 3:23AM
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not having a trade you in a very desirable position. I HATE buying cars and all the bs that goes along with it. You really should try to use Edmunds to find your desired car then use the internet to try to get the car for that price. Once they agree to the price, just go drive it. If you like it they just have to write it up.

Alternatively you can find the car at the price you want over the net. Pop into the dealership to drive it...don't tell them you've been in contact on the net.

If you like it, go home ask them to write every thing up. You may need to email some info back and forth if you want a loan. Then just go in, sign the papers, pay and drive off---should be pretty quick if all the paperwork is much done.

I do not know what you are looking for but 2010 Corolla LEs are selling under $300 invoice and had a $750 rebate last month. I am not sure what the rebate will for for Feb. We are talking out the door for about $16.7K or less. That seams like a great deal and I took advantage of it this week. If not pickly about colors, send for some quotes from local dealers. Then on or around Feb 25 say you want to purchase on 2/28 and tell them to send there drop dead best price. It should be pretty painless.

Good luck.

As far as Enterprise, I'd be weary. A low milegae car reccomended by consumer reports I might take a chance on...a car with a bed rep from Enterprise...forget it.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 3:51PM
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Most rental cars go for top dollar. Not sure why someone would buy one if the same price was available from a dealer. If you get a "certified' car from a dealer, it comes with a factory warranty....often better than the car had when it was new. Recently bought a 2 yr. old Cadillac. Price was very reasonable. Came with 6 yr. 100.000 mile warranty. 6 years starts from when car was first sold so have 4 years remaining. Car had 18,000 miles so have 82,000 miles there unless I reach the 6 years first.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 12:40PM
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No matter where you purchase a used vehicle, there are common sense steps to take prior to purchasing. The internet is one of the best resources to use. The next resource is to ask your honest neighborhood mechanic. Obviously if he or she were not honest they would not be in business. Yes, you must be careful when buying from a leasing/rental agency. You also must be just as careful when buying from a dealer. prior to my purchase, I checked local dealers and found that 8 out 10 like vehicles on their lot were previous rentals. Apparently the dealers were selling vehicles that the rental company didn't want, so why pay the middle man. Enterprise does sell vehicles somewhat below market prices. The best step you can take is to sign up on their site for e mail notification of special deals. I was able to get a good price on a 2012 Impala with 18k. They offered the KBB trade in value plus $750 on top of that. However, you must stand firm, in that you want to have an independent mechanic inspect the vehicle prior to purchase, or no deal. Also be leary of the Enterprise warranty that they will try to soft sell you . I am not saying it's not a good plan, but reject the first price that is offered. To make the sale, they will lower that price to a more reasonable one.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 12:03PM
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The neighbor buys his cars from Enterprise and seems happy. I would much rather buy a automatic transmission than a stick.

I usually avoid warranties, but it depends on a number of things. Car warranties I avoid, as they seem to be a big profit maker. Cameras I buy the extended warranties, especially with a longer zoom lens. The lens covers often get stuck and the camera is worthless.

For DVD and MP3 players, they last longer than the two year warranty in my experience, so why bother?

I remember buying a laptop about nine years ago. Salesman helped me for fifteen minutes, then suddenly when I wasn't going to buy a warranty, I had three salespeople 'helping' me. That told me where most of their profit was coming from.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 4:51PM
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I bought a 95 Ford Windstar from Budget rentals several years ago. Nothing but problems, but much of that could have been due to it being the first year of the model and that a class action lawsuit resulted in faulty engine design (headgaskets blew 3 times!).

Not sure how good they are, but another option might be to pay a car broker to haggle for you. $300 or so, you tell them what you want then they go and purchase and haggle for you. probably should get several past customer references before choosing one though. Just another option.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:32PM
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This website provides meaningful details related to car rental. Keep up the good work and post more details soon.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 5:59AM
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I've had fair luck with buying used cars from leasing agency. This is a different situation and the cars often are high mileage, but well maintained. Leasing agencies like to remove cars that 3 years old from thier pool.

Review the rules that the agency applies to their customers. The important one is required maintence. The leasor I bought from required their customers to do periodic maintence, and if they did not, the terms of the lease required them to buy the vehicle. This agency offered to sell the car to the client at an agreed on price at the end of the lease, and the price was very reasonable. It was the leasor's thought that a customer would treat the car better if he might become the owner some day. Many of his customers were salesmen.

I bought 2 cars from this agency. Typically, those were over 3 years old and had 50,000 to 80,000 miles on them. The engines and transmissions had been well maintained. I was able to run them up to 140,000 miles.

Its my gut feeling that a leasing agency has better stock than a low cost rental agency, although the rentals often has lower miles.

The last used car I bought was a certified Honda from a local dealer who had a good reputation among my friends and aquaintences. It has been very satisfactory (and yes, I did pay more for it than some of the old stuff I had been buying).

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 1:35AM
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