How long do rental car companies keep their cars?

How long do rental car companies keep their cars?

Car rental businesses take care of their fleet with optimum care. Every scratch and dent are claimed and fixed. But how long do rental car companies keep their cars? Car rental companies get rid of vehicles that they deem are too old, too high in mileage or too risky to keep. Giant and well-known car rental companies hold their cars for a maximum of one year to upgrade their fleet with the latest model vehicles, but the smaller car rental companies hold their cars a little more longer. But what happens to those cars which are actually really too old to be rented out?

Selling to customers

There can be a regular customer or client who always reaches out to one specific car rental business for all their vehicle rental requirements, or there could be a client driving a specific vehicle on a long-term basis. If the car is not in a bad shape; not too many miles driven or zero to little damage, then the business may come to terms with a customer for a good deal to sell the vehicle to the client. If it is also agreeable on the client’s end, then it is a win-win situation right there! The prospective buyer also benefits from purchasing a vehicle from a fleet that has been under watch for strict maintenance.

Repurchasing by manufacturer

Rental car companies buy a large portion of their cars subject to depreciation programs. These cars are generally called “program cars”. These cars are purchased by the car rental business from the manufacturer with the understanding that the cars will be eventually repurchased by them. These program cars will be repurchased by the manufacturer given that they meet certain limits such as mileage and age.

Wholesale Auction

Apart from the “program cars” option, the car rental business can remove the manufacturer from the negotiations and directly sell the cars to a wholesale auction. Wholesale auctions do not limit or have strict terms about the age, mileage or damage on a vehicle. So, this can be a good way for car rental businesses to get rid of their vehicles that are not really in good shape. The cars given away to wholesale auctions should be “re-buildable” and “repairable”.

Should you buy a car that was used in a car rental business?

Car rental companies do not hold on to their fleet for more than 2 years and since the cars are bought in volume and pay less upfront when reselling it could be an affordable rate for the buyer. During the period of ownership, they follow service schedules well and closely. If you are a buyer and looking to purchase a car rental vehicle, you need not worry because you will be purchasing a vehicle that has been used only for a maximum of 2 years and you get the latest features.

You can test drive the car before purchasing and listen to any unusual noises, any signs of damages, and observe the wear and tear of the interior. Ask for the history and how long the car rental company has kept the car. The history will also show if there have been any recalls. If there are any recalls, you can always ask the seller to get the car fixed or choose another vehicle.


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