Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Jim asks: My friend (90 yrs old) and retired automotive teacher swears that the best way to purchase a car is a low-mileage (30 to 40K) from a car rental business. He has done this all his life. I think it’s a great way and have done so myself. I am interested in your opinion. What do you think of this strategy? Thank you.
My reply: There are two big advantages to buying a fleet vehicle: Regular service per the factory recommendations and records of that service (usually). The big downside is that you might have the bad luck to get a vehicle that was deliberately abused by one of the people who rented it in the past. However, I think the odds of this are not very high – unless the car is a high-performance car, in which case I’d assume it. But if it’s a family sedan, crossover SUV – etc. – it would not be a big concern.
I’d be even less concerned if the particular car is a make that still has some of its (usually transferable) new car warranty still intact, which it may if it has less than 40,000 miles on it. As a general thing, if a vehicle is hiding something, you’ll know about it pretty soon. If you have no problems during the first six months of ownership, odds are good you got a good car.
As always, due diligence applies. Never assume a car is “ok.” Do everything in your power to make sure it is before you buy it!
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