My experience with buying from Hertz

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BogleMelon
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My experience with buying from Hertz

Post by BogleMelon » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:30 pm

Time to pay back!
As a way to say "thank you" to this community who have helped me (and still), I decided to write my experience with Hertz as I purchased a new (used) rental car.
The car is 2016 Mazda Mazda 3 with 37000 miles on it.
Hertz has 2 programs, Rent to buy (for cars still in service) and Certified Program (for cars that officially retired and available in the lot). Both programs are almost identical, you can rent the car 3 days under each program and if you liked it, you buy it and you won't be charged for the rental period.
Since Hertz has no dealer's lot's in NJ where I live but has rental offices, I then tried the first program (Rent to buy). I reserved the car online, got an email that says something like "don't pick it up till we tell you because it is in service and may not be available". At the day of pickup the car wasn't available, so I arranged for another day, and it wasn't available too after waiting.
I then decided to go to the nearest Hertz lot (in PA), and book a car from the retired cars. There was only 1 remaining Mazda 3 car in the area!

After confirming the availability and after checking with my Auto insurance company that I will be covered (so that I decline any rental insurance), I went to see the car.

The car was in a good shape, smelled like new car, but with some issues:
- A trace of small accident in the rear fender, the repair was done without repainting or heating, but it can barely visible. A mechanic said looks like a parking lot accident. However it wasn't reported in the Auto Check report that Hertz offer.
- Someone has sewn the plastic retainer clip on the backwards of the driver seat. Got an estimate to fix $150, later I fixed it with only $50. The seat didn't need to get out. It was an easy fix thankfully.
- Another small parking lot accident that bent off the front bumper a bit. Also hard to see and the bumper is really in a good shape and the inside of it looks intact.
- In general the car wasn't so clean, looked like a Soda can has exploded in the car before. The seats are clean though, no stains, just the plastic parts and dashboard were sticky a bit. A wet cloth was enough!
- few tiny scratches

Inspection:
=========
Went to a nearby mechanic, the guy was super busy and couldn't put the car on the lift, but was very friendly. He looked at the car from outside and says it is in a good shape. He declined to get paid.
Went to another chain store (forgot the name). Put it on the lift, nothing major were found (only $25!, I think I should move to PA :D ).

2 new front tires, 2 good back tires, because PA inspection (unlike NJ inspection) is a full inspection and they had to show good tires.
If I went with NJ rent to buy cars, I guess I would end up with bad tires.

Price:
======
Here is the fun part, the car price should be $12,495 No Haggle price. But based on the first mechanic advice, I tried to negotiate. I sent the salesman an email explaining the issues above and that I trust he can do something (I asked for a $500 off) so that I don't return the car, and we all go home happy. He responded by offering a $350 coupon called "Friends and Family" and got the price down to $12,145!
So when you see that no haggle thing again, don't haggle, but ask for the coupon! :D :D

While signing the paperwork, I noticed that the tax is higher by $10. I notified the manager that her software is off for some reason, but didn't want to stop at it too because of the low amount. So I over charged by $10 in taxes (she confirmed it is NJ not PA taxes).

In addition: $200 something added for registration fees plus $138 for doc fee (the later is very reasonable) plus another $20 something for temporary decals (plates). Total invoice: $13,355

Warranty:
=========
The car still has manufacturer power-train warranty till 60K miles or 3 more years (not sure 2 more years or 3). So this will overlap Hertz power-train warranty.
The manager offered me a +$1500 extended warranty for 5 years bumper to bumper. Another fun part coming. I let the lady explain "how this warranty is so important as the car is all computerized and so and so".. I then asked her in a friendly way, are you then saying you are selling me a bad car? I then explained to her that extended warranties are insurance, and these electronics would cost me "if something bad happened to them which is unlikely" $2K to fix, so I am not going to insurer something that worth $2K by paying $1.5K! That look at her face, I can't forget! She was like looking to an alien from Mars! She then said actually everyone takes this warranty, and the company even finance it at 0% APR. So again I went like
- "I do not finance"
- she: "but this is 0%"
- "it is still a loan, i don't steal from my future, being loan free makes me sleep well at night, plus again I only insure what I can not afford, and these failures if happened I can afford them"
Again that look!

I explained the payment process in another post, but to summarize, she declined the personal check for it has a low serial number, so I sent her a cashier check 2 days later by FedEx (she even provided the shipping label)

They also had to call my insurance company and made sure first that the car is added to my insurance.

Final Paper work
===============
I am still waiting for the title and other paperwork, they said from 4 to 6 weeks. Hopefully things go smooth.

In brief
=======
Buying a car "specially used ones" are always headache I guess. This one with relatively tolerable though. I am satisfied with the car and the price. I know that with harder work I could end up with even a better car, but I was really exhausted physically and mentally and I knew I am failing a victim somewhat to the cost sunk fallacy. Specially I had to go to PA twice in a week. But I really wanted the get back to my life so I did the deal.

Update:
========
After more than a month of waiting I got a document in a fedex envelope. It was a power of attorney to several title companies that they needed my signature! I called to inquire, they said the original POA was lost somehow! few hour later in the same day, I got all the docs and the plates! I emailed them, they said actually they found the POA! Not the end of the story, I noted that the color of the car on the registration and title is grey whereas the contract and the reality is silver! What a headache!!
Last edited by BogleMelon on Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

texaspapas
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Re: My experience with buying from Hertz

Post by texaspapas » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:39 pm

For a basically brand new Mazda 3 (a nice car) with low mileage, I would say you got a great deal. Thanks for explaining the process with Hertz!

JBTX
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Re: My experience with buying from Hertz

Post by JBTX » Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:41 pm

When I buy used I typically use Cars.com or autotrader, least to see what is out there and get pricing. I did look at Hertz once for used Tauruses years ago, but ended up finding one substantially cheaper at a car lot.

That said, buying from Hertz probably isn't a bad way to go if you feel like you can get a good deal.

Based on this it seems like you got a very good deal!!

https://www.cars.com/for-sale/searchres ... 7&zc=75065


Your price was lower than a vast majority of these listings.

https://www.cars.com/for-sale/searchres ... 7&zc=75065

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BogleMelon
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Re: My experience with buying from Hertz

Post by BogleMelon » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:05 pm

JBTX wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:41 pm
Your price was lower than a vast majority of these listings.
Thanks, I really needed that confirmation :happy :sharebeer
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

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JoMoney
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Re: My experience with buying from Hertz

Post by JoMoney » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:57 pm

I'm surprised they let you use a personal check at all. From the FAQ on their web page:
https://www.hertzcarsales.com/FAQ/

Q:
Can I use my credit or debit card to purchase the vehicle?

A:
No, you can't use a credit or debit card to purchase the vehicle. However, we provide financing solutions for almost every budget. Other acceptable forms of payment include: Certified Check or Wire Transfer. No bank draft checks are accepted.
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham

Carson
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Re: My experience with buying from Hertz

Post by Carson » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:03 pm

First off, glad that you had an overall good experience.

But second, I have a question - what was the fix for this? I just discovered (thanks to my son :annoyed ) that my seat has been un-clipped. I haven't even had time to look for a solution yet so just thought I'd ask.
BogleMelon wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:30 pm

- Someone has sewn the plastic retainer clip on the backwards of the driver seat. Got an estimate to fix $150, later I fixed it with only $50. The seat didn't need to get out. It was an easy fix thankfully.
30-something personal finance enthusiast, just get getting started on this whole portfolio thing.

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BogleMelon
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Re: My experience with buying from Hertz

Post by BogleMelon » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:16 pm

JoMoney wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:57 pm
I'm surprised they let you use a personal check at all. From the FAQ on their web page:
https://www.hertzcarsales.com/FAQ/

Q:
Can I use my credit or debit card to purchase the vehicle?

A:
No, you can't use a credit or debit card to purchase the vehicle. However, we provide financing solutions for almost every budget. Other acceptable forms of payment include: Certified Check or Wire Transfer. No bank draft checks are accepted.
Weird! I even offered them to wire the money but they said no!! May be this applies to rent to buy program, while the certified program has independent rules based on each physical location?! Not sure!
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

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BogleMelon
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Re: My experience with buying from Hertz

Post by BogleMelon » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:17 pm

Carson wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:03 pm
First off, glad that you had an overall good experience.

But second, I have a question - what was the fix for this? I just discovered (thanks to my son :annoyed ) that my seat has been un-clipped. I haven't even had time to look for a solution yet so just thought I'd ask.
BogleMelon wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:30 pm

- Someone has sewn the plastic retainer clip on the backwards of the driver seat. Got an estimate to fix $150, later I fixed it with only $50. The seat didn't need to get out. It was an easy fix thankfully.
I just went to someone (googled: auto upholstery on google maps) and get it done. It took him about 15 minutes only! I wasn't around to watch how he did it, but it was done perfectly
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

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BogleFanGal
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Re: My experience with buying from Hertz

Post by BogleFanGal » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:31 am

Thank you for paying it fwd - I'll likely be buying a Mazda 3 as well and it was great reading the experiences of someone else who did. I only wish Hertz had higher trim levels in their inventory...some of the options important to me like a sunroof aren't offered on any of the rental models. Trim level limitations is only reason I haven't bought from them yet. Most people seem to have a very good buying experience though. Thanks again!

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Devil's Advocate
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Re: My experience with buying from Hertz

Post by Devil's Advocate » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:59 am

The wife and I purchased a 2012 Nissan Altima from Hertz rent to buy 4 years ago. The car was about 2000 less than Kelley Blue Book. I drove 3 hours to Chicago to test drive and purchase after reserving. So far we have been very happy with our purchase. I took the car to my mechanic right after purchasing since the original Factory warranty was still in effect. My mechanic said one of the main engine seals was barely leaking. No oil on the ground after driving. Took it into local dealership and they fixed it without any questions. Have put nearly 75,000 miles on it and now the only thing mechanically wrong with it it is starting to leak some antifreeze. I doubt this is related to the rental history. Like I said so far was a great purchase. Am looking to upgrade to an SUV. Will definitely look into buying one through Hertz.

Just an FYI. Depending on the type of vehicle and trim level the discount off of Blue Book value varies greatly.

Also for those of you who are hesitant to buy a rental vehicle keep in mind that there are thousands of these vehicles at dealerships that are purchased at auction. More than likely any used car with 25 to 40 thousand miles that is only a year or two old is likely a rental vehicle. When I was pricing these they are right at Blue Book or slightly higher. There for you are still buying the same car and they pocket the difference.

DA

tm3
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Re: My experience with buying from Hertz

Post by tm3 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:48 pm

I always thought that a rental vehicle would be a good option for a used car (lots of highway miles, regular maintenance), until I happened to take a trip in a Hertz car driven by my friend who worked on a Hertz lot while he was in college. He explained, and then demonstrated, some of the "games" that the attendants liked to play with the cars when moving them around the lot, taking them to the car wash, etc. The most impressive was putting the car in neutral and seeing how high they could rev the engine before slamming the lever into drive and watching the tires smoke. He also said that I would not believe how badly some renters trash the vehicles, taking the mindset of "hey who cares its not mine."

Certainly a privately owned vehicle could receive the same abuse, or worse, but I decided that buying from the rental fleet is not for me. YMMV, of course.

foamypirate
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Re: My experience with buying from Hertz

Post by foamypirate » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:17 pm

Thanks for the review of the process! I've been considering it lately, since my wife is looking to move to a CUV. My parent's had great luck with Hertz and their car; they are still driving their 2001 Nissan Maxima they bought from Hertz 16 years ago! 211K miles now.

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sunny_socal
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Re: My experience with buying from Hertz

Post by sunny_socal » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:52 pm

This thread has convinced me never to buy a rental, way too much damage to vehicle and price still rather high. Carmax price and Craigslist quality.

supalong52
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Re: My experience with buying from Hertz

Post by supalong52 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:59 pm

I wonder how many ppl here would have taken the 0% offer? I know we did when we bought a car in December even though it meant losing a $1K cash incentive. I built a spreadsheet that compared whether we would come out ahead of $1K by keeping what we would have paid in cash invested in the markets. Seems like you would have gotten the 0% for free.

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BogleMelon
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Re: My experience with buying from Hertz

Post by BogleMelon » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:05 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:52 pm
This thread has convinced me never to buy a rental, way too much damage to vehicle and price still rather high. Carmax price and Craigslist quality.
Well.. there is no single car in Carmax in my area that holds 2016 Mazda 3.
Only 1 car and it is 2014 is geting sold at higher price of my car by about $900

https://www.carmax.com/search#Distance= ... &Zip=08873

If I increased the search area to 100 miles around, it is still all 2014 cars and still the cheapest is higher by $900
https://www.carmax.com/search#Distance= ... &Zip=08873

So I am not sure where did you get that "Carmax price" from if Carmax holds older car at higher prices?
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

soc2003
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Re: My experience with buying from Hertz

Post by soc2003 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:28 pm

We bought an Infinity SUV from a dealer that had purchased the SUV from Hertz. We got about 10% of the retail price (about $3500) that similar non rental cars were selling for. Additionally there were about 19 months/28k miles of original manufacturer warranty left on the vehicle, so we had enough time to fix any issues. Also, the dealer gave us a life time power train warranty. So far, all is good.

I should mention that prior to purchasing we took the vehicle to an Infinity dealer for a full checkup. The only issue found was that the rear breakpads would need to be replaced in a few months. Other than that we were told the vehicle was in excellent condition.

I would recommend purchasing a rental car if it is at least 5% cheaper than a non rental car, it has a few months and a few thousand miles left on the original manufacturer warranty and provided you get it full checked out before buying.

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