Anyone Have Experience Buying Used Car Thru Avis Direct?

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BertB
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Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:30 pm

Anyone Have Experience Buying Used Car Thru Avis Direct?

Post by BertB » Thu May 05, 2011 6:18 pm

I am interested in buying a 1-3 year old used car.

I live in a small city, 3 hours drive/remote from a major city. I have limited options for non-private party used auto purchases, aside from the local, often overpriced, new car dealers.

I do have access to an Avis Direct in town.

I would be interested in positive/negative feedback on this option.


Thanks,
BertB

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ryuns
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Location: Sacramento, CA

Post by ryuns » Fri May 06, 2011 10:52 am

I'll give you a bump. I've never done it that way, but I never felt like the deals were particularly impressive at the rental places, given the shellacking the cars are likely to have taken. Then again, if that's the age of a used car you're looking for, a previous rental gives you a lot of choices.

What's making you shy away from private party sellers? For the money you'd save on making the transaction that way, you could probably pay a mechanic to come out and give the cars a thorough inspection before purchase--probably more thorough than Avis or a used car lot would give them. Just a thought. I bought my last car through Craigslist. I wasn't thorough enough about having a mechanic inspect it or pulling a Carfax report, but fortunately everything's been great. It was a family selling their two-door Honda because they had two kids to try to strap in the back. That counts as a good excuse in my book. :)

Ryan
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton

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tyrion
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Post by tyrion » Fri May 06, 2011 11:23 am

I have no experience with Avis Direct, but I did buy a car from the Hertz used car place about 9 years ago. Some general thoughts:

My previous car had been totalled, so I needed something relatively fast and couldn't wait around for the 'perfect' private party deal.

The Hertz cars were selling for quite a bit less than the same car (AWD Ford Escape) at used dealerships.

They had 6 or 7 in stock. They let me look through the maintenance logs, all had regular oil changes, 1 or 2 had a little repair of some sort.

There was a little bit left on the factory warranty, 1 or 2 months and 3k miles.

The salesman aggressively pushed the extended warranty. My credit union told me beforehand that I could not finance this portion. I declined the extended warranty. He put it on the sales contract anyway. I pointed out the error. He went for another hard sell. I declined again. The salesman printed a new contract and was not happy with me, but everything went relatively smoothly after this.

They only gave me one key. I went back a week later to get another, they couldn't find one so I had to go to the Hertz maintenance center for them to make another key which took 2 hours. Apparently the microchip feature is hard to copy and there is a detailed process if you don't already have two working keys. Make sure you get 2 keys. Also, I bought a remote keyfob clicker thing from a dealer and then months later found 2 more of them zip tied under a back seat.

The car has worked well for about 100k miles now. Obviously this is a very small sample size. I figured the car had been used and abused for 30k miles, but at least it got regular oil changes and if the renters didn't manage to break anything in that time I would probably be okay with moderate driving.

I did buy a small aftermarket extended warranty through my credit union. Something like 5 years, 50k miles for $400-$450. Basically 1/3 of the cost of the one the dealer was pushing.

bstevlin
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Re: Anyone Have Experience Buying Used Car Thru Avis Direct?

Post by bstevlin » Fri May 06, 2011 12:43 pm

BertB wrote:I am interested in buying a 1-3 year old used car.

I live in a small city, 3 hours drive/remote from a major city. I have limited options for non-private party used auto purchases, aside from the local, often overpriced, new car dealers.

I do have access to an Avis Direct in town.

I would be interested in positive/negative feedback on this option.


Thanks,
BertB
Rental Car agencies do not maintain their fleet. They do not want to spend the money on maintenance and they do not want to remove cars from service because there will be a loss of rental income. Try the website cars.com. The cars are mostly from dealers. Very few private parties sell newer cars on their own because they do not want to put up with the hassle. Good luck!

norm
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Post by norm » Fri May 06, 2011 1:34 pm

I got a good deal buying a car on ebay from someone that lived close by.

Chuck T
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Location: Lowcountry of South Carolina

Post by Chuck T » Sat May 07, 2011 11:34 am

Approximately 35 years ago I purchased a late model Toyota Corolla from Avis near Baltimore, Md. At the time, the rental car agencies (Avis, Hertz, National) were selling used cars with low mileage. My Corolla had 10k miles on it when I purchased it and was still under the new car warranty. I drove it until it had over 200k miles. It was a good experience for me. However, it was so long ago I doubt my experience is of any use to you.
Chuck | Past Performance Is Just That - bob | For info on the SC LowCountry & Savannah GA Area Bogleheads contact me at chucktanner46@gmail.com

Sconie
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Location: Arizona

Post by Sconie » Sat May 07, 2011 11:47 am

In 2003 I purchased a 2001 Toyota Camry LE from Avis that was coming out of their fleet. My impression is that they---Avis---are quite diligent about properly maintaining their vehicles.

In sum, the vehicle had 23K miles on it when we bought it-----we sold it in 2009 when it reached about 140K miles; the only things we had to do on it (other than oil changes, wipers, tires and 2 tune-ups) was to replace the brakes once, 1 battery and 1 timing belt.

FinanceGeek
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Post by FinanceGeek » Sat May 07, 2011 9:10 pm

I've bought half a dozen cars over the years from Enterprise with good results. My wife and I get these cars ~12-18 months old with ~20k-30k miles on them and we keep them an additional 10 years typically, to perhaps 150k miles. And then we trade them back in to Enterprise for our next one.

The major rental companies Hertz/Avis etc have gone back and forth over the years changing their policies on whether they will sell off their fleet to the public versus through wholesalers. Enterprise has sold to the public for at least the last 15 years, probably longer.

One thing I like about dealing with Enterprise is that you get a 7 day (used to be 3, they raised it) period during which you can change your mind and unwind the transaction. And, the transaction is "haggle free", I like that even though I'm sure I'm not getting a "steal deal". But I don't like the haggling process.

They give you all the maint records and you get the balance of the manuf warranty plus an additional warranty from Enterprise. I've never had to claim on either warranty so far. The carfax reports for each vehicle they're selling are freely available on their website. But all the ones I've seen are pretty boring ... single owner rental service.

I'm not an employee or investor in Enterprise, just a happy customer.

www.enterprisecarsales.com

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Sheepdog
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Post by Sheepdog » Sun May 08, 2011 2:30 am

Check your local banks. They have to sell their repossessed cars to someone. I looked yesterday at two cars at a local bank (also in a smaller city). The one I was interested in (a 2010 Chevrolet Impala) had only 4100 miles for $17,000. Another one among 6 cars for sale has only 971 miles!!. It was a 2009 Nissan Versa for $12,200. Banks generally want to get out only what they have invested in them. They almost always sell fast. They want to get rid of them.
People should not say everything they think. They should think about everything they say.

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