A Word About Rental Cars.
Many times, dealerships will supplement their
used car inventory with vehicles from rental
car companies. The reason is simple: they need
the inventory. A dealership can't just sit around
and wait for customers to trade in what's popular,
so they go out and buy desirable vehicles from
rental companies, or at auction. A lot of people
are put off by this, but they shouldn't be.
If a car is in good condition it shouldn't matter
who the previous owner was. (In fact, you may
even have a better chance that the vehicle was
properly maintained because most rental companies
perform regular maintenance.) Rentals will
typically have a little higher mileage on them
than comparable privately owned cars, but that
also means they're priced lower. I have sold
many a used car that came from a rental fleet
and had no complaints yet.
may have noticed some of the cars have stickers
on them saying things like "Certified" or
"Certified Pre-Owned." What this means is that
the car has gone through an inspection process,
been serviced and, if necessary, repaired, and is
being sold with an extended warranty. For example,
if you come across a Certified Honda, it means that
the regular 5 years or 60,000 mile drivetrain warranty
has been extended to 7 years, 100,000 miles.
This is a tremendous value. A certified car has a
warranty on it that, in some ways, is better than
the original factory warranty. Certification offers
every used car buyer extra "peace of mind" that
they haven't bought a lemon, and knowledge
that the manufacturer stands behind it.
Of course, a certified car will also cost a little more
than a car that isn't certified, but in my opinion it's
worth it. A Word About "As Is" Vehicles.
Most of the used cars found on dealership lots
have a sticker called the "Buyer's Guide" or
"As Is" that tells you whether or not the car has
any warranty left on it. Pay attention to this sticker.
If it says "As Is," it means As Is -- you're buying the
car just as it sits, with no warranty. There's an old
saying in the car biz that, if you buy an "As Is"
vehicle and you drive it off the lot and it breaks
into two pieces, you own both pieces. The dealership
is under no obligation whatsoever to fix that
vehicle for you. Here's the thing. If you discover a
problem with an "As Is" vehicle before you complete
the paperwork or drive it off the lot, most dealerships
will probably fix it for you -- depending on what it is.
If it's a minor cosmetic issue, like a broken cupholder
or soiled carpet, probably not. But if it's something
major, like a bad headlight or mechanical issue,
they probably will. Just be sure to get any promises
in writing on the "We Owe" (that's the document
the dealer uses to remind us of what we owe
the customer). Verbal representations in the
middle of a sale tend to get forgotten, or can
be distorted by memory, so always get it in writing.