A vehicle history report should be obtained before considering the purchase of a rental car. Many car rental companies offer the public car sales of previously rented vehicles to remove its older inventory and bring in newer models. This awards the company with more customers and with lower maintenance costs. It is very important to the marketing of the rental car company to keep up with the newest models.
Before purchasing a rental car, follow the process of completely checking the vehicle history to ensure that the rental car will give you the best performance over a reasonable period of time. Making this decision depends on one’s personal needs and use of the vehicle.
Ways to Find a Vehicle History Report before Purchasing a Rental Car
There are many free online resources, such as Carfax and eBay Motors (uses an auto check system from Experian) that offer a resource for checking the vehicle history report. All you need is the vehicles identification number (VIN). Plug in the VIN and you can receive information on the vehicle. It will list if the car was in an accident, or had any type of damage or major repairs, and if the odometer has been tampered. It will also verify that the vehicle is the correct vehicle, and the VIN was not altered.
There are also online resources that charge for more detailed vehicle history reports that will list more items, such as ICBC and Carproof. The extra charges will provide you with some information such as if the car was stolen.
In some states and countries, you can visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) division to obtain a history report. You will need the VIN and make and model of the vehicle. Depending on where you live, this can be a charged or free service.
The car rental company should have a vehicle maintenance log and history report on each vehicle it is selling. It should list when basic maintenance, such as oil changes, brake fluid flushes, brake changes, replacement of parts, such as windshield wipers and tires, and other maintenance items were done. This ensures that regular repairs were performed; therefore, the vehicle was well kept. It should also list if the vehicle was in an accident and repaired, or was repainted due to multiple physical damages to the vehicle.
If the rental agency will allow you to test drive the rental vehicle, take it to your mechanic or reputable automotive center. They can easily obtain the VIN from the vehicle and provide you with a history report of the vehicle. As mentioned, the main thing you would be concerned about is if the car had any major repairs. The mechanic can also give you a visual history report just by examining the vehicle.
Following this process/general guidelines can lesson the possibility of purchasing a useless vehicle that will cause you more money, then if you purchased a new vehicle. Great deals on fairly new cars can be found at car rental companies, due to its high turnover of vehicles; however, remember to still do a thorough check of the vehicle, both internally and externally.