Are former rental cars unreliable?

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If you're in the market for a late-model used car that's around two to three years old – should you consider a used rental car? I'm Kristin Arnold with your Personal Finance Minute.

Used rental cars sometimes raise red flags in car buyers' minds. Potential used car buyers may think that the rental car company either didn’t care or failed to maintain the car…and also that most people beat the car senseless.

But, one of the problems with buying used is you can never really know how the car was driven or maintained by previous owners.

Buying a used car means taking the risk that it was badly treated and maintained by the previous owner, whether that was a rental car company, a leaser or an individual owner. There are ways to minimize that risk -- pulling a Carfax report, reviewing maintenance records or getting it inspected by a mechanic -- but ultimately, the risk remains regardless of the source of the car.

So why not save a few bucks on a former rental car that's being undervalued because of conventional wisdom?

Need more information on new or used cars? Just visit I'm Kristin Arnold.


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