Hertz Car Sales Update: Customers Speak Out

Since I published my thoughts on buying rental cars and my review of Hertz Car Sales over a year ago, they have been among the most popular posts on this site. Readers are very interested in ways to save on their car purchases and are willing to give buying a rental car a try.

It’s an ever-evolving story, with nearly 200 comments between the two posts, and I thought I would take this opportunity to review some of the most informative ones for your benefit. Let’s dive right in:

Buying a Rental Car

There was clear support for buying rentals from a large group of people. Among them:

“…My last car was a rental – and it was in pristine condition – clean carpets, less than 30k miles, and it was about 1000 dollars less than comparable non-rental cars.” – Peter

“You can get great deals on rentals and I feel that if you treat it right after you get it, it will treat you right.” – Adam

“I’ve ran into no major problems with either [car] that could be attributed to being a rental car.” – thisisbeth

“…any car in our price range isn’t the belle of the ball, and I am also a total slob in the car so any sort of stain is about to be topped by me anyway. ” – Kevin I

“No major problems; I keep on the 3.5K oil changes, take it in for regular services, and it’s been a fantastic vehicle. We definitely would do it again.” – Sand and Tsunamis

“It looks clean, smells clean, and lots of bang for your buck.” – 29palms

A few people also defended the common worry that rental cars are driven harder than typical automobiles:

“I’ve been renting cars routinely for nearly 12 years. I work with many people that also rent often. In all those years and in all those cars I only recall us driving them like we would drive any other car, with one exception. ” – LeanLifeCoach

“…most rental companies take good care of their cars while they have them making sure they’re clean, regular oil changes/etc.” – Peter

“You can get dirty carpets and dings buying from any individual, and how would you ever know for sure how THEY drove it?” – Joe Plemon

“Actually, most of my friends who are very knowledgeable about cars say that when breaking in a new vehicle you are better off driving it relatively hard.” – Adam W.

Nevertheless, a few of you were not convinced and shared various warnings or stories from rentals past for the rest of us to consider:

“…you are definitely “paying” for the cons. It is below street value because it has been dinged up, high mileage, dirty carpets, driven hard, etc…” – Hank

“I guess my gut reaction would be that it’s a bad thing because I’m the type of guy who rents a car in Las Vegas and then runs it at 80 mph through the desert and mountains for seven hours. ” – Aaron

“I would log about 300+ miles a day driving that [rental] car for all it’s worth the entire time. I have a particular hatred for the Chevy Corsica. I worked with 9 other guys who did the same thing and I indeed witnessed the same driving habits.” – Paul

“Two months after purchasing, it was in the shop with an oil leak. After that visit and the leak was “fixed”, I had to take that car to the shop b/c it was leaking oil every six months or so.” – Kaity

“Consumer Reports does not recommend buying rental cars – that is enough for me. Also, a friend of ours did buy a rental cars (admittedly a decade ago) and he had very bad luck with it…” – Cyndi

“I worked at a rental car company for a year in college. I have seen rental car agencies cut corners too many times on maintenance. They use all sorts of tricks to keep those cars running.” – Mark

The end result was really a mixed bag–many of those who have tried buying rental cars in the past had no major problems to speak of; for others, it was nothing but problems.

Hertz Car Sales

While most of you could entertain the idea of buying a rental car, putting pen to paper with Hertz turned out to be a different experience for a lot of my readers.

Formerly known as Hertz Rent2Buy, the Car Sales division provided the Mazda5 that has been with us for almost a year and a half. We decided to go with Hertz because of the three-day trial period and the relative cost against dealer prices.

Our experience was outlined in detail in my review, but it turns out that some of the small issues I had with Hertz were multiplied ten-fold for readers.

The majority of the comments on this post were warning about bad experiences with Hertz. Here’s an abridged rundown:

“Buyer beware…the reps had confidently reassured me that there was no possible way the car could have been in any accidents…the local Toyota dealer who then found major damage to the front of the car that had been cheaply repaired to just cover up the cosmetic damage! I…notified the manager of this. She did not care! I called corporate office – they did not care.” – Pejman

“I complained about this and other issues I was having and could not get any response by email. When I talked to a representative…she gave me a great story and promised to give me $300…well, I’ve never seen the $300 and still don’t get a response to my emails…I would only suggest Hertz Rent2Buy as a last resort.” – Ben

“It was three days late to be ready, and once I picked it up, had serious issues…I was told the vehicle should be accident free. I suspect otherwise.” – Chip

“It is all very disconnected with the hertz program…[it] needs an overhaul…” – Pam

“The interior was worn badly, and had cigarette burns on the cloth interior through out the vehicle. There was trash still in the vehicle, an empty water bottle sticking from under the driver’s side seat. The car was vibrating…There needs to be some type of overhaul done…” – Trina

“…the car had been in a accident, and the rear bumper had been repaired/replaced, so was part of the side panel of the car, and most likely the trunk lid too…” – Janne

“I purchased a car from hertz in November and it’s January and I have yet to recieve my registration. I financed through Hertz, so I didn’t have to worry about wiring things back and forth, from day one no one called or communicated with me.  I was constantly calling to get info on the status–everything from the secetary quit, to paperwork being lost was the answer…” – Ezell

“Neither Hertz nor my finance company kept up with me, I had to keep calling each one to find out that paperwork had not been sent from one or the other etc. At the end, Hertz was telling me that I had to return the car, I had to call them to make sure the repo man was not coming, afraid to wake up and find the car was gone out of my driveway.” – Pam

“If you have a short fuse for non-customer-focused customer service, as I do, this process might be more aggravating for you than it’s worth.” – DeeDee

Hertz offered their thoughts in the comments throughout the year, trying desperately to fix my reader’s problems on an individual level. Trina also reported:

“Hertz corporate reach out to me immediately from reading my post. The supervisor over the entire program was very nice and everyone that I have dealt with has been very helpful.” – Trina

It’s clear that the Hertz issues focused on two specific areas:

  • The condition of the car (aesthetic issues or more serious ones like previous accidents).
  • Customer service (Confusion, paperwork, and an overall disconnected experience).

I can only hope that Hertz is learning from their experience and making genuine improvements to this relatively new program. If I had the choice to go through it again, I would still buy from Hertz, but the fact that so many of my readers are not having the same luck or have a shorter fuse for bad customer service is worrisome.

Do you have a new Hertz Car Sales story? Share it with us below!

48 thoughts on “Hertz Car Sales Update: Customers Speak Out

    1. According to one user’s experience, no. But that could have been an isolated case…I suppose the best bet is to get a CarFax regardless.

      1. Some things I learned buying from Hertz. Not all salesmen can be trusted. It is not as nonnegotiable as they let on. I read you could get a $500 discount for having triple A (AAA) on top of advertised “$1000” discount. I asked the “salesmen” he said no you can’t. So I just called another salesmen ( In fact I called about 5 of them on the phone (that makes it easy) and learned different details from each one). I did get the $500 off no problem. Didn’t have to argue just went with the guy that said sure no problem. Of the 5 or so I talked with I went with the one that was most straight forward and honest.

        Watch out for “Enterprise” cars sales (and I am sure others) When asked directly they answered me honestly. Demand exceeds supply of some models so they simply pick them up at the auction and you assume you are getting a well maintained retired rental fleet car…. your not. Good reputable dealers that get problem cars in trade ins or what ever dump there junk at the auctions. Auction cars are where you buy problem cars.

        Because Hertz cars are have not been picked up from the auction they can print out for you the day it was bought and the service records (one of the unscrupulous salesman said they couldn’t, if you get that answer don’t use that salesman,)

        I actually bought 3 cars from Hertz. The first one I went with their financing. 3.9% special with $3000 down. When I got the paperwork it was a B of A loan. I got to thinking before I bought the next one…… Hertz is just playing the middle man (and I am sure getting a piece of the action for it) So I just called B of A directly. They quoted 2,49% with nothing down. …… Take the middle man out and get the loan independently.

        Another thing I heard or read somewhere doing my research is that one of the reasons they can discount there sales so much is because they are a major big time buyer. They are getting special discount prices when they buy in the first place, so they can still make good profit at the discount rate when they sell to you because they bought it so much cheaper in the first place. That just makes simple sense to me.

        Interesting warranty fact. Check out the details of the particular car you are buying because each brand has it’s own policy. I bought two Toyota Camry’s and a Nissan Versa. The Hertz warranty didn’t really matter because if you buy a lower mileage car the new car warranty is still applicable and transferable. As an example the 2012 Camry warranty is on this page. (Just Google “your car” warranty)
        Without Hertz warranty it is warranted anyway.

        Its a no brainer. Sure I would buy another one.

      2. Our Hertz Rent2Own experience began in May of 2013 at the Northern Kentucky Airport location. We found the Jeep Patriot we wanted and took advantage of the 3 day drive to own feature. We found the vehicle in great shape with the exception of a ding in the left front fender, not a big deal. Next, we informed the location that we wanted to purchase the Jeep. The are big on communicating by e-mail to avoid speaking directly to the customer…or so it seems. We received several messages while waiting for a packet to fill out saying we were overdue on returning the Jeep. We called the location near the airport where we got the Jeep and they told us not to worry about bringing it back. We were instructed to FedEx overnight the payment in full to Hertz Corp. That was fine because we planned on paying in full anyway. Now it is July 30,2013 and we are moving from the Cincinnati area to points south in just three weeks. Still no title , registration, or proof of ownership. Just received an e-mail saying that the Jeep has a “recall” on it and we will have to get it fixed at any dealer prior to issuance of the title. I would think this is the sellers responsibility, not ours. The even e-mailed copy of the recall sent to Hertz to us. Now, they have our money “in-full” and still no title. We were going to purchase another vehicle from Hertz near CVG but not sure now. Why does Hertz treat it’s customers as if they could care less about return business? What a shame. Will keep you posted but very unhappy with our incomplete purchase. Title-less in Cincinnati, Oh. Any ideas short of returning the vehicle and recovering our money? Thanks.

      3. We waited about 30 days for the registration to transfer, but the lack of response or updates you’re getting is just not acceptable. They should at least be able to give you an estimate of how long it will take.

        If push comes to shove, I would consider speaking to a lawyer.

    2. it may not show up on a carfax due to carfax typically receives its information from insurance companies, and rental companies are generally self insured, so the damage would not be reported to carfax if it was a single car accident, or even if it was involved in an accident with an uninsured person. also carfax has a threshold that it considers reportable, if the damage was less than x amount it does not go to carfax. i dont know what the threshold is.
      I work for an insurance company if you wanted to know where I got my info.

  1. Hi Wojciech! Thanks for your previous posts on Hertz Car Sales. We’ve hit a few small snags here in Brooklyn, NY, and I wondered if you or your readers had advice for us. Hertz is in the process of replacing the tires on the car we rented-to-buy (our mechanic said the tires were badly worn and provided paperwork attesting to this, and Hertz agreed to give us new tires as part of the sale). They have to order the tires so it is going to take about 5 days (Wednesday drop-off, probably Monday pick-up) to replace them. This would be OK except for 2 things: 1) What we want to do now is pick up the car when it’s ready, take it back to the mechanic to have him verify that the tires are new and have been properly installed, and THEN pay of the car, and this is making the national Hertz Car Sales people very unhappy. I had to absolutely refuse to click the “purchase car” button on their website at this point–in a long, battle-of-the-wills phone conversation that was no fun for anyone involved. The manager finally said he would send me a “confirmation of purchase” email even though I had refused to click the “purchase car” button on the website “just to get the process started.” They now understand that I don’t want to agree to buy the car until I get the car back and get the tires checked (or get something in writing about getting new tires), although they seem to find this outrageous. 2) Our bigger concern, however, is around the payment process. The confirmation of purchase email they sent me says the balance due (we are paying in full) is $15,054. This price is fine with us. What DOES worry us is that the email instructs us that Hertz must receive a wired payment for this amount from us before they send us ANY paperwork. In other words, if we do what they are asking us to in the email, we will have paid what for us is a whole lot of money, and although we will have possession of the car at that point, we won’t know what is in the agreement that we will basically have to sign, regardless, when it comes, since we will have already paid for the car. Do you and your readers think that paying first is a wise thing for us to do? Your review said you had received and signed the purchase paperwork before you paid for your car, and this makes more sense to us. I called to Hertz today to double check on this, and the person I spoke with assured me that this is their regular process–pay first, then review and sign documents after. I have read online that some have experienced difficulty getting the registration and title from Hertz after the sale, but the problem I’m talking about here is actually a step before that. For clarity, I have quoted relevant portions of the Confirmation of Sale email I received immediately below.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this,

    1. If you are concerned you can finance with them and send only a down payment, then when your first installment comes pay in full. Just an idea.

  2. I’m considering buying a car from hertz and asked a question about the car I was interested in and to know if it’s been in any accidents and here was hertz response:

    Thank you for your interest in our vehicles. I do apologize but I do not have any additional information about our vehicles other than what you see listed online. As far as accidents are concerned if any of the vehicles in the Rent2Buy program have been in an accident it is a minor accident. We only put our best vehicles in our program. We do not report to carfax but we do provide the VIN so if you choose to pull that report you can.

  3. I recently completed a purchase of a 2010 Honda Civic LX. Your pros and cons of the “Hertz Rent2Buy” program are spot on as is your advice about having the car (actually any used car you’re serious about purchasing) checked out by a reliable mechanic. When I picked up the car, I heard a high pitched sound on the highway and suspected the brakes. This was verified by the inspection. I wanted the car but bringing it to one of the nearest locations (each over 75 miles away) and leaving the car for a day or 2 as they originally suggested was not a good option. However, my sales assistant put me in direct contact with the Hertz maintenance supervisor at one of those locations and we worked something out where I was able to have the brakes replaced by a local shop (very convenient!). The paperwork wasn’t all that complicated but required a notary for one document (fortunately we know a couple pretty well so that wasn’t a problem) and I today received my plates and registration from the State of CT — exactly 1 month after I purchased the car. As for the concerns about high mileage or the warranty, it’s a Honda so I’m not really concerned since I have our cars serviced regularly and I expect to get over 150k miles out of it (we have almost 190 k on our 2000 Odyssey). Cosmetically, the car had only 1 very minor dings and a small paint chip in the hood — interior was excellent. Overall, I had a very positive experience and will definitely consider Hertz for any future pre-owned car purchases.

  4. Hi Wojciech,

    Thanks for your reviews, I decided to give R2B a try, and was happy with the RAV4 2011 that I bought. 28K miles for $18K, pretty good deal in my opinion. Very minor (unavoidable) scratches out side, inside carpet little worn in one place, small coffee spill spots here and there, engine looks pretty dusty compared to too-much-made-up in dealer cars, they all mean that renters did not take care of the car , but also means that Hertz did not try to clean up issues like some dealers do. Since I can visibly see minor problems that do not affect the car’s lifetime, and already checked with a mechanic to make sure there was no repaint, body work ( that could have been result from accident), I decided to take it. I have been running the car for 10 days, did not notice any issues.

    However, communication with R2B people is something that Hertz needs to improve. They never echo back my emails, even though they always initiate communications via emails. There is no specific person in charge of the account, so whenever you call, you have to explain who you are, and what process you had gone through. Your information is stored in their network, but there are always little details that they did not put in, so it would be lost if you don’t call and request again.

    I was in a hurry since I am going to move, and wanted to terminate the purchase before the move. I needed to call R2B sale amost every day to make sure they know any action that I took (request for revised proof of purchase, complete wire transfer, return fedex package) otherwise, I would have had to wait 1-2 additional days between each steps. I find their working pace totally normal, but since I need to get things done fast, I called to rush and it worked.

    I am now waiting for the registration and title, in which stage I have a couple of questions. I was not able to have answers from R2B, so I would want to put here, in case any of you could help:


    1) Can the title company use “expedited title service” offer by the state? I am in Illinois, and know that with additional $30, you can have your title the next day. I was asking R2B if their title company could help accelerating the process, but no answer. I put a check of $30 in my returned paper work, in hope that the title company will use it to have the title early. Anyone here has fast process and can share their experience?

    2) Now that I paid, the car is mine, so I have the right to take whatever came with the car from the maufacturer. I got only 1 key when I took the car, but the manual said that there should be 2 keys + 1 back up key + 1 tag. How can I get the rest. I called R2B, they said try to call car rental where I took the car, I called car rental, they said they had nothing, check back with R2B. How can I get over this circle? Did everybody here get all they need to get?

    3) Can I use my car now, with Hertz registration plates? is there any risk getting tickets for not having city sticker ( not the registration sticker) which is required to have to park in city parking lots.

    I just want to give my two cents to new viewers who are going to consider R2B deal. I can follow up with the rest of my paper work experience once I am done, if you are interested.


    1. Regarding #2, as far as my experience and what I’ve heard from others, R2B only has one key and that’s all you’re going to get.

      As far as #3, I can only comment on what worked for me in my state, where I had no problem driving on the plates that came with the car until it was re-registered. As far as a “city sticker,” it sounds like that’s a local issue and not something Hertz could help you with.

      I’d love to hear more once you’re all done with the deal!

    1. Typically, they are posted on their Facebook page or right on the Hertz website when they have an active deal (only happens a few times a year, though!). For example, right now they are running $1,000 off any car and 2.9% financing.

  5. Minh –
    How long did the entire process take you? I am also moving and cramped for time and am trying to figure out if it is even a possibility to purchase a vehicle prior to my move. Thanks!

  6. Follow up of post #8:
    I got my title within 19 days:
    Jan 4: car pick up
    Jan 6: hit “purchase” button
    Jan 09: Made wire transfer (pay in full)
    Jan 11: payment acknowledged from Hertz ( if I did not call, they might have not realized the payment had been made)
    Jan 12: Fedex package received. Filled and returned.
    Jan 16: paper work sent to title company. I included a check for expedited title service and noticed the check was deposited on Jan 17: Good sign.
    Jan 23: Title + registration received. Just returned the old plates + pass.

    Overall: happy with the deal. I got $1000 off instant discount, then searched online for coupon. At first, a R2B representative did not accept the active coupon for Business bcs it had nothing to do with me, I called later, attempted the coupon for school, it worked.

    The only thing I did not like is that they charged for 5 days of insurance, from car pick up day to day that payment was acknowledged. I tried to cancel the plan in my 2nd day, but could not.

  7. We just reserved a 2010 Mazda 5 for next Wednesday so my wife can do the usual Thursday routine with the kids (her busiest day of the week) and we can have our mechanic check it out Friday or Saturday before returning it. If we decide to purchase, I’ll check back in here with the details. We’re in Chicago so I’ll be curious if the experience here differs from other regions. It does help that we live less than 10 miles from O’Hare where most of the cars are located.

  8. We bought a Toyota Corolla from a Toyota Dealership. It was used, 2 years old, 40k on it. Carfax report came back clean, (it was from a rental company) so we bought it. Transmission dropped 1.5 years later. After replacing the transmission, we went through a series of other mechanical issues, till it dropped its transmission again 3 years after replacing it. Took it to Carmax to see if they’d give us a dollar for it, and after their thorough inspection, they showed us under the car where the entire front end had been replaced and marks on the axle where damage had been repaired. That’s when they said that the rental car dealers have their own mechanics and don’t have to report any accidents if they fix it themselves. Now, I realize that a collision may not have much to do with the transmission, especially after replacing it, but who knows how much of the car was rebuilt and how much that affected the car’s longevity? My husband is spooked off rental cars forever.

    1. Stuff like this spooks me too, though in your case, I would think that the fully replaced transmission wouldn’t get damaged just because the car had been in an accident.

      I think this proves that, if you’re going to go through the process of buying a rental car, you need to find a mechanic you can trust that will spend the time carefully looking every inch of it before you buy it.

  9. Great blog entry. Thanks Wojciech.

    I’m considering buying a 2010 or 2011 RAV4 from Hertz Sales here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    1. What should I consider when deciding between buying a Rent2Buy car versus a “Hertz Certified” car? This is my (limited) understanding of each type of purchase:

    – Sold “as-is”
    – 2 mo/2,000 mile warranty only
    – Larger selection than for Hertz certified cars
    – Have 2 hrs to drive without renting
    – 3 day rental/$150 can be applied to purchase (but only towards the car rented and not towards any other Rent2Buy car that we might decide to rent).

    Hertz certified
    – longer warranty 12mo/12,000 miles
    – better condition in general
    – smog/safety check, “70 point” inspection, car is detailed
    – new tires if necessary (but don’t know what that means until of how much treads is left)

    Anything else I should be aware of? Are Rent2Buy cars by definition going to be in worst condition than Hertz Certified because they were not deemed in good enough shape to make them a Hertz Certified car? I see some Hertz Certified cars to be more expensive than Rent2Buy cars, so I’m a bit puzzled (related to my next question).

    2. I was told by Hertz Sales that all RAV4’s are 4 cylinders AWD, base trim, but I do not see a list of options for each car they list on their web site that would explain the price difference between a Rent2Buy listed at, say, $17.3K and another Rent2Buy listed at $19.8K, between two Rent2Buy cars with approximately the same mileage. Can the minor dings and scratches and coffee stains that one should expect from a rental car be the only reason for the price difference, or is Hertz simply making it difficult for us to understand which cars have which options? I was hoping to find a list of options on a Rent2Buy or Hertz Certified car like Edmunds and KBB on their web sites, but Hertz’s “Features” tab for each RAV4 appears to contain a fairly generic list of features. Perhaps there are *no* options on any of these, that they are bare bone base models??

    3. I was tempted to go the Rent2Buy route (and be prepared to be inconvenienced with having to see several before seeing one that I like) and use the free 2 hr rental to have my mechanic take a look before I decide to rent one for 3 days. Have others been able to pull this off, or are they strict about the 2 hr limit?

    Apr 11, 2012

    [BTW, would be nice if the blog entries had date stamps on them so that we can see how recent the posts are. Don’t know if this is something you can configure].

    1. Pierre,

      I took your advice to heart and re-enabled time stamping on the comment entries. You’ll now be able to see exactly when each one was posted. Now onto your questions:

      1. Your understanding of Hertz Certified is already better than mine, since I wasn’t even aware that such a parallel program existed. It looks to me like it’s a locally-run program out of specific Hertz offices, and perhaps not a nation-wide thing. I would say that the longer warranty alone is worth the extra cost, though I don’t know what the differences in price are. One year gives you plenty of time to address any issues that you don’t notice initially. If you’ve read my original review of Rent2Buy, you’ll also know that the “2,000 mile warranty” is actually far less than that because of the way the mileage is tracked by Hertz. As far as “better condition,” I’d have to say that my Rent2Buy car was in decent shape; much of the cosmetic issues were all interior finish problems that could be either cleaned up or ignored. There was no major or minor mechanical damage to speak of.

      2. I was also under the impression that all cars had the same options, and the only difference was mileage. I might only add that it could be a function of the age of the car (e.g. a 2010 model might have a range of 12 months of when it was purchased), or minor damage that Hertz is choosing to discount. When I bought my car, the only cars available were all bare bones. When I looked recently, it seemed that more “enhanced” models were available for certain makes & models.

      3. I have heard of very few people trying the 2-hour approach–most do the 3-day test. What they will let you do (or they let me, anyway), is to look at all the available Rent2Buy cars on the lot in case you want to rent one other than what you reserved. You could get a lot of mileage (no pun intended) this way in case you’re looking for cosmetic damage, features, color, etc.

      Hope that helps! Let me know how your car-buying adventure goes, and I’d love to hear any other insights you have about Hertz after the experience.

      1. That does help. Thanks! I’ll be sure to post an update. Yes, the “Hertz Certified” cars are only available from a Hertz Sales office. We have 3 near us in the SF Bay Area. A full listing of them can be found (by state) at: http://www.hertzcarsales.com/locations

        Here is the blurb they have about their Hertz Certified cars:
        Limit of Warranty

        For your peace of mind, Hertz Car Sales provides a warranty which covers parts and labor on the engine, transmission/transaxle and drive axle for 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

        Every vehicle which is identified as a Hertz Certified Vehicle has undergone a 70-point inspection. A copy of the inspection results will be provided to you. In addition, mechanical failure service contract protection is available for purchase.

        Also, I was told that you can bring all the paper work for a Rent2Buy car at a Hertz Sales office if the car is picked up at a Hertz rental office in close proximity to the Hertz Sales office (perhaps in the same county?? wasn’t clear).


        p.s. Thanks for putting on the time stamps so that folks see how recent the info is.

      2. Here is the update I promised…

        Well, we are so far happy owners of a Hertz Rent2Buy 2011 Toyota RAV4 that we recently purchased with only 26.5K miles. I wanted to follow up with some observations about the Hertz Rent2Buy program that might be useful to others.

        – We decided that we preferred buying a Rent2Buy car that was newer (built in Dec 2010) with fewer miles (26.5K) and had more months/miles left on the original Toyota warranty (Basic 3 year / 36,000 miles, Drive train 5 year / 60,000 miles) than a “Hertz Certified” car that had more miles (anywhere between 36K and 48K). For the Hertz Certified cars, my understanding is that they replace tires, detail the car, give a 12mo/12K limited warranty, and claim they give them a multi-point inspection, all in hopes that this will help sell a car with more miles on it. Both the Rent2Buy and Certified cars ranged in prices that overlapped, but, again, I decided I preferred a car with fewer miles and more left on the Toyota warranty, even though the rental had the expected scratches and dings, especially on the inside in the cargo area.

        – The RAV4 posted on the Hertz Rent2Buy site showed a grey RAV4 sports trim/edition, but they were only selling base trims AWD and base trims do not come in the grey shown on their web site (at least, not for the 2011 model). Instead, the color is pyrite mica (more of a gold/brown color).

        – If picking up a Rent2Buy at SFO, be sure to call ahead to find out how to get to the pickup location without going through the normal Hertz Rental Car return location.

        – The transaction at the SFO Hertz Sales location went VERY smoothly. No surprises. Our salesman (Rene Planas) had the transaction down to a science with all the papers ready to sign; took no more than 30 minutes to go through the process with him. We received the title to the car within a month. Before signing the papers, make sure the VIN engraved on the car matches the VIN on the paper work you sign, especially the one that goes to the DMV.

        – When renting a Rent2Buy that you are contemplating buying, *definitely* bring the car to a trusted, independent mechanic for inspection before deciding on purchasing the car. Before we settled on the RAV4, we had actually taken a serious look at a Subaru Forester (2011, 22K) being sold by a private party and the mechanic discovered some serious issues (head gasket starting to leak(!), a $3000 job!, as well as a leaking strut). That was the best $100 I spent to have a mechanic inspect a car that I ended up not buying.

        – Because Hertz claims to only have 2 keys for the car (one remote key and one valet key), we wanted to buy a 2nd key with the remote and transponder in case we lost our only master key. The dealer, not surprisingly, charged $$$ for a spare (~$230!). We purchased a key on eBay for $50 instead with a new skin, an uncut metal key and one that contained a refurbished remote and transponder chip. Make sure to purchase a key with the correct FCC ID # for your car. The master key from Hertz unfortunately no longer had the sticker on key that had the FCC ID # on it, so we needed to confirm with the eBay seller that I was ordering the correct key. The dealer wanted to charge us $70 just to program the key. Our independent Toyota mechanic programmed the remote and the transponder for free (they have the software to do it) and we only paid $2.50 to have the key cut by a locksmith.

        – I noticed the PlatePass.com (automatic toll payment based on license plate detection) sticker on the car and I wanted to make sure the car was no longer being tracked at our SF Bay Area toll booths. Send email to information@platepass.com and/or help@platepass.com to make sure the rental car is no longer in their database, although I ended up having to call them (go to their web site for contact info and locations where PlatePass is operating). It sounds like Hertz takes care of unregistering the car with PlatePass, but no one at Hertz’s Rent2Buy corporate location or at the Hertz Sales location knew. I believe I ended up finding out that the folks at the Hertz rental location knew. Of course, if you don’t live in an area where PlatePass is used, no need to worry about it.

        – I found the folks at Rent2Buy’s corporate headquarters in Oklahoma to be very helpful when I had questions about the program. I was able to get quick responses from Vickie Richardson, a Rent2Buy customer service rep,
        by phone (1-888-674-3309) and by email (vickier@support.hertzrent2buy.com). She also sent me the car’s AutoCheck report for free, although you shouldn’t expect to find anything on it other than the fact that it is labeled as a rental because I don’t think any accidents would show up on the report if Hertz self-insures. Again, don’t make the mistake of not having your car inspected by a trusted, independent mechanic to look for signs of any accidents. When we had the aforementioned Subaru Forester inspected, the mechanic was able to detect that the car had been in a very minor accident (confirming what the seller had told us about), and it was good to know that a (good) mechanic will catch these things.

  10. Made Reservation on 5/7/2012 for 5/11/2012 pickup, It has been 22 days since my reservation pickup date and still no FedEx package.

    It has been 12 days since they finally acknowledge my wire transfer (took 4 days to confirm deposit), still no FedEx package.

    It has been 10 days since they claim they have mailed the first FedEx package (this was there last attempt to contact me), still no FedEx package.

    It has been 3 days since I initiated contact with them, asking them to look into why this is taking so long, no response back as of yet.

    Called yesterday to see what is going on, they blame FedEx for messing up their procedure? What? Not to worry they are mailing out another package and will email me with a tracking number.

    Well, it goes without saying, still no contact from them, no email confirmation of my package going out, and No FedEx package.

    You are definitely at their mercy!!!

    Why should I have to hold their hand thru this process?

    Many more quirky stories to tell about this purchase, which began to go downhill shortly after making the reservation.

    I will followup with a complete post of my experience, if the deal ever gets finalized.

    And my story keeps getting bigger by the hour.

    You think they would at least call me? Nope, it is outside the scope of their script!!!

    I mean really, how hard can it be to get a FedEx package from Oklahoma City to Kansas City?

  11. We had a great experience. We just bought a 2011 Ford Fusion, it was as advertised and a great price(and not the bottom level car). The length of time between communication did not bother me at all, we had the car and it was insured, the financing was assured of, so we waited and everything fell into place. I think if you are impatient or a suspecting type person you may get tired of waiting through some of the process, but for us the only issue were a few calls from the rental side wanting the car returned after we agreed to buy it, but a phone call or 2 to the sales department stopped that. I highly recommend Hertz for the price AND the process, very simple and no salesmen to deal with!!

    1. Isn’t Jeff Adams the Vice President at Hertz who manages the overall Hertz Car Sales, and Hertz Rent 2 Buy programs, or, could this be coincidentally, another Jeff Adams?

  12. This blog is great and just what I needed. I am considering using Hertz to buy my next car in Chicagoland. I’m looking to purchase this month. I just went to their website today to look at cars. I was able to easily view the Rent2buy and not the Certified. From the comments I’ve read I would like to take adv of having a good mechanic inspect the car and find online codes. So I’m. Thinking Ill go with R2B. Should I find a mechanic & search for codes before making my reservation? I do not have a mechanic to go to.

    1. IE, Discounts are only available during certain times of the year, but if there’s an active one right now, you’ll probably have to enter it when you make your reservation. I would definitely settle on a mechanic before you get the car for testing.

  13. i am thinking about going the hertz route for my car purchase. However, I don’t have the best credit. It’s not horrible, but not the best. Is it hard to get approved for a loan through their lenders? And if the loan isn’t approved, what will I be charged for extra rental fees, etc?

    1. They used Chase for my loans, so I guess it would be just as hard as any other car loan, which is to say I have no idea. In the end, you’re responsible for getting your own financing, so my guess is they will charge you the rental fees if the loan falls through.

  14. Made a reservation for a R2B from hertz this week, havn’t picked it up yet but will on Monday. I have found this information so helpful and the process of buying a used car so overwhelming! just don’t know who to trust . . . Like the three day option but thinking of not taking all the extra charges that they don’t reimburse you for. wish me luck!

  15. made a reservation and went to see the car yesterday… but there is a huge crack on the front bumper….then Hertz called me today and trying to help me reserve another car, but I find out they just raised the price online today….every vehicle is $600 higher than the price I saw last night! They still have that $1000 “thanks giving” discount, but they raised the original price… I’ve been checking this website for a while and noticed it seems like every time they have a promotion, they raise the original price… I think I will just wait until the price goes down!

    1. Not the first company in the world to do this, but also not exactly an honest business practice, in my opinion. Thanks for making the observation!

  16. I have been looking at their site for about a week, and markdowns haven’t changed as far as I can tell. It’s not a holiday season or anything like that, probably just a marketing strategy. Also found a $300 coupon code on retailmenot and it worked. Reservation appointment is set for 6 days from now. Then I started looking around for reviews and stumbled upon this site..
    Has anyone had an experience buying from their R2B program using your own source for financing? I have a blank check on hand from capital one auto loan program. I was approved and it’s 100% guaranteed loan. I reserved a car that’s almost $1700 less than my approval amount, but I can write the check for a smaller amount, that’s not going to be a problem. My question is, if I am going to a rental only location that’s by the Sacramento Airport and decide to purchase the car, am I able to complete the transaction at the local sales location? I would feel better about doing it that way rather than initiating the process online, waiting for the Fedex package, sending my check in, waiting for the response and so on….

    1. It’s unlikely you can do things at the local center. Everything is handled through their main Car Sales office, at least when I did it. It can’t hurt to ask and see though.

  17. I purchased car in October financing through my credit union. So yes, you can use your own financing. Everything went great, from financing to paperwork for registration. My car was $16.5 which is $6K less than dealers invoice and at the time was $2k below wholesale. I have notice that the best time to buy is at the end of year(Aug-Dec). Probably when they are trying to get rid of prior year invenatory.

  18. We unexpectedly needed to replace our beloved Subaru and I scrambled to figure out the best car for our family. We have two little ones under age 3. We are frugal and practical, and after exhausting research I also came to the conclusion that a Mazda 5 would be the best fit for us. While looking into buying a rental car I found this post and we decided to try it and see if we could save some money.

    We bought in December so we were able to get a 2012 (same year). There was an additional $1,000 off as an end of year deal, plus we had AAA and got another $200 off. The savings were clear (about $5k) vs. everything else I had priced using Costco car buying, dealer, Craiglist, AutoTrader and so on. The mileage was about 24k which was much better than anything comparable I had found. I picked the car out online, we picked it up no problem and inspected it thoroughly. Hertz said they were unable to provide repair or maintenance record, however they did say there was one minor accident. We found 1 very small dent in to front (optical illusion hard to notice) and some yellow paint splatter (also hard to see without really looking) that we at first thought was overspray from a front repair, but then determined it was maybe from yellow lines on the road. Maybe the person hit a cone at high speed near highway paint, hence the dent. Nothing an eyesore or deal breaker. The interior was shockingly pristine! We decided to buy it.

    We negotiated with headquarters to give us another remote entry key fob because it only came with one and those things are expensive! Like $300. They agreed after checking with their supervisors and we made an appointment to get the new key back at Hertz. There was several weeks that passed to make all the phone calls and follow ups. It did not happen easily, but it was worth it for me to get that pricey key. They could have said no and there would have been nothing for me to say about it….so I am happy it worked out even if it required some extra work on my end.

    The paperwork went smoothly, very organized and easy to sign. Our contact for this portion of the process was super friendly and available by phone and email. The only odd thing was when our document package came to the wrong unit in our condo. I got an email saying it was delivered to the front porch and it was not there. Fed Ex would not tell me the exact address was that it had been delivered so I could go retrieve it. So I had to call my contact and have him call Fed Ex and then call me back to tell me which condo unit it had gone to. I went and grabbed it. So a small snafu but fixed easily enough.

    In the end there were a few aesthetic blemishes, a few administrative hiccups, but we are happy with the money we saved and almost 5 months later I have no regrets. Good luck to you in your next car purchase!

  19. My experience with r2b has not been very good. I reserved the car for pickup on Friday 6/7. I received at least 3 phone calls telling me not to go to location until they told me that the car was ready. No calls Friday that the car was ready but they put a hold on 10.00 on my account to ” make sure I picked up the car” when they finally called. Called customer service, phone rep less than helpful. ( Friday was my only day off and I needed an answer ) talked to a supervisor Vicki. She was very helpful, told me the car was at the lot but has a broken hood latch. So I went to the location to look at it. The interior hood release was broken and the location said the would fix it before I took the car. All fine and dandy. I got a call on Tuesday from the location that I could get the car. Only problem was that I had to work all day wed and thurs and could not get to the location. They were great and dropped the car at my house and met me part way to hand over the key. All was great, until I noticed a 375 hold on my account, not really worried about it though. Thursday morning hopped in the r2b car to head to my job 20+ miles away. On the route in light traffic the car says engine over heating every time I have to stop at a light.
    Make it to work, call hertz and inform them of the problem, location would not be open for 30 min.
    Location makes arrangements for me to get another car from another location so I can get home. Great! Not really happy but at least I can get home.
    Now it’s Friday. I turn in the other car since I have my own car and this is not the car I want to evaluate. I get a receipt for 117 and change for my rent to buy that was in reality a half hour drive to work and multilple phone call during the day. The location lowered the price to 55 but really? This was a 1/2 hour evaluation on a car that is now somewhere in Austin possibly being fixed. I wouldn’t know because I have not heard a word from hertz.
    So far customer service from the location and Vicki was AWESOME!
    Business practices of hertz are in question. I feel they hold all the cards and my credit card to do with what they will. I like the car for what little I had it but this is getting very long and time consuming. it is a really good deal but it seems they like to keep people in the dark as to what is going on. If they really wanted to sell cars it seems they would be less about vague the car isn’t ready dont plan your life yet and more open as to what is happening with the car. Or better yet, how about check the car over, fix the problems THEN put the car up for sale like other places do.
    So I’m in the dark as to the status of the car or my r2b. Maybe Monday I’ll know something.

  20. For all out there that bought the car from Hertz: I have heard that there is a chance that the car may be stripped off things like extra key fobs, floor mats etc. Did that happen to you? I understand that rental cars may get just one key fob, but I’m curious about floor mats. In my experience the after market mats are just not the same as the stock ones.

    If it did happen to you did Hertz take care of getting the missing pieces?

  21. For the last few months I am looking to buy a car from Hertz. I am yet to avail the R2B scheme. Instead I am renting cars as usual and if found in good condition, while returning I check with them or on their website if it is for sale. It was always a no, so far. So it looks like they are tagging cars with some level of damage only for sale.

    Btw, it will be actually a good sales tactic by Hertz to integrate their R2B scheme into their regular rentals as well. May be they could call it Rent ‘N Buy. For example, they can ask for a feedback (online or paper) to be filled while returning a regular rented car and offer to sell it based on the feedback.

  22. Has anyone purchased using the Hertz pre-certified under the CarSales program? I m just wondering if there is any benefit / advantage compared to the Rent2Buy? Thanks for your assistance.

    1. I was always under the impression that it was the same program with a different name.

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