A few of you recently wrote me to find out how my rental car purchase was holding up with the test of time.
We bought our car more than two years ago, shortly after our son’s birth. I think it’s fair to say that any problems attributable to the car’s past life as a rental would have manifested themselves by now.
What’s happened since 2010?
I hate to disappoint, but not much of anything. In addition to the typical quarterly oil replacements and a new set of tires, the remainder of the maintenance money spent on the car was to fix several key components of the suspension.
My first instinct was to chalk this up to the renting, and the symptoms seemed to fit. After all, you would expect a car which is driven aggressively to eventually have suspension problems.
After digging into the problem a little further, I realized my suspension issues were not as unique as I first thought. This particular model Mazda seems to have a fairly good maintenance record in all areas, with one glaring exception–the suspension, which is a constant and nagging problem for many owners.
After two-plus years and close to 30,000 miles, I can happily report that I would definitely considering purchasing a rental car again if I was starting the process today. Speaking strictly in terms of the mechanical and aesthetic performance we’re getting from the car, it’s exceptional.
Hertz Car Sales
Whether buying from Hertz is still a good idea is an entirely different story. Since publishing my original review of Hertz (then Rent 2 Buy, now Car Sales) in 2010, and looking through the feedback the following year, comments from satisfied and unsatisfied customers continued to pour in to the blog at a regular rate.
While it’s unfortunate, my overall impression of people’s experience hasn’t changed. It appears that the deals people get on their new cars are good to great, but that the actual purchase process leaves much to be desired in terms of customer service.
While Hertz has reached out to the blogging community and both their past and potential customers to promise better service and seek feedback, it looks like actually delivering on those intentions is a challenge. I still have hope that the program will evolve and improve, since I think that rental car sales are an excellent market for the frugal-minded car consumer and something that needs development.
For those of you in the market for rental cars, I hope this alleviates some of your fears about buying lemons, and gives you a quick update on how the Hertz brand is performing in this space.