The Risks of Buying Fleet Cars

by Jeff Dickinson

Buying fleet vehicles can be a good way to get a lower price on a particular car. However, it can also be a way to get stuck with a high-mileage car that has not been maintained properly. Price should not be the sole factor in a fleet car purchase. Mileage, maintenance records and the reputation of the company that is selling the car have to be considered in order to prevent getting stuck with a lemon.

Mileage May Not Be Accurate

Fleet cars that are purchased directly from rental companies are safe from odometers that have been tampered with. There is a risk, though, with buying a fleet vehicle from a private party at auto auction because the mileage may not be accurate. Odometers can be turned back on fleet vehicles with high mileage in order to get a better price from the buyer. When buying a fleet car, it is best to purchase one directly from a rental agency or the company that has used the car instead of from a private party.

Rental Fleet Cars Have Many Different Drivers

While buying fleet cars from rental agencies can be good because mileage and maintenance records are accurate, it also comes with one negative. A rental car may have had hundreds of different drivers before it was sold by an agency. When someone only drives a car for a day or a weekend, they frequently are not as gentle with it as they would be with their own car. A fleet vehicle purchased from a large corporation was probably only used by one or two drivers. This type of fleet car probably underwent less harsh treatment because it was used by one person for a lengthy period of time.

Fleet Cars Can Miss Regular Maintenance

It is recommended with every new car that it be broken in properly. This ensures that the engine and its parts have the proper time to get into top working condition before the car is put into strenuous use. Fleet vehicles are often not broken in properly because they are immediately put into use. Regularly scheduled maintenance, like oil changes and tire rotations, can be erratic because the car may be in use when the mileage for a particular maintenance rolls around.


About the Author

Jeff Dickinson has been writing professionally for 19 years. He began covering sports for The Huntsville Times in Alabama and moved to Atlanta in 1997. Dickinson worked in corporate communications for seven years before beginning his freelance career in 2005. He covers football for the Marietta Daily Journal and FANatic Sports and writes for a variety of websites.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Marili Forastieri/Photodisc/Getty Images