HI Scotty, I am seeing some great deals on 2 year old toyota corrollas with 40,000 miles. do you think its a good idea to buy these cars? i can get a 3 day rent to buy option and have a mechanic or "yourmechanic.com" come out and do a pre purchase inspection.
Generally not an intelligent idea. You never know the true history as many insurance companies have their own insurance and do not necessarily report it to VIN records (carfax, hit or miss in general). Maintenance could be spotty.
My family has a rental 2018 Equinox that we bought. We've had it for about 3 months now, the headliner was not in place but that's all we have had so far. (Yes, I advised against a GM product :P)
As with any vehicle, check as much as you can, do your research, but be prepared for surprises. We moved, and had to ditch all our vehicles in advance. Got to California, and needed a family vehicle (4 people+2 dogs). We researched ahead of time, and decided on a Hertz rent-to-buy 2016 Nissan Quest with over 50k miles. Yes, the miles were high, but we have had great success with Nissan Quest vehicles (this is our 3rd). We also knew this was a rental, and people do not treat rentals nicely. Halfway to our destination, I noticed that the brake fluid reservoir cap was missing, so I put duct tape over it as a stop gap until I could replace the cap a few days later. All-in-all this was a wise purchase. It has a broken hinge on an internal storage box, but we still enjoy the 7 person seating, the gas mileage is 25 mpg reliably, and we have not had any major issues. Any purchase is a risk, but doing what checks you can helps. Also know that the rental company has to do at least minimal maintenance, but it is a matter of how well/thoroughly it was done. On the other hand, it is a used vehicle, and you can save thousands.
I used to work for Hertz car rental back in the late 80s, early 90s. My brother bought a just off the line 91 or 92 Ford Tempo, the updated "Mini-Taurus" body style. To this day, he talks about that car and wishes he still had it. Just remember, you are buying a used car.
You are buying a used car that no one specific person owned or drove. Some people drive rentals as if they are their own, others just beat the living h3ll out of them. Pick the best one of the lot and you will be happy. Pick the worst one and you may have a money pit. No different than that used car you look at on any other dealer lot. The only difference here is you know it was a rental where in the traditional used car market, you simply have no clue of what it was put through.
Be critical, inspect everything, ask for repair records, talk to the rental/service staff if you can (not the sales staff) because they know fleet numbers and the yard guys know which cars are ragged on because they see them come off rental all day long and you get to know your fleet numbers. Plus, they drive them back and forth themselves, well, in smaller stations anyway. Oh, that's another tip, try to get one that is from a smaller market, not a huge one like LAX, JFK, etc. The wear and tear on the smaller market cars will be less than those turned around and rented within minutes at larger markets. More time to care for them.
Just my thoughts as a former rental car employee and the person experience of my brother buying his Tempo. And I will agree, I made sure he got a good one, the benefit of the yard guy.
check the Carfax, I bought an older ford escape that was a rental down in Texas and brought up north to PA and its had no major issues minus the alternator