When hunting for used cars we are sure you have come across fleet cars for sale. Fleets are usually presented as a good deal, all appear in good decent conditions and have well detailed service records. Many rental car dealers have a selected number of personals trained in selling of their used vehicles. The same approach is used by the government and large companies that want to sell off their used cars.
That is what a fleet vehicle is. It’s a vehicle that was originally used by large organizations. Sometimes companies use a number of fleet vehicles of a same model, an example would be a taxi company. Companies purchase cars for their employees, and again the models are usually similar. Large companies have a variety of vehicles that would make up their vehicle fleet. But here we will deal with cars mainly in this article. Cars that were part of a fleet of vehicles of some organization that now wants to sell them off.
Would getting a fleet vehicle be okay? Well this depends on how it was getting used and the discount you will get. Has it been well maintained? The mileage on it, and does it have a warranty with it? The point is: fleets vehicles are just used vehicles. You have to do the same kinds of checking on a fleet vehicle like you would check out an ordinary used vehicle. Of course, you should ask these questions; what was it used for? Who used it? And how long was it used for?
What was the fleet vehicle used for?
Taxis, rental cars, government cars and municipal cars are all part of fleet vehicles. But the one you might be tempted to buy might be a fleet car that was a taxi. Now that type of fleet car would have a lot of mileage. It might have been driven on all types of terrains. A government car if used abroad would have a different history. A municipal car might have not been used so roughly. That’s why the type of fleet car is very important to determine to help you decide to buy it or not. Let’s study them in some detail.
Used Rental Cars
There is a big chance that as fleet vehicle, some dealers are offering you nothing but a used rental car, which could be a bad deal. These types of cars are usually well maintained but rental companies keep them in service a lot that means they would have a lot of mileage for one thing. Try to determine if the car is about a year old and has a low mileage around 14000 miles this might be difficult to do as these cars are pressed very hard into service. Moreover, most are used in service for quite a long time with a mileage about 32000 miles. And you have to check out the powertrain of such a car thoroughly by an expert mechanic. These cars are abused a lot by customers as these cars are really carelessly used.
Fleet vehicles that belonged to the government
Getting your hands on one of these cars will be hard. Government cars are only sold when they are of no more use because the cars are economically expensive to maintain due to repair costs and not working properly. These cars are many times sold off at auctions to get a little money back. When the cars do not perform properly they are then disposed. You would find such cars not worth much money and just a hassle to maintain.
Used Company Cars
Getting your hands on a company car is a great buy. Which employee wants to take back a damaged car to his or her employer? This fleet vehicle is also maintained well and both the exterior and interior of the car are usually well kept. Think about it. How can you take colleagues and perhaps your superior in a badly kept company car? These cars are driven more carefully and maintained well. But the down side is that these fleet cars are only disposed off, when they have near reached the end of their worth.
Used Auto Manufacturer and Dealer Cars
Manufacturers and auto dealers also have fleets vehicles. They use them as demo cars whereas others might be provided on a rental basis to company’s executives and staff. Dealers know how to dispose these cars before their warranty periods run out. You would not do bad buying one of these cars as they will still be covered by a car warranty. You will know how long they have been in service as records of repairs and service will be available.
What details you need to buy a fleet vehicle?
How you go about buying a fleet car whether from a dealer, from a company or a retail company. The procedure is the same with some exceptions. Read on.
Demand a history on the vehicle
Find out how many times it has been repaired. Usually government and auto manufacturers will have their own facilities to repair their cars and do up and crash spots so well it will be impossible for you to know anything besides what they tell you about the vehicle’s history of repairs. Make sure you have a good mechanic to assess the car and tell you the condition of the engine, transmission and emission details and the car as a whole. The mechanic must take it for a spin to check its performance.
Similarly, there’s a possibility that the company you are buying from have performed repairs at their own facility, which will not reflect in the repair history of the vehicle. To avoid this, you need to ask the company selling the car whether the vehicle has been into any accident and if possible do verify it. Always have an independent mechanic verify that they were performed properly. Remember, having a mechanic checking it is all important. A critical inspection of the interior as well as of the exterior of the car must be made. The mechanic can determine how well the car has been maintained and repaired. Have the owners being getting the car repair with new, authentic parts or not. Although not necessary all parts used in the repairs were authentic but it does show what the vehicle is really worth.
However, if the seller doesn’t allow you to have your vehicle inspected, then you should think it as a red flag and walk away from the deal. While the car’s condition cannot be questioned, why take a chance that might lead to a expensive repair one day?
A driving test is a must
The second last thing is to test drive the vehicle first by the mechanic and then by you. Feel it as you drive the vehicle. Hear the sound of the car. Does it accelerate properly or not? Do the brakes work properly? Are there any weird odors in the car? This is serious if any odor is detected. This means the car has been stored up for a long time. And these are toxic odors of molding in the cabin.
The all-important car warranty
Fleet car sellers give programs in attempt to get your confidence in the deal. They can offer you a 12month/12000-mile drive powertrain warranty with roadside assistance for a year. They can also give you maybe a 7-day return option to buy another car form their stock. Just make sure you read all the details in the warranty.
The take away
Now that you know what fleet cars are, be careful buying them. Do your research on them. Get the car checked and tested by a good mechanic. And then make sure you like the warranty. You will be as safe as you can be.
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