What if you could find for members an automobile that you knew had been well
maintained the first year of its life – regular oil changes, brakes and
other parts inspected often? And what if that year-old car also came with a
12-month/12,000-mile warranty and a seven-day repurchase policy? Any member
would be grateful to get such a well-maintained automobile.
Actually, this scenario requires no imagination. Credit union managers and
car loan officers have access to literally tens of thousands of these types
of late-model, high-quality used vehicles via car rental companies.
The truth is rental cars are some of the best buys in the used car market.
These vehicles, while driven by multiple motorists, receive much more TLC than
the average consumer-owned vehicle.
But while many car buyers understand the advantages of a used vehicle over a
new car (especially the depreciation tied to new vehicles), they may not consider
the benefits of purchasing a rental vehicle.
In 2003, 1.7 million rental vehicles were sold in the United States. Many were
passed directly to auctions and onto car dealer floors. However, tens of thousands
were selected by rental companies for their own resale businesses. These vehicles
represent the “cream of the rental crop.”
For instance, most of the vehicles on Enterprise Car Sales lots are chosen
Rent-A-Car’s fleet of more than 700,000 rental and fleet services vehicles.
This might be the best opportunity for credit union members to buy a quality
rental vehicle – and all the advantages that come with the purchase.
Enterprise is unique in that each vehicle passes a 109-point inspection by
an ASE certified master technician and comes with a 12-month/12,000-mile limited
warranty and a seven day/1,000 mile repurchase policy.
The credit union also benefits: Enterprise guarantees that credit unions receive
100 percent of used car loans 100 percent of the time. Enterprise also optimizes
member loyalty by creating tailored used car buying/loan programs, such as free
car buying seminars, co-branded Web sites, and comprehensive marketing plans.
Consider the qualities rental cars offer for purchase:
- Late models: The typical rental vehicle for sale is one to two years old.
This creates a selection of vehicles that are new, stylish, and sought after.
- One owner: If offered a vehicle owned by an auto expert committed to vehicle
maintenance and care, the average car buyer would probably sign sight unseen.
As stated earlier, rental cars offer this opportunity. Cars are their business;
their livelihood depends on keeping their vehicles expertly maintained.
- Low mileage: The typical rental vehicle has less than 30,000 miles when
it is put up for sale.
- Reasonable prices: All vehicles sold by Enterprise Car Sales are priced
below NADA or Kelly Blue Book retail values, and with the company’s
no-haggle policy, buyers get this price without the pressure of bargaining.
Rental cars provide a tremendous value option for credit unions and members
alike. It’s something to keep in mind the next time a member asks, “Where
can I get a good deal on a car?”