Buying a Car From Enterprise: What to Know
If you choose to buy a car from Enterprise’s vast inventory, you can save money, as the car is likely under the market value. However, Enterprise doesn’t originate loans, so you’ll either need to arrange financing through one of Enterprise’s partner lenders or obtain a loan from a nonpartner third-party lender.
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Is buying a car from Enterprise a good idea?
When you buy a rental car, you can save money. Most of Enterprise’s rental cars for sale are listed below market value. On top of that, you can return an Enterprise vehicle within seven days or 1,000 miles for free minus a $200 restocking fee.
Still, Enterprise rental cars are fleet vehicles, which means they were previously owned by a business and driven by an unknown number of drivers. When a rental fleet car is deemed too old for business purposes, companies like Enterprise list their used rental cars for sale. For most car rental companies, this begins to happen once the vehicle is 1-to-2 years old.
Pros and cons of buying a rental car from Enterprise
Comes with 7-day or 1,000-mile return policy
12-month, 12,000-mile powertrain warranty
Comes with one year of roadside assistance
May have high mileage and close to end of warranty
Unknown history of drivers
May be geographic limitations
Limited selection of vehicles
Returns may come with $200 restocking fee
If you’re looking to save money, 75% of Enterprise’s vehicles are listed below the Kelley Blue Book® car value. Each car Enterprise sells is given a thorough inspection — a service you likely won’t get from a private party seller. Aside from that, these cars come with a 12-month, 12,000-mile powertrain warranty and unlimited roadside assistance for 12 months. Buyers can access a free CARFAX Vehicle History Report, detailing the car’s background.
For any customers unhappy with their car, you can return your Enterprise vehicle within seven days or 1,000 miles, whichever comes first. If you return your vehicle, though, keep in mind that you may be out $200 due to a restocking fee.
On the other hand, while Enterprise provides the car history report, due to it being a former rental, you won’t have complete insight as to previous drivers and how they treated the car. You’re also limited to Enterprise’s fleet of vehicles, which can pose a challenge if you don’t live in a state with an Enterprise car dealership.
How to buy a used rental car from Enterprise
Buying a car from Enterprise is a bit different than buying from a traditional dealership. The main difference is that you won’t have to work with a used car salesperson to iron out the sale price. However, your options for make and model may also be limited compared to a nonfleet purchase.
1. Search for a car online
You’ll start by searching Enterprise Car Sales and narrowing results by vehicle models, dealership locations and other details. For each car, you can see photos and videos, mileage, features and trim options.
During your search, you can also check if a vehicle fits your budget by estimating your car payments by using a calculator in Enterprise’s inventory database. Configure your payments by plugging in your expected down payment, repayment term and estimated annual percentage rate (APR) based on your credit score. You can also do this with LendingTree’s auto loan calculator.
2. Get preapproved
Even if you think you’re going to go through with your Enterprise purchase, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare auto loans. You can do this by getting preapproved car loans and comparing the prices, rates, terms and fees to Enterprise.
3. Contact the dealership
Once you’ve determined where your car of choice is located, you’ll need to get in touch with the dealership. You can do this online or by phone, email or chat. If the car is outside of your area, you may be able to arrange for delivery to a nearby Enterprise dealership. You can also work with the dealership to set up financing if needed. When you contact the dealer, consider these questions to ask when buying a car.
4. Take the car for a test drive
As with any vehicle purchase, it’s important to take the car for a drive. Take the car on both highways and city streets and look for visible damage and signs of wear and tear. This can help you to avoid issues and repairs to the car down the road.
5. Get an inspection
Ideally, you’ll want to take the vehicle to a mechanic for a car inspection or bring a mechanic to the dealership with you. If you’re unable to make this arrangement, schedule a time within the seven-day return window to get the car inspected.
6. Review the vehicle history report
Each vehicle comes with a free CARFAX report that will detail its history. Be sure to closely read the report to learn more about the vehicle. Look out for accidents and maintenance history, and be sure to check for recalls.
A closer look at Enterprise auto loans
Enterprise does not issue its own loans — instead, it connects buyers to financing partners like Chase, as well as other banks and credit unions. To apply, you’ll need to provide the following information:
- Personal information, including your contact information
- Income and employment information
- Information about your car loan cosigner, if you have one
- Vehicle information, as well as details about your trade-in car, if you have one
Some financial institutions, including Bank of America, Patelco Credit Union and Golden 1 Credit Union, specify that they offer lending for Enterprise purchases. While credit requirements and loan terms will vary depending on the lender, Patelco and Golden 1 offer a 1.00% discount if you use their credit union auto loans to purchase an Enterprise used car.
Alternatives to buying a car from Enterprise
There’s more than one place buyers can go to buy rental or other used cars. Each seller offers something different, so it’s worth shopping around before making a decision.
Enterprise vs. Hertz
There are a lot of similarities between Enterprise and Hertz when it comes to buying a rental vehicle. Hertz fleet sales also include no-haggle pricing, a free vehicle history report and financing through partner lenders. Hertz also covers car purchases under a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty with 24/7 roadside assistance, the same coverage as Enterprise.
Differences: Though Enterprise offers test drives and delivery in certain areas, Hertz offers home delivery within 200 miles or more of a Hertz dealership. You can also take advantage of the Hertz Rent2Buy program, which allows you to rent a car you’re interested in buying at a reduced price for three days. If you choose to buy at the end of the three days, your rental fees will be waived. Both Enterprise and Hertz offer seven-day returns on purchases; however, while Enterprise allows you to put up to 1,000 miles on the car before you return it, Hertz only allows for up to 250 miles. Both come with a $200 fee if you return the car.
Enterprise vs. CarMax
CarMax isn’t a rental dealership, but it is one of the largest used car retailers in the U.S. Like Enterprise, you’ll get no-haggle pricing and a free vehicle history report. Both companies ship your vehicle of choice to a store or dealer near you.
Differences: While Enterprise only offers seven days to return your car, CarMax has a return policy of 30-day or up to 1,500 miles. You can manage cars you’re interested in and even hold one for up to seven days using the CarMax app. CarMax will deliver cars to your home or work for a test drive. Such user-friendly features may be a reason why many customers would recommend CarMax. When it comes to customer feedback on buying a car from Enterprise, reviews are more difficult to find.
The biggest drawback in comparison to Enterprise is the CarMax warranty, which only covers 90 days or 4,000 miles, whichever comes first. Enterprise also outshines CarMax with its 12-month complimentary roadside assistance.