Ex-rental cars are being sold by dealerships who are keeping their history quiet despite it being an unlawful practice. Many motorists are buying these cars not knowing they have bought ex-rentals, ex-fleet or ex-driving school motors. Unless potential buyers ask if the car was an ex-rental, dealers will not divulge the information willing. During 2008, under the Consumer Protection Unfair Trading Regulations, it became prohibited to sell cars without a customer knowing all the facts about a car they wish to buy.
Selling ex-rental cars in a misleading manner
Despite the law, some UK dealerships are still selling cars illegitimately by stating at the point of sale that the car previously had one owner. This type of selling is clearly misleading and is very unfair to potential customers.
Should the customer buy one of these cars unknowingly, they have every right to take legal action against the dealership. This type of omission could of course lead the perpetrating dealership into a hefty fine or even a jail sentence.
According to investigations, many dealers did not see the point in divulging this sensitive information. Many customers trust in dealerships and believe they are being sold to legitimately. Some 'stealerships', sorry I mean dealerships already charge more than most car showrooms, and customers are willing to the pay extra for peace of mind. It appears though that customers are actually getting a rather raw deal.
When customers buy their car from a dealership, they rarely look at the service book when a deal is done. Most customers usually wait until they are home, and some do not even open their servicing book.
For some strange reason, dealerships mislead potential customers believing it will affect the sale. However, this could be far from the truth since ex-rental cars, ex-fleets or ex-driving school motors are some of best serviced and well-looked after cars. Maybe the real reason behind the misleading is that ex-rental cars should be sold at a cheaper price than non-ex-rentals. Therefore, the true facts behind the illegitimate sale could be simply to make extra money.
If you feel you have been mislead into buying an ex-rental contact your local Trading Standards or Citizens Advice Bureaux. Before calling them you will need to have all your car documents at hand.
Facts behind buying ex-rental cars
What most motorists do not realise is that ex-rental cars, ex-fleets, ex-driving school, police and even ex-mobility cars are some of the best kept and serviced cars. These can be much safer to buy than some cars bought off the high street privately.
The fact that dealerships hide the truth about ex-rental cars can cause suspicion. Dealers feel the truth would influence the sale. How would you feel if you found out that one-owner was from an ex-rental after buying it? More than likely you would feel cheated and conned.
However, when motorists have knowingly bought an ex-rental car, they have generally been very pleased. Many declare their ex-rental was in better condition than any private car they had ever bought.
Some people would never contemplate buying a car off a used car site, or out of the local newspaper. They say ex-rentals are the best and would not buy any other.
Ex-rental cars are mostly driven on long runs using high gears, but some are used for local runs such as driving schools. One would assume that shorter runs are harder on the engine.
At the point of any sale, find out as much as you can before you make your decision. Some ex-rentals can be treated badly so ask about the company, the engine, the bodywork and check the car thoroughly. If necessary use a third party to check the car over - don't be shy with your investigation!