Day: April 8, 2021

Can you still buy a used rental car at a bargain?

Will a bargain-priced former rental car become yet another casualty of the pandemic?

Rental car companies, which frequently refresh their fleets, have long been a reliable source of reasonably priced used vehicles for those in the know. But tightening inventories of used cars nationwide are driving up prices of many former rental cars to higher than what you might pay at a traditional dealership.

While rental car prices plummeted at the beginning of the pandemic as companies such as Hertz sold off their inventory, prices have rebounded and now are 4 percent above the market average, according to an analysis done for NerdWallet by iSeeCars.com, a website that aggregates used-car listings.

Although prices have risen, you still might get a bargain on certain makes and models. And there remain many advantages of shopping the used rental car market. Primarily, it’s a good source of late-model used cars, often

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How to find a deal

Springtime car-buying season is here, and many hopeful buyers are ending up with a severe case of sticker shock in 2021, because used car prices are higher than ever.

Gary Heflin, owner of Courtesy Automotive, is busy these days.

Eric Oliver, owner of Beyond Exercise gym, has bought two cars from Heflin in the past, and he plans on buying an SUV from Heflin.

“I prefer buying used,” Oliver said. “You can get some good used vehicles in very good shape.”

But used cars are not such bargains anymore, with Edmunds.com reporting prices up 14% over the past year.

Heflin said there are several factors, and one is that new car prices have hit a record high of $40,000 on average.

Combine that with rental fleets no longer flooding the market with cars and buyers flush with stimulus checks, and you have a supply-and-demand imbalance.

“There’s a lot

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