There are plenty of places and people you can buy a used car from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. This includes dealerships, private parties, and friends or family. However buying used fleet vehicles is one place many people neglect to look, even though they can save thousands by considering it.
Fleet vehicles and cars can include those from police forces, car rental companies, government agencies, large corporations and even used taxi fleets, such as Cab Direct, which sell off large numbers of fleet vehicles and cars they don't need every year. The vast majority of these fleet vehicles are sent to auto auctions where they are sold to dealerships and then usually resold to the public.
Even though the main customers for these fleet vehicles are dealerships, there is nothing stopping average joe's from buying them. So Why not considering buying them directly from the fleet owners?
When you do the math, the vehicles that get sent through standard auction channels are then sold at a dealership cost a lot more. This is for a variety of reasons. The dealerships selling fleet vehicles have to pay for a large number of outlays. For example, they need to pay for shipping them to the auction, followed by auction fees, then transportation to a dealership, reconditioning, and subsequently an additional add on for profit at the dealership. This is often $2000 or more than the amount the fleet company was hoping to get for the vehicle sale.
Essentially, what this means is that if a commercial fleet owner only wanted $8000 for a vehicle when they sell it, you won’t be able to purchase it for less than $10,000 – and that’s on the very low end of the estimate. This could typically amount to around a 25% markup from what you could buy the vehicle for directly, if you went down the route of working with fleet owner yourself.
Though many people are concerned about the roadworthiness and nature of used fleet vehicles,since they have been used by a lot of people, I would still recommend considering them. Most of the time these vehicles have a specific maintenance schedule that is maintained often by dealership garages or private independent repair shops. Fleet vehicles all need to be in great running condition and service which routinely involves traveling a great number of miles and dealing with mixed conditions. Those responsible for their maintenance don’t tend to let an oil change slide for a month or use a cheaper quality auto parts that might cost more in the long run. Private party “one owner” vehicles often make these claims of maintaining cars but seldom can it be verified.
Negotiating the best deal for a fleet vehicle is a simple matter. You’ll need to contact the fleet companies or fleet sales specialists directly. They have a price in mind and know what they would get at the auctions since they sell a lot of these cars. If they can get the same price from you and save the costs of shipping it to the auction, it is definitely a win-win for everyone. This allows you to enjoy the same used car as you would get from a dealership at savings around the 25% mark.
Next time you are buying used, why not consider a fleet vehicle?