Rental Car VS. Loaner Car

What’s better to buy, a rental car or a loaner car?

The decision to buy a loaner car or rental car, depends on your vehicle needs. A rental car may be much cheaper, but you could be asked to make some serious compromises. A service loaner car has many benefits, one being full warranties, history of service and cost savings over a new car of the same year make and model, but you’re likely to pay more than if you purchased a rental car.

There are many reasons why someone might look to buy a rental car.

Price is a factor.

If you don’t mind a car with higher mileage, dings and scratches and a lived-in interior, all of these factors typically reduce the cost of the car, and a lot of rental cars will fit one or all of these descriptions.

City / Commuter Car

Some of us just need a bare-bones car that we really don’t care that much about. Something we’ll put miles on, park in the city and possible just drive into the ground. Rental cars, when bought from a reputable rental car company, typically have been kept up on when it comes to the basics like oil changes, brakes, tires etc.  Although there are good quality rental cars, there are just as many beaters out there as well, but if that is what you need, a cheap rental car may be the right direction.

What if you care about your car?

What if you care about what you drive? What if you want to save some money and want a car that is truly reliable? Are you willing to make a small sacrifice but not big ones? Well then, there is little downside to buying a service loaner car from an authorized car dealer. Service loaner cars come with the balance of the factory warrantee.

Purchase options

Although typically not bargain priced like a rental car, a loaner car is in many cases, prices thousands less than its brand-new counterpart. Buying a loaner car also allows you to take advantage of a wide variety of purchase options. Most service loaner cars qualify for new car incentives and programs. Low lease prices, low ARP financing and other programs all apply to a service loaner at an authorized new car dealership.

If you want a quality car that is reliable and gives you piece of mind, buying a service loaner from an authorized new car dealer is going to have far more benefit than buying a rental car. If you’re just looking to get from point a to point b and don’t care about much more than that, a rental car purchase is probably the way to go.