Enterprise vs Hertz vs Avis: Comparing Rental Car Buying
I am a serial entrepreneur and a consumer advocate. When I’m not helping car buyers, I love working on ventures that have a positive impact.
Did you know that you can find some of the best used car deals from rental car companies? The top three rental car brands - Enterprise, Hertz, and Avis - all offer vehicles for sale.
Purchasing a rental car is a good option if you're on a budget, and looking for a well-maintained vehicle.
Here’s a look at how each rental car company compares when it comes to vehicle sales.
Table of Contents
- Enterprise vs. Hertz vs. Avis: Introduction
- Enterprise vs. Hertz vs. Avis Summary
- Does Enterprise Sell Used Cars?
- How to Buy a Car from Enterprise
- Does Enterprise Offer Financing?
- Does Enterprise Offer Trade-Ins?
- Enterprise Protection Plans
- What is the Enterprise Accelerated Customer Experience?
- Does Hertz Sell Used Cars?
- How to Buy a Car from Hertz
- Does Hertz Offer Financing?
- Does Hertz Offer Trade-Ins?
- Hertz Protection Plans
- What Is Hertz Home Delivery?
- What Is Hertz Buy Back Guarantee?
- Does Avis Sell Used Cars?
- How to Buy a Car from Avis
- Does Avis Offer Financing?
- Does Avis Offer Trade-Ins?
- Avis Protection Plans
- What Is Avis Ultimate Test Drive?
- Pricing & Inventory Comparison
- Financing Comparison
- Test Drives & Returns Comparison
- Special Incentives Comparison
- Delivery Comparison
- Protection Plan Comparison
- Enterprise, Hertz, or Avis? What’s the Best?
- Best Car Deals by Category
- Frequently Asked Questions
Enterprise vs. Hertz vs. Avis: Introduction
When it comes to comparing the three top car rental companies, we will be looking at several key factors:
- Inventory. How many vehicles are offered for sale?
- Pricing. The range of prices on the complete inventory of vehicles.
- Financing. Does the company offer financing?
- Delivery Fees. What is the cost of having the vehicle delivered from non-local locations?
- Warranty. What warranty does the company offer from the day of purchase?
- Return Policy. Can you return the vehicle and negate the purchase after the sale?
Enterprise vs. Hertz vs. Avis Summary
|# of Vehicles|
Does Enterprise Sell Used Cars?
Enterprise offers a wide inventory of used cars from their vast nationwide network of car rental locations. The company also offers a fast online purchasing process with its Accelerated Customer Experience (ACE) program. The company also offers personalized vehicle protection options. You can find both non-luxury and luxury vehicles for sale from Enterprise.
How to Buy a Car from Enterprise
Buying a vehicle from Enterprise is an easy five-step process:
- Search Online. You can search Enterprise’s entire network of vehicles for sale online.
- Contact the Dealership. If you find the vehicle you want at a local Enterprise location, you can contact the dealership to see if the vehicle is available for a test drive.
- Test Drive. Visit the dealership and test drive the vehicle.
- Get an Inspection. You can bring a mechanic to the dealership to inspect the vehicle or have the vehicle taken to the mechanic for an inspection.
- Review the Vehicle History Report. Read the free CARFAX report to check on the vehicle’s maintenance and accident history.
Does Enterprise Offer Financing?
Enterprise does not offer its own auto loans. However, the company can connect you to financing primarily through Chase and other partnering banks and credit unions.
In addition to getting a loan through Enterprise, you can also bring your own loan.
To apply for an auto loan through Enterprise, you will complete the following steps:
- Provide information, including employment and income verification.
- Complete the loan application.
- Receive a financing offer from a member bank or credit union.
Does Enterprise Offer Trade-Ins?
Enterprise also accepts trade-ins. You can start the trade-in process online by using Enterprise’s trade-in valuation tools. During the trade-in process, you will go through the following steps:
- To start the trade-in process, you will have to provide the vehicle for inspection along with the following paperwork: Vehicle ownership verification, outstanding loan information, a driver’s licence.
- The vehicle is handed off to an appraiser who will perform a visual inspection of the vehicle as well as test drive the vehicle.
- The appraiser will check third party tools and use recent market data to determine a trade-in value for the vehicle.
- You can choose to accept the trade-in offer which will be factored into the purchase price of your vehicle.
Enterprise Protection Plans
Enterprise offers several different protection plans for all of its vehicles. Currently, there are five plans available:
- Mechanical Protection Plan. You have multiple coverage options plus additional benefits such as 24-hour roadside assistance, towing, and flat tire change.
- Gap Insurance. Protects you in case of a total loss of the vehicle. Gap insurance covers the difference between what your insurance pays and what you owe.
- Tire and Wheel. Protects your tire from damage from road hazards like nails, potholes, and rocks. Includes 24-hour roadside assistance, towing, and flat tire change service.
- Windshield. Repairs and replaces a windshield due to cracks or breaks.
- LoJack. Provides vehicle location in case of theft. The only vehicle protection system integrated with law enforcement.
What is the Enterprise Accelerated Customer Experience?
With the Enterprise Accelerated Customer Experience or ACE, you can complete the used car buying process online. This allows you to streamline the process. In fact, you can complete the online portion of the purchasing experience in anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes.
- Wide selection of vehicles through their nationwide network
- Competitive prices
- 7 day return purchase policy
- No price negotiation
- Doesn’t offer their own loans
- High transfer/delivery fees
Does Hertz Sell Used Cars?
Hertz offers a wide selection of luxury and non-luxury used vehicles that are less than two years old. The company also offers home delivery of vehicles as well as a vehicle return policy. You can shop for a used vehicle at Hertz sales locations nationwide.
How to Buy a Car from Hertz
Here is a look at the steps involved in buying a vehicle from Hertz:
- Search Hertz’s Online Sales Site. You can search the company’s nationwide database of vehicles for sale from their sales site.
- Test Drive. Schedule a free 2-hour test drive or take the vehicle on a 3-day test rental. The fee is waived on a 3-day test rental if you buy the vehicle.
- Apply for Financing. You can apply for a loan through Hertz or a partner bank.
- Complete the Purchase. Once you have received financing, you can complete the vehicle sale.
Does Hertz Offer Financing?
You can apply for financing through Hertz as well as through member banks. Here’s a look at the process involved with financing through Hertz:
- Submit the needed paperwork.
- Supply the needed information, including employment and income history.
- Accept the financing offered through Hertz or a partner bank.
Does Hertz Offer Trade-Ins?
Hertz does allow trade-in vehicles. You can begin the trade-in process by submitting an online form. You can also have your vehicle appraised online as well as in person. Here are the steps involved with trading in a vehicle at Hertz:
- Submit information about your vehicle as well as the required documentation.
- Take the vehicle to the nearest Hertz sales location to have your vehicle appraised. During the appraisal process, the vehicle is visually inspected and then taken on a test drive.
- The appraiser will use third-party tools and market information to create an offer for your trade-in.
- Accept the offer and complete the paperwork.
Hertz Protection Plans
Hertz offers seven protection plan options that can give you some excellent peace of mind.
- Hertz Warranty. This warranty comes with a 12-month, 12,000-mile protection plan and additional benefits such as roadside assistance, rental coverage, and total breakdown protection.
- Road Hazard Tire and Wheel Protection Plan. This coverage provides tire and wheel replacement from road hazards such as nails, potholes, or glass.
- Vehicle Protection Plans. Provides three levels of plans that allow you to max out coverage up to 105,000 miles.
- Gap Insurance. Gap insurance covers your vehicle in case of a total loss. This coverage pays the difference between what the insurance pays you and how much you owe on the vehicle.
- Pre-Paid Maintenance. This plan partners with Pep Boys to provide maintenance for anywhere from 2 to 6 years. Services include lube and oil change, multi-point inspections, and tire rotations.
- Technology Protection. Protects the vehicle’s driver assistance features, audio/visual equipment, and accessories. Plan can include coverage up to 100,000 miles with a $100 deductible.
- Katzkin Leather. Add premium leather to your vehicle. Available for one row at $1,845, two rows at $1,995 and three rows at $2,320.
- Ding Sheild. Protects from ding damage to the vehicle. Available in two levels: Ding Damage Plus and Ding Damage Ultimate.
What Is Hertz Home Delivery?
Hertz offers a home delivery process that allows you to take delivery of the vehicle at your residence. During the home delivery process, you can choose the vehicle online. Afterward, Hertz sends the documents to your home. Finally, the vehicle is delivered to your doorstep.
What Is Hertz Buy Back Guarantee?
If you are not happy with your vehicle, you can return it to Hertz within seven days and receive the full purchase price of your vehicle minus $200 for a cleaning and recertification fee.
- Offers vehicles that are Hertz Certified through a 115-point inspection
- Vehicles are no more than 18 months old
- 7 day return purchase policy
- No price negotiation
- Prices are higher than other rental car companies
- No maintenance records are provided for vehicles
Does Avis Sell Used Cars?
Avis sells a wide variety of used vehicles, including a big inventory of vehicles for sale under $15,000. Avis also offers their Ultimate Test Drive program that allows you to test drive the vehicle for free for 2 hours or a 2-day vehicle rental at a reduced rate. You can shop Avis’s entire used vehicle online or visit one of their many sales locations.
How to Buy a Car from Avis
Here are the steps involved from buying a vehicle from Avis:
- Search Online. You can search across the country from the Avis sales site.
- Have the Vehicle Inspected. If the vehicle is located near you, you can have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic.
- Test Drive. Test drive the vehicle to see if it is right for you.
- Offer a Trade-in. You can offer a trade-in for your vehicle.
- Finalize Sale. Complete paperwork and finalize the sale of the vehicle.
Does Avis Offer Financing?
Avis does offer their own financing as well as financing through partner banks and credit unions. Here are the steps involved in financing at Avis:
- Submit the needed paperwork, including income and employment verification
- Choose between Avis or a partner bank
- Accept financing terms
Does Avis Offer Trade-Ins?
Avis does accept trade-ins on vehicle sales. Here are the steps involved in a trade-in at Avis:
- Bring your vehicle along with your ID and proof of ownership of the vehicle.
- The vehicle will undergo a 20 to 30-minute appraisal. During the appraisal process, the appraiser will perform a visual inspection of the vehicle and take it on a test drive.
- Using third-party tools and market value data, the appraiser will determine your vehicle’s value.
- If you accept the appraisal, you can complete the paperwork on the trade-in.
Avis Protection Plans
Avis provides some vehicle protection programs. However, the specific details of their protection programs are not specified on their website.
What Is Avis Ultimate Test Drive?
With the Avis Ultimate Test drive, you can test drive any vehicle in a simple 3 step process:
- Browse the inventory online and book a test drive.
- Test drive the car for free for 2 hours or test drive the vehicle for 2 days at a reduced rate of $70 per day.
- If you buy the vehicle, the $70 a day rental is waived.
- Vehicles are low mileage and no more than 2 years old.
- All scheduled maintenance completed on all vehicles.
- No price negotiation
- No return policy
- Limited amount of luxury vehicles available
Pricing & Inventory Comparison
- Enterprise. Enterprise offers over 10,000 vehicles from $6,000. If you are looking for a wide variety of vehicles under $10,000, Enterprise will be your best choice.
- Hertz. Hertz has over 8,000 vehicles for sale from $10,000. Hertz really excels when it comes to luxury vehicles. You can find some excellent deals on BMW, Land Rover, and Porsche models.
- Avis. Avis does well when it comes to low mileage vehicles since their entire inventory is less than two years old. Also, Avis vehicles have all received their regularly scheduled maintenance.
- Enterprise. Enterprise does not offer its own financing. However, Enterprise does offer financing through a number of partner banks.
- Hertz. Hertz offers its own financing as well as financing through its partner banks and credit unions.
- Avis. Avis offers financing as well as financing through its partner banks and credit unions.
Test Drives & Returns Comparison
- Enterprise. Enterprise offers a free test drive of their vehicles.
- Hertz. Hertz offers a free two hour test drive as well as a three day rental of the vehicle. The rental fee is waived if you purchase the vehicle.
- Avis. Avis offers its Ultimate Test Drive program, where you can test drive the vehicle for free for two hours. You can also test drive the vehicle for two days at a reduced rental rate. The rental fee is waived if you purchase the vehicle.
Special Incentives Comparison
- Enterprise. Enterprise offers monthly incentives, including national promotions and featured vehicles. Enterprise also offers discounts for college graduates and first-time buyers.
- Hertz. Hertz offers $300 off for AAA members as well as monthly promotions.
- Avis. Avis offers limited-time promotions. Examples include no-money-down deals and no payments for 90-days.
- Enterprise. You can purchase a vehicle from any dealership in the Enterprise network. There is a transfer fee for any vehicle from out of your state. The vehicle is delivered from the dealership of origin to your local dealership.
- Hertz. Hertz offers home delivery of your vehicle through its Hertz Home Delivery program. With the program, you select the vehicle online. Afterward, the paperwork is delivered to your home. Finally, the vehicle is delivered to your desired address. A delivery fee of anywhere between $175 to $1,000 applies.
- Avis. All Avis vehicle deliveries occur at your local Avis location. However, you do have the option to have the vehicle’s paperwork delivered to your home.
Protection Plan Comparison
- Enterprise. You have the option of five protection plans including mechanical protection, gap insurance, tire & wheel, windshield, and LoJack protection.
- Hertz. Hertz gives you the most amount of options when it comes to protection plans. Also, Hertz offers some unique plans such as technology coverage, ding protection, pre-paid maintenance, and leather seating upgrades.
- Avis. There are several protection plans available. However, they are not specified on their website. You will want to contact the dealer for more information.
Enterprise, Hertz, or Avis? What’s the Best?
Overall, Enterprise, Hertz, and Avis offer pretty similar inventory and prices. However, there are some clear winners if you are looking for a specific type of deal. Here’s a look at what each rental car company excels at as well.
If you're looking for bargain vehicles...
Enterprise offers some models that are over two years old. These vehicles are available for under $10,000. Therefore, if you are looking for a lower-priced, used vehicle, Enterprise is your best choice.
If you're looking for luxury vehicles...
Looking to score a deal on a luxury vehicle? Then you will want to check out what Hertz has to offer. The company has a number of vehicles available from Land Rover, BMW, and Porsche.
If you're looking for low mileage, well-maintained vehicles...
All vehicles on sale at Avis are under two years. Many of these vehicles have less than 40,000 miles. Also, all vehicles for sale from Avis have had their regularly scheduled maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best rental company to buy a used car from?
Overall, Enterprise offers you the widest selection with a number of vehicles under $10,000. The company also offers competitive terms when it comes to its warranty and return policy.
Is it worth buying a used car from a rental company?
Rental companies offer newer vehicles that have been well maintained. In many cases, the vehicles are priced below Kelly Blue Book value. Also, rental companies have a non-negotiation policy when it comes to their pricing. This may be ideal for people who do not want to haggle with a dealership.
Can I return a car I bought through Enterprise, Hertz, or Avis?
All three rental companies offer a seven-day return policy. Enterprise requires a $200 fee for the returned vehicle, while Hertz and Avis do not require a restocking fee.
Do car rental companies offer financing?
Hertz and Avis offer their own financing along with financing through partner banks and credit unions. Enterprise offers financing through member partners and banks only.
Do rental car companies offer test drives when buying?
All rental car companies offer free test drives. Hertz and Avis offer discounted rental rates on multi-day test drives. These rental fees are waived if the vehicle is purchased.
Are there any deals on used cars from rental companies?
All three rental companies will have occasional promotions on a selection of used vehicles. These deals can include discount pricing or reduced monthly payments.
Can you negotiate the price with car rental companies?
Enterprise, Hertz, and Avis have non-negotiable prices on all of their vehicles.
Is Hertz still selling used cars?
As of this writing, Hertz is still selling used vehicles.