When buying a car, everyone is faced with two options; take the more expensive route and get a brand new car from a dealership or save some money and opt for a used car. While the majority of buyers are likely to go for the second option, there is still another choice available down this route. Used rental cars are a fantastic option to consider.

Many buyers would be wary of ex-rental vehicles because of the common notion that these cars are put through the wringer – some say that the fastest car in the world is a rental car! However, used rental cars are actually rigorously maintained in line with the manufacturers’ service schedules and generally only have a few thousand kilometres on the clock when they are retired.

In South Africa, it’s possible to find a used rental car with as little as 4000km. This means that the car is almost brand new, so the engine and all of the components will be in fantastic condition. Buy one from a reputable dealer and you can drive away in the bargain of a lifetime. 

Buying a new model at a large discount

Formex Industries is a leading manufacturer of automotive components and assemblies, so many of the parts that we produce are used on rental fleets. Some of our original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers sell their cars to rental companies on a yearly basis, so the used vehicles get replaced with little mileage or wear and tear. 

In fact, the majority of ex-rental cars on the second-hand market are younger than 24 months old. This means that South African buyers can pick up the latest model of their favourite hatchback, sedan or SUV for a fraction of the regular price, just because it has been used by a rental agency.

In addition, most rental companies will replace damaged or broken parts with OEM-approved components before renting the car to the next customer. This means that these vehicles are incredibly well-maintained at all times. They are thoroughly cleaned at the end of each contract and their insurance covers all types of damage, from chipped windows and scratched wheels to burst tyres and broken headlights.

Rental cars can be found online

As with any second-hand car, used rental cars can be purchased online. There are many sites that specialise in used car sales in South Africa, so visit your preferred used car website and keep an eye out for any ex-rental vehicles. These should be clearly listed in the description.

In addition, look for used rental cars that are still under their original warranty and service plan. This could save you a lot of time and money should something unusual happen with the engine or any of the parts. What’s more, this delivers value for money that you’re unlikely to find when buying a used car with way more mileage.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a full service history or to have the car looked at by your preferred mechanic. When buying any used vehicle, you have the right to perform your own assessment of the mechanical and body components. Take the car for a test drive; listen out for any unusual noises, see if there are any signs of accident damage and feel for any shudders or shakes.

Used rental cars are just like any other second-hand vehicle, but many buyers avoid them due to misconceptions about their treatment. However, you could be missing out on a massive bargain by overlooking these vehicles. At Formex, we like to inform our readers about automotive-related issues, and the recent price increases of used cars means that ex-rental vehicles are a worthy consideration.


Formex Industries is a metal forming and assembly company that supplies a variety of complex products to the local automotive industry and the export market. The company is based in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropole, South Africa’s foremost region for automotive manufacturing and export.

Formex is a supplier with 69% black ownership, of which 37% are black women. The company is owned by Deneb Investments Limited – a subsidiary of Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited (HCI) – one of South Africa’s biggest true B-BBEE companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

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