Avis and AutoNation Team Up For Car Rental Buys

by Don Elliott on September 17, 2012

Between Hertz, Enterprise and Avis, Avis has the least aggressive company-owned structure for selling their rental cars directly to consumers. Instead, Avis has teamed up with AutoNation, one of the largest new car franchise operations, to power their used car sales.

When buying a car from Avis, the first step is shopping online for cars that are available for sale in your zip code. In September of 2012, Avis cars were only available for sale in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida and Nevada. However, Avis has been working to expand the opportunity to other states in the near future.

It is necessary to choose a car make and model within a zip code from one of the eligible states to see what might be available. For purposes of comparison, we looked up the popular Mazda 3 in the Los Angeles market and found 219 cars available for the Avis “Ultimate Test Drive” program. The I Touring model with 20,000 miles is available for $16,280. Similar to the other rental car sales program, Avis has “no haggle” pricing. If you want a less expensive car, choose one with more miles.

Once you have chosen a car that you like, shoppers are asked to call 866-315-4690 to talk to an AutoNation Direct Personal Consultant with questions, or to reserve your car tor a test drive. The Ultimate Test Drive Rental puts you in the car for up to 3 days at a reduced rental rate. The first two hours are free. If you buy the car, the rental fee will be reduced from the purchase price. You will need to pick up your Ultimate Test Drive Rental at a predetermined Avis or Budget location.

AutoNation facilitates the sale for Avis, but it is not necessary to go to an AutoNation dealership to complete the sale. In most cases, the sales documents can be completed at the designated Avis or Budget location, or they can be sent to your home or office for completion. Avis does not take trade-ins, but does offer some financing alternatives. It is necessary to talk to AutoNation Direct Personal Consultant to get the details on financing and for warranty options.

Avis sells most of its cars at dealer only wholesale auto auctions. A quick check of car dealers with Avis cars being sold on their lot indicates that the Avis asking price is slightly lower than the asking price from retail car dealers. The used car value provided by Avis includes the no-haggle pricing and the Ultimate Test Drive, maybe enough to encourage some buyers to avoid the dealership and buy off of the rental car lot. If you have access to a wholesale car auction in your area, you could consider checking to see if Avis vehicles are up for auction.

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