Would you buy a former fleet vehicle?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by ColorguardJames, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. ColorguardJames

    ColorguardJames Junior Member

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    To dig deeper on one of the options I have, I'm looking at a 2013 Toyota Prius 3 with 75,000 miles. I like the fact that it has a sunroof, bisque interior, and is priced at $11,500. My concern, however, is that it was a former fleet vehicle in Arizona and it put on 60,000 miles in its first three years.

    After some cosmetic issues with my current vehicle, a 2012 Prius 4 with 35,000 miles, I have the option to swap vehicles, which would end up saving me about $4,000 over the 15,900 purchase price on that car.

    The thing I miss most is a moonroof, but are the 40,000 more miles worth it? Here are some photos and links to check it out:

    Carfax Vehicle Listing

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  2. paprius4030

    paprius4030 My first Prius

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    The thing that would worry me is why 3 owners? Seems like the 2nd and 3rd owner didn't keep if very long, one wonders why?
     
  3. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    I rent vehicles all the time, Hertz President Circle. I drive the rental cars as I would my own... most of the time. But sometimes you do things like taking it where it shouldn't be (like offroading in the deserts by Palm Springs with a Nissan Maxima) or opening it up a little more than usual (Pacific Coast Highway in a Mercedes E-Class).

    They take care of their cars with regular maintenance and no one person has it long enough to completely ruin it. A 3+ year old fleet vehicle, I would consider because that's when it is retired. But a 1-2 year old fleet vehicle, means they are dumping a lemon.
     
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  4. mmmodem

    mmmodem Taste Tester

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    I recently purchased a one year old used former rental car with 26k on the odometer. Why?

    1. It is in the best interest of the company to properly maintain their vehicles. So I trust them to take care of their vehicles more than clueless car owners.

    2. Yes, people abuse rentals but so do owners of their own cars. I'll agree they are more likely to be abused than owners do to their own cars.

    In my opinion, likely better maintenance versus likely worse abuse makes it a wash. I consider fleet or rental vehicles like homes next to power lines. They are perfectly fine but make sure you get a discount on it because the industry doesn't think that way. Higher mileage doesn't bother me because it is factored into the price of the car.
     
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  5. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Senior Member

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    Maybe, but maybe not. The company knows for a fact that it will be getting rid of the car in three years. Near the end of that period the company has no financial interest in maintaining the car since they will be getting rid of it. Why would they do long-term preventive maintenance on a car they are unloading (assuming that it is not something that can be easily seen/detected)?

    Right now, I have a older car that is nearing the end of its life. Every maintenance decision includes a calculation of the fact that the car will be "dead" within a year or so. It often doesn't make financial sense for me to fix something that is "going bad" or even "is bad," knowing that the car just needs to get by for a year or so. Same with fleet owners.
     
  6. mmmodem

    mmmodem Taste Tester

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    What you're describing is something that affects both fleet vehicles and owner operated vehicle. You yourself are doing what you believe the fleet operators would. In effect there is no advantage for either case. It's "maybe or maybe not" for both.

    That is the point I was making. There is risk in both cases. But the risk doesn't heavily favor one or the other in my opinion.
     
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  7. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    +1.

    The only way to avoid any risk is to buy new(y).
     
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  8. ColorguardJames

    ColorguardJames Junior Member

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    If anyone is familiar with higher mileage Prii could take a look at the listing/Carfax and could give me their analysis, I'd appreciate it! I'm trying to weigh my options and I know this forum has a lot of knowledgeable parties.
     
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  9. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Senior Member

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    +1. Of course, you can reduce the risk of purchasing used by getting complete maintenance records, something not usually offered with fleet vehicles.
     
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  10. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Nice color combo (We own the exact same):).

    There is 166 k miles on our 2010 Prius II and going strong;).

    This looks clean enough and the vehicle history doesn’t raise any red flags to me.

    If you are concerned about time spent in the AZ sun and it will weigh heavy on your mind, I would move onto another Prius. There are plenty of Prii in the sea;).

    If it were me, the price looks good and if it were mine, I would monitor fluid levels regularly until I established good baselines. Once outside of the HV battery warranty, I would look into the Hybrid Automotive Prolong Battery maintenance equipment and install the harness. This is something I have done in our Prius and it has worked well(y).

    Good luck (y).
     
  11. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Just in case you don't know, that's more than just a moonroof* it's the solar roof option which is way more useful than just a hole cut out with moveable glass placed on top.



    * What's the difference between a sunroof and a moonroof anyways?
     
  12. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    If the carfax shows upkeep was done then go for it. Hanslee Davis had a lot of 2014 and up Prius C 1 thru 4 that were fleets with 10k to 20k miles without maintenance on carfaxs, those I wouldn't even test drive. True, some fleets take good care of them, some fleets don't.

    Also I'll admit to being one of those people, whenever I have a rental vehicle, I know roads with no cops patroling and floor the rental abusively just to see how it drives.
     
  13. Bay Stater

    Bay Stater Senior Member

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    Even if the Carfax checks out on maintenance, one would expect moderate wear and tear on the exterior and interior. As I write this, renting a 2017 Kia Soul with 23K miles from Hertz. Exterior: scratches in many spots, a large scuff mark on the right front bumper corner. Interior: cloth front seats are spotty. Trim has some scuff marks. So expect some blemishes. I generally treat car rentals as if they're my own.(y)
     
  14. ColorguardJames

    ColorguardJames Junior Member

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    Well, it sold...
     
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    probably for the best.(y)
     
  16. MelonPrius

    MelonPrius Active Member

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    It's a moot issue with this specific car, but I wonder why people assume it was a rental car? Is there any way to tell for sure?

    I wouldn't touch a rental car. But, I'd buy a pre-owned company car, driven by an field sales rep. That's what comes to mind when I see corporate fleet. In this scenario, there's a good chance that a large portion of the miles would have been highway, and the company usually pays for maintenance.
     
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  17. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Reading your previous thread, I'm a little confused as to your situation.
    If I'm reading right, due to some poor workmanship done on your vehicle the dealership is offering you full paid value on your Prius if used as a trade in?
    But does that mean you can only "trade" for an available vehicle on the dealerships lot or in their inventory?

    That actually get's a little tricky.

    The value put's you right in that zone of potentially newer, but not really new enough to not come without some risk.

    I guess my advice is if you decide to do this deal....that is trade in for full paid value...be sure you like what you are getting.
     
  18. BZzap!

    BZzap! Senior Member

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    Now a Days it’s very common for company fleet vehicle to be leased through companies like ARI Global Fleet Management. In doing so, companies have the advantage of hands-free record keeping and maintenance reminders, etc.. Therefore, these types of leases pretty much insure that the leasor takes the proper measures to insure required maintenance is adhered to. This is not to say that the car (vehicle) cannot be abused but if so, a company can be heavily dinged at the end of the lease. So, it’s in their best interest to take care of the vehicle.
    I know the car you were considering was sold but this is just informational.
     
  19. James Powers

    James Powers Senior Member

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    This post may die since the OP questionable car has sold - but I agree with this reply ^^^^^^ mine was a "fleet vehicle" but was driven by field sales for a construction company. It had 82k on it when I bought it and I've put 11k on it commuting over 100 miles M-F with zero issues and still see 54 mpg average on it.

    I think if you weigh your options and let go of the "buying a car blinders" or can see past the tunnel vision people tend to get when buying a car, and really check the car out. You should be fine buying a fleet vehicle so long as you know what version of fleet it belonged to. Also, and I could be totally wrong but your best bet would be to buy it from Toyota - they are more willing to giving you their warranty than some corner car lot that may only give you the standard 90 days..
     
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