The smart choice: Why buying a second-hand car Is cheaper than rental

In recent times, the global car shortage has led to a surge in rental costs, making it increasingly expensive to hire a vehicle for your travel needs. According to a report by Autosclash, the looming car rental apocalypse has left travelers searching for alternative solutions. 

Car rentals prices have remained relatively high, long after the pandemic-related shortage. In other words, rentals are still higher than they were before the pandemic or during the first year of the pandemic. The reason is simple: The U.S., along with the rest of the world, fails to overcome the car shortage in the rental sector. So, if you need to hire a car for a trip, you are likely to be paying through the nose. 

In light of this, buying a used vehicle has emerged as a cost-effective approach for upcoming trips. Here’s how to make it work.


You may only be buying a used car for the duration of a trip, but it doesn’t mean you should take your choice lightly. While the front payment may be higher than a rental, purchasing a second-hand car can be a short-term investment. You can sell the vehicle at the end of your trip, which is where you can expect your total car investment to be cheaper than with a rental. 

Therefore, it is crucial to take the time to research and select the right vehicle. In a previous blog, we strongly advise against impulsive decisions as you need to evaluate factors such as reliability, fuel efficiency, maintenance costs and resale value. You want to prioritize vehicles with a good track record. 


We get it: You only intend to use the car for the duration of a trip. Yet, it doesn’t mean you should skip insurance fees. You can still cancel your insurance plan once you sell the vehicle. But for the time being, a cost-effective plan such as is the best solution to protect your car. Even during a short period, accidents can happen and you don’t want to be left dealing with the financial consequences of uninsured vehicles. Temporary insurance cover or inexpensive cover can ensure protection against unforeseen circumstances. 


To preserve the value of your used vehicle and maximize its resale potential, regular maintenance is essential. Even if you only purchase the car for a trip, you will need to dedicate some time to maintenance routine, such as tire checks, brake inspection, and oil changes. This will not only prevent major issues from arising throughout the trip, but it will also make the car more desirable when it comes to selling it. 

Which maintenance tasks do you need: 

  • Brake checks
  • Tire checks
  • Washing
  • Waxing
  • Cleaning interior
  • Oil change
  • Battery update

Once the trip concludes, selling the used car can help recoup a significant portion of your investment. Comparatively, holidaymakers note that this option comes up cheaper and more profitable than a rental, based on today’s market prices. Online platforms, local dealerships, and private sales offer various avenues to sell the vehicle at the best possible price. 


Photo Credit: Angelo Moleele

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