Looking for a more affordable way to get your hands on a cheap-ish Tesla? Hertz Global Holdings Inc. has just made that wish come true.
On Thursday, Hertz announced its decision to sell approximately 20,000 electric vehicles (EVs) from its fleet, including a significant number of Tesla Model S sedans. This strategic move aims to strike a better balance between supply and anticipated demand for EVs, enabling Hertz to retire a disproportionate number of lower-margin rental vehicles and reduce expenses associated with EV damage.
Interestingly, this decision represents a significant shift for Hertz, which had placed a substantial order of 100,000 vehicles from Tesla in 2021. At that time, this deal had pushed Tesla’s valuation above the $1 trillion mark.
Collision and damage costs for EVs remained high in the fourth quarter, Hertz said in a regulatory filing. That’s because EVs require special tools and parts and specialist knowledge to repair after a crash, more so than traditional gas-powered vehicles.
The charge is on top of the depreciation costs the company expects to record in the quarter in the ordinary course of managing its fleet.
Now, the question arises: Is buying one of these EVs from Hertz a good deal for potential car buyers?
Well, as usual, it depends. On one hand you have the risk stemming from the fact that these are ex-rentals (some even ex-taxis) so probably had a harder life than an average Tesla sitting in someone’s driveway most of the time. On the other, the price/ratio might be actually favorable in this case…
As of Friday, there were 608 vehicles (down from 676 on Thursday so they probably are getting snapped-up).
Hertz’s listings included
Model Y Long Range SUV with 69,326 miles for $34,400.
It’s worth noting that many of the vehicles Hertz is selling already have 50,000 to 60,000 miles on them, even though they are only about a year old. Having said that, the cars do come with 96 months/100,000miles Manufacturer Battery Warranty so especially the newer models with less miles on the clock with be covered for a good while (depending on how much you drive of course).
As a reminder, there is now a tax credit of up to $4,000 available when buying a used EV that costs less than $25,000, assuming you meet the income caps.
Here are some we have picked:
Detail of the Tesla Model 3 for $22.600
Detail of Model 3 Base sedan for $25,700
A spokesperson for Hertz stated, “Hertz Car Sales offers competitive pricing at a non-negotiated price,” with vehicles available online and at brick-and-mortar sales locations.
Additionally, Hertz plans to sell multiple EV makes and models, with more options expected in 2024.
They also have a “Rent2Buy program” where you can rent a vehicle for up to three days or take a free two-hour test drive, with rental charges waived upon purchase – so the best thing is to get one of them and get busy – it’s advisable to have the vehicle inspected by an independent mechanic or technician, especially one knowledgeable about EVs.
Additionally, check the tires, as EVs are heavier than traditional gas-powered cars and require specialized tires capable of handling the increased weight.
If you manage all this within the 3 day period and everything comes clear, you can be pretty sure that the car is in a good nick and will serve you for a while without the need to worry about things going wrong.
What else to consider?
When considering the purchase of a used EV, bear in mind that mileage is not necessarily the most critical factor to consider. Instead, focus on the quality of the battery and tires, as these components can wear out faster than in gas-powered cars. Batteries, in particular, degrade with use, and they account for nearly 60% of an electric vehicle’s value. Tires, in comparison are a lot less expensive but last thing you want is to spend hundreds of dollars on tires right away. But again, if the rest of the car is good as is the price, worn tires should not stop you. In some cases, worn tires actually reveal potential issues – if the the tires are worn differently, it might suggest that the camber arm bushings are worn out and may need replacement.
Basic principles of used-car buying apply as well. Never purchase a car sight-unseen, and if the seller, including Hertz, does not allow you to inspect the vehicle with your mechanic, it’s best to avoid the purchase.
Essential considerations when buying an electric vehicle, whether used or new. Assess how often you will use it, whether you can charge it at home, and the charging infrastructure in your area. Charging convenience can significantly impact your EV ownership experience.
For many potential buyers, Hertz’s sale represents a cost-effective opportunity to own a Tesla. If you’ve been waiting for a more affordable way to enter the world of EV ownership, Hertz’s offering is worth considering. According to Robb, “Some of these units might be at a more attractive price point,” making it an appealing option for those in the market for a used EV.