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Tips for upgrading a rental car fleet with new cars

Upgrading an entire rental fleet of cars can be a daunting task, but it needn't be too stressful if you are properly prepared. Being prepared for such a large task can take some time, so make sure you start well before the matter becomes urgent. Spend time investigating all the cars that are in the current fleet, and determine what you should be looking for in new cars.
"Buying in bulk" usually guarantees securing a better price; as we've all seen those "buy bulk and save" stickers on food packaging at your local supermarket. For this reason, look for wholesale deals where you could possibly get a whole range of new cars at a reduced price. This can also be achieved by attending auctions where you can put in bids on cars.

You might even see yourself walking away with a better bargain than initially planned. Keep in mind that these auctions are often closed off to the general public, and will only be open to dealers who actually have a dealership license. This could work to the dealers' advantage if there aren't too many other dealers present. But with too many present, the auction price could sky-rocket very quickly as more parties are interested in placing a bid.
Image: QuickPic

Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when attending a wholesale car auction:
  1. Before placing a final bid on a car, always test the merchandise! This means you will need to climb into the car, investigate the interior for possible damage, start the car to listen to how the engine sounds, and also walk around the outside of the car to determine whether there is any external damage. You need to be 100% sure that you check each of the cars you are bidding on for hidden damage or flaws.

  2. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate! This is especially true if you aren't at an auction, because you could have more control over the final price. Don't settle for the first price mentioned, but rather try to arrange a lower price based on your observations of the types of cars available, and their features. The less features available on a car, the lower you could possible get the price.

  3. Pick your price. Set a budget before you go near any car auctions or wholesales, and do your utmost to stick to it! Before you set foot in an auction venue, consider what you actually need out of the cars you will be buying. What is the purpose they will serve, how long will they need to last, and how many people should be able to fit in each car? Make sure the car specifications suit your needs before you make a final bid.

  4. Decide to stick to your budget no matter what. Don't give in to peer pressure, or try too hard to compete with other bidders. Your goal is to save money, so try not to be too impulsive with your spending, but rather reasonable.

  5. Ignore #4 only if the deal is absolutely worth it - ONLY if it is an unbeatable, once-in-a-lifetime offer. The auctioneers will tell you that every offer is a once-in-a-lifetime offer, but if you have done your research and know exactly what you want and need, you will be able to make a better-informed decision.

Bonus tip:
  • You don't always need to buy in bulk, but if you decide to buy one vehicle at a time, make 100% sure you are getting the absolute best price possible. To do this, compare models from different dealers, do research beforehand, and SHOP AROUND - don't settle for the first available option.
    Search online on South African websites and make a few calls if need be to help make the best purchase possible. Do your research, and you won't be able to go wrong in finding the option that best suits your needs.

  • Sources:
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    Cars Direct
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    About Stephen Sandmann

    Stephen Sandmann is a Senior Digital Strategist at Quirk. He has a keen interest in everything digital.