Used cars that used to be rentals

(CONSUMER REPORTS) - Did you know that many used cars actually come from car-rental companies? Some people buy rental cars from used-car dealerships without even realizing it. If you’re in the market for a used car, make sure you know where it came from. Consumer Reports reveals how.

When you’re buying a used car, it’s important to know the vehicle’s history. For example, was it in a flood or was it a rental car? Some important details might change your mind about buying a car. You can check the history of a car by looking up the VIN, or vehicle identification number, at Carfax, an online service that provides information about used cars.

Consumer Reports also says it’s a good idea to get any used car you’re considering inspected by an independent mechanic before you buy it. That can be a better indicator of the car’s history and what its condition is today.

In addition to Carfax, consumers can also use AutoCheck to look up a vehicle’s history. Keep in mind that these services aren’t free; they cost about $30. To check for recalls, go to Safercar.gov. You can also get a free VINCheck report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau to see whether a car has been reported stolen or declared as salvage.