How can I find a rent-to-own car?

Updated March 23, 2017

If you badly need a car but you can't afford to buy a new one right away, there is an option for people in your situation. Rent-to-own cars are now available and affordable for those who do not have enough cash to purchase a new auto. This option varies from a traditional lease because you own the car at the end of the contract, whereas you must purchase the car or trade it in at the end of a lease. Payments on rent-to-own cars are flexible and often are allowed weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. If you think you this is for you, consider the following steps for you to find the right rent-to-own car.

Find a good car dealer. You will want to check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure the car dealer you choose has a good record. If you know people who have purchased cars from the dealers, get a reference from them. A good car dealer will provide you with flexible payment options and provide dependable cars. The dealer should help you look for a vehicle that suits your needs and not try to persuade you to choose a car that the dealer wants to sell. Scour the car market for good offers and easy-to-pay plans in which payments are flexible and you can help determine what payment is best. Speak to a sales manager for details to make sure you know what you are doing.

Choose a car. Think of your needs when making the selection. You might want to consider the kind of work you do, the size of your family, the distances you travel daily and your frequency of vehicle use. Determine whether the vehicle's price and gas mileage costs are affordable on your budget.

Speak to the sales manager for details of the agreement. Find out everything about repairs, warranty and finance requirements. New and used cars often offer warranties; some repairs to the car may be covered under the warranty. Seek a rent-to-own vehicle with a warranty. Ask the dealer first if his cars have warranties. Clarify terms of payments and how much you have to pay initially for the vehicle. With this information, you can determine whether the vehicle will fit your budget.

Negotiate rental charges. The price of the car is the rental charge. However, the dealer also may charge interest. The dealer will compute the rental charge, which is the price of the car, and interest to determine the term of the contract and the payment amount. It is best to negotiate the price of the car because you may ultimately lower the rent-to-own price.

Gather your required information before you go to sign the agreement. Make sure you know what the dealer needs. Some car dealers require proof of employment; proof of insurance and, of course, your driver's license.

Things You'll Need

  • Driver's license
  • Proof of income
  • Employment verification
  • Proof of insurance
  • Upfront rental charge
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About the Author

Jennifer Allen obtained her Bachelor of Arts in economics and a Bachelor of Arts in political science, and has worked in finance since May 2006. She completed her Master of Arts in human resource management in December 2009. Allen has written a variety of articles that are published on various websites.