Enterprise

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Enterprise... car sales? Only for the passive buyer!

May 19, 2004
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Relatively low prices...

Cons:Not at all flexible with prices and inexperienced salesman.

The Bottom Line: Go to a car dealership.


I must admit that I have never rented a car from Enterprise, but I would like to share my car buying experience with this company, basically to warn others not to waste their time.

Recently in the market for a newer used car, I was surprised to learn from Edmunds.com that rental car companies could be a great place for bargains. I visited Enterprise's website, which listed cars for sale in my area. Not only did I find the exact car that I was looking for, it was a year old and listed at a fairly low price. I sent an e-mail and an Enterprise representative called me within 5 minutes and said that they could have the car in my area by the end of the day. I was very impressed.

However, upon arriving at the Enterprise office, I noticed that the salesman seemed inexperienced and awkward. After looking at the car, I asked the saleman for a Carfax, the vehicle's service records and the warranty information. He told me that he did not have those on site, but could probably get them from another office. I then asked if I could take the car to my mechanic (a must for a rental car), he was hesitant and told me that they did not usually do that. He explained that their "7 day return policy" would allow me to buy the car, THEN take it to mechanic and that I could return it if there was a problem. After I insisted, he finally got permission from his "manager" and allowed me to take the car.

After getting a good report from my mechanic, I returned to Enterprise in hopes of working out a reasonable deal on their car and for my trade-in. I sat down and the salesman sent in whom I assume was the more experienced "closer". They gave me a figure far lower for my trade-in than I had been given by other car dealers. I refused the price and the closer went into his manager's office to try to get the price that I wanted. We were left to wait in the office for about 25 minutes, which I realize is a control game played by real car salesman.

When he returned he gave me a slightly higher, but still low price for my trade-in. I then asked if he was willing to lower the price of their car in order to close the deal. The two salesman then explained their "no haggle" policy, which was that they listed their car prices below Kelly Blue Book values so that clients would not have to negotiate a good deal. However, as an informed buyer, I knew that their prices were still higher than Edmunds True Market Value listings and that I could have negotiated a lower price at a dealership. The salesman then told me that their policies were best for uninformed buyers who had not done their research and did not want to negotiate. Hmmm....

The salesman never did get the warranty and service records that I had requested. I got mostly excuses.

In sum, I was very bothered by the fact that the salesman admitted that their program was targeted at the uninformed car buyer. I did find that their prices were fair, but that was cancelled out by the fact that the prices were not flexible and the price on my trade-in was below that of other dealers. Further, their "seven day return" policy is ridiculous and buyers should beware of any seller who wont allow a buyer to take the car to a mechanic BEFORE the sale. If you are looking to get a low price on a used car, it may be worth checking out Enterprise, but just be very careful and don't be fooled by their bunk policies. Myself, I went to a dealership and got the price that I wanted from a seasoned car salesman at a dealership.


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