Electric car sales decline, Hertz sells off used Teslas to avoid haggling over the $25,000 price

The race to the $25,000 electric vehicle in the US auto market has been won, but not in the way the auto industry wanted.

Since January, Hertz Global Holdings has in Tesla sales mode, with 20,000 electric vehicles from its global fleet, representing nearly a third of the car rental company’s current electric vehicle inventory, on dealer lots. The move is seen as a stumble in Hertz’s electric vehicle strategy – by 2021, it advance planning ordering hundreds of thousands of battery-powered Teslas, Polestars and other GM models — also reflects the sharp rise of the electrification craze in the U.S. auto industry, which reached consumers in 2024, accelerating at least the expected pace of the transition away from gasoline-powered cars.

While electric vehicle sales in the US more than quadrupled from 2020 to 2023 and now account for more than 9% of all light vehicle sales, The growth rate has slowed down and automakers are focusing more on selling hybrid vehicles. However, the eventual transition to electric vehicles remains inevitable, as sticker prices increasingly align with those of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles – the cause of declining sales makes everything happen faster as auto companies try to move vehicles electric – battery technology improves driving range and expanding charging infrastructure. And there is a general need to reduce the climate-changing carbon emissions that cars and trucks produce.

Considering all that, now might be a good time to buy one of Hertz’s used Teslas through its storied brand. Selling Hertz cars division, in operation since 1977 and operating approximately 70 locations nationwide. Although like buying any used car – from independent manufacturers and dealers, online marketplaces or private owners – there are pros and cons.

On the plus side, Hertz has plenty of promoted electric vehicles for sale at what they call no-haggle prices. “Our electric vehicles can be found in most major cities nationwide and have an average price of around $25,000,” a Hertz spokesperson said. All Hertz certified vehicles receive a 115-point inspection and include a 12-month/12,000-mile limited powertrain warranty (whichever comes first). Hertz also offers vehicle protection plans that extend beyond the warranty period as well as a seven-day or 250-mile buyback guarantee. Hertz, like most used car retailers, offers vehicle trade-ins and financing services. Additionally, some used electric vehicles are eligible for rates up to $4,000. federal tax creditand some states offer tax credits or rebates.

On the downside, although Hertz’s new generation electric vehicle fleet is only a few years old, these vehicles are frequently rented so the mileage can be relatively higher than used vehicles. other uses. That could mean more wear and tear, as there’s no telling how hard they’ve been driven.

Interested auto consumers can consult various online sources in the electric vehicle buying process when it comes to Hertz and Teslas, and take virtual test drives. Of course, going to the dealership and taking a real test drive is a must, but there’s a lot to learn before leaving the factory. The “Buy an Electric Vehicle” button on the Hertz Car Sales website recently listed 1,475 of 1,638 used electric vehicles listed as “Hertz Certified.” There are 1,186 Teslas, 157 Volvos, 104 Mercedes, 125 Chevrolet Bolts and far fewer all-electric Kias and Suburus. (Of course, those numbers can change from day to day.)

Used EV prices are plummeting. a March learn of auto research firm iSeeCars found that average used car prices fell 3.6% over last year, although used electric vehicle prices plummeted 31.8%, or value 14,418 USD. iSeeCars executive analyst Karl Brauer said in the report that used Tesla prices fell 28.9%, the steepest drop of any brand, “largely due to Elon Musk drastically reduced prices on new Teslas.”

In April, iSeeCars reported that all four of Tesla’s models are among the best-selling used electric vehicles, with three of its models making the top four spots. “With an average price of $37,644, the best-selling used electric vehicles are $20,000 cheaper than the best-selling new electric vehicles,” Brauer said. “This is the price range that manufacturers need to narrow to attract new car shoppers.”

According to Yossi Levi, head of the electric car regulator, three years is considered the “sweet spot” for used electric cars, including used Teslas. Car dealer guy Opinions on buying new and used cars. “The best thing that benefits consumers in the market today is used electric vehicles,” he said. “And the best value purchase might be a three-year-old electric vehicle.”

Used Hertz Tesla Model 3 and nice print

The majority of Hertz’s used Teslas are 2022 and 2023 Model 3 sedans, which when new had a driving range of 270 miles for the base version and about 350 miles for the long-range version. Hertz Teslas cost between $21,000 and $36,000. The site also lists 163 Hertz Rent2Buy electric cars, including several Teslas. That refers to a package, offered in select states, that lets you rent a working rental car for up to three days or take a free two-hour test drive. “If you buy a car, all rental costs will be waived.” a Hertz spokesperson said. The same warranty and buyback guarantee applies.

Each Tesla for sale through Hertz includes general model information and detailed information about that specific vehicle. Icon AutoCheck (an alternative to CarFax) provides a car’s history report, including accidents, recalls, and maintenance/repairs. There is one notable caveat: Not all damage-related events are reported to AutoCheck. It recommends having a used car inspected by a third party before purchasing.

While a test drive and third-party inspection is recommended, you can complete the entire transaction with Hertz online and have the vehicle delivered for a fee. Fees start at $225 for deliveries within 75 miles, go up to $350 for up to 200 miles, and are negotiable for longer distances. That could be an option if, say, the buyer lives in Massachusetts and finds the perfect car in Colorado.

Tesla direct sales, online car marketplace

Meanwhile, Tesla’s official website has information on all of its new and used vehicles, all of which are certified, tested and warrantied by the manufacturer. As expected, the site has listed more used cars than Hertz, dating back to 2018. Model 3 prices range from $24,000 to $38,800.

You can also buy a used Tesla through a number of different online marketplaces. For example, CarMax has listed 38 2021 Model 3s, mostly long-range versions and priced between $26,000 and $37,000, largely depending on mileage. Carvana has 133 identical models, priced from $26,000 to $38,000.

Ask AI gene to assist in the car buying process

In 2024, there’s another big change in the car shopping experience: artificial intelligence is introduced into the role of sales assistant. Late last year, ChatGPT tools were launched by auto research and shopping sites Edmunds and CarGurus. Accessing the chatbots requires a ChatGPT Plus subscription for $20 a month.

Prompting the Edmunds bot with the following question – “I’m thinking of buying a used Telsa Model 3 from Hertz Car Sales. Can you provide information and advice?” – resulted in this response:

“Could be a great decision,” ChatGPT said. It then lists the Model 3’s features and reiterates Hertz’s certified and no-haggle pricing policies. It suggests checking battery health, software updates, and whether Tesla’s original warranty is still valid. Like Hertz, the bot recommends a test drive and independent inspection.

The same question posed to the CarGurus GenAI tool resulted in a half-dozen used Model 3s and links to dealer listings on the CarGurus website, but no mention of Hertz. Next question – “Can you tell me about the 2022 Tesla Model 3s being sold by Hertz Car Sales?” — offers similar lists, plus some perfunctory points about purchasing through Hertz.

When prompted to compare buying a used Tesla from Hertz versus a Tesla dealership; and a used car dealer or a private owner, the bot clearly described the benefits and drawbacks of each, concluding with the following advice: “Consider what factors are most important to you — such as price, warranty and peace of mind — when making your decision.”

The chatbots won’t make decisions for car buyers, but both chatbots condense a lot of information that a standard online search wouldn’t take long to compile from many separate sources – including the websites Edmunds and CarGurus, which list Teslas as private. area dealers as well as Hertz Car Sales locations. That’s not surprising since this is GenAI’s prime directive at a basic level.

Matt Quinn, CarGurus, said: “We believe this will give customers the ability to find cars in that haystack, if you will, that they may not be able to find with their our existing filter and figure it out yourself.” Technology Director.

Consumers armed with such AI-generated information must be fully educated once they visit a Hertz or Tesla Car Sales location or private dealership in person. “These tools have the potential to help shoppers be more prepared and informed,” said Eugene Park, chief product officer at Edmunds. “Honestly, I think the best dealerships appreciate having buyers who are ready to buy.”

For those who fear the cliche used car buying experience, the day may soon come when they can flip the script and ask the salesperson, “Here’s what you have to do to get me into your car.” that car today.”

Read more: The basics when buying a used electric car


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