Not all rent-to-own car dealers limit the monthly allowed usage or kilometers traveled per month. However, most long-term car rental dealers do place a limit on the usage of the car.
The reason for this is that they need to ensure that the vehicle retains sufficient value until the end of the lease. If at any stage you cancel early or default on your payments, they need to be able to ensure that the vehicle is still financially viable for them and that they do not lose money on the vehicle.
How do rent-to-own cars work?
Rent-to-own cars are special long-term rental deals designed predominately for clients who are unable to purchase a vehicle through regular channels due to reasons such as bad credit history, being under debt review, insufficient credit score, etc.
With a rent-to-own car the vehicle remains the property of the dealer until such stage as the contract period is completed and the vehicle is fully paid for. At this stage the dealer will transfer ownership of the vehicle to you.
So if the car is mine why can’t I travel as far as I want?
This is where technicalities come into play. While you are under contract with a rent to own car, most contracts allow for you to cancel at any stage and walk away from the deal without any major penalty. The vehicle that you leave behind does remain the property of the dealer.
Any vehicle depreciates in value due to two main factors, age and kilometers driven. Once the kilometers travelled reach a certain point the vehicle loses value and is no longer saleable or rentable. Due to this, the dealer needs to ensure that when he leases the vehicle out to you that at all stages, should you abandon the contract, the vehicle still retains sufficient value.
By placing a monthly limit on the km’s that you are allowed to travel, the dealer lessens his risk factor on the car.
What happens if I exceed the monthly limit?
Should you exceed the monthly KM limit then the contract usually provides for a penalty charge to be levied. This penalty is normally an extra per km rate which is levied on km’s travelled over your monthly limit. Under normal circumstances, this penalty is not excessive.
Do all Rent to Own cars have a distance limit?
No! Not all dealers place a limit on the monthly KM traveled.
Before entering into any deal for a rent-to-own car, always check carefully to ensure that you are aware of all the clauses in the contract and that you have a full understanding of the deal that you are entering into.