Should I buy pre-owned vehicle from Hertz?

Dear Doctor: I read good things about buying a pre-owned vehicle from rental companies. Do you think buying a rental car from Hertz, for example, is a good way to score a value-oriented deal? Secondly, I have a 1999 Nissan Maxima with 180,000 on the odometer. I know that keeping a car long after it’s paid off makes economic sense, but I’m looking at having to make $2,000 in maintenance and repair costs. I know the V-6s in these cars can last a very long time, but it seems like everything around it is slowly falling apart and I’m concerned about it becoming a money pit. David

Dear David: Buying a used car from a rental car company is not a bad thing. You should ask if there are any rental units available that carry the remainder of the warranty. As for investing $2,000 in your 1999 Maxima, if the rest of the car and under carriage are in good condition with no heavy rust or rot, then the $2,000 is well spent.

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