In times as challenging as these, East Texans are looking to find ways to save money in every possible way. One of the largest purchases we make is, of course, the vehicles we're driving. When times get tough, some of us consider selling our high-priced vehicles and trade for something a bit more cost-effective. Some have even considered buying a used rental car. So, is this a wise move?

The Auto Test Center experts at Consumer Reports headquarters recently chimed in and here's what we need to know: 

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Clearly, one can expect that buying a used rental car means you're looking at high mileage. But nowadays, depending on the make and model, that doesn't necessarily have to be a deal-breaker. Especially if you consider these cars will likely be priced lower. On top of that, they're often just a couple of years old at the most. The pro? You may be able to buy a newer model with modern features you normally wouldn't be able to afford.

Also, you may even be able to get a limited warranty on the vehicle you buy, depending on the rental car company. Some even offer a "grace period" after purchase, in case you need to return the car for some reason. Many use this time to drive the car over to their trusted mechanic to have it checked out. Do some research ahead of time and don't be afraid to call and ask questions.

At the same time, Jen Stockburger, director of operations at the Consumer Reports Auto Testing Center, recommends making sure "that any used auto you're thinking of buying has no open recalls."

Things to consider, for sure. And also, it's always to keep in mind that many of our local dealerships are offering some pretty amazing deals, and may be more sensitive to the economic situation many find themselves in right now.

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