Buying Advice

Hertz's liquidated assets may be the key to getting a good deal on a used car

Cars from mass market and luxury automaker are now up for grabs at low rates.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Without Americans traveling for work and pleasure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses in the travel and auto industry are suffering. From airlines to automakers to dealerships and rental car services, the impact has been great.

As rental car companies look to remain solvent, CNN Business reports that industry experts expect rental car companies to unload 1.5 million cars from their U.S. fleets in the coming year. Hertz Global Holdings Inc., one of the nation's largest car-rental companies, filed for bankruptcy protection on May 20.

The company is selling its used cars at a steep discount according to the newest iSeeCars study. Analysis of over 20,000 used cars from model years 2017 to 2019 listed by Hertz Car Sales found that the company's vehicles can currently be found, on average, for $1,389 below market value, which is 43.3 percent more than the average discount for Hertz vehicles in April at $969.

Below are the best deals based on percent below market value.

No. 10. - Nissan Quest

2017 Nissan Quest

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Hertz has listed the car at an average price of $13,874. That amounts to an average savings of $1,810 because its price is 12 percent below market value.

No. 9 (tie) - Volkswagen Golf

2018 Volkswagen Golf

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The average Volkswagen Golf listed for sale is priced 12.3% below market value for a savings of $2,023. The Golf, on average, however, costs more than the Nissan Quest with its average price of $14,434.

No. 9 (tie) - Kia Forte

2019 Kia Forte Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The Kia Forte is one of the cheapest models on this list, and a good car. It is listed on average for $10,851, which represents a savings of $2,023. That's 12.3 percent below market value.

No. 7 (tie) - Buck Cacada

2018 Buick Cascada

Photo courtesy of Buick

The Buck Cascada came and went from the U.S. market with America barely batting an eye. Still, it's a decent convertible (albeit with a dated infotainment system). Buyers will pay an average list price of $15,564 for one, which is a $2,241 savings over the usual price. That's 12.4 percent below market value.

No. 7 (tie) - Nissan Versa Note

2018 Nissan Versa Note

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The subcompact Nissan Versa Note is a good commuter hatchback. It's listed for just $9.533 on average representing a savings of $1,375 - 12.4 percent below market value.

No. 5 - Toyota Tundra

2018 Toyota Tundra

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

The Tundra is the only truck on this list. Its average asking price is $31,383, which is 12.6 percent below market value. The average savings on the model is $4,714.

No. 4 - Infiniti QX50

2019 Infiniti QX50

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

The Infiniti QX50 is a comfortable cruiser. Its average list price of $27,760 is one of the higher on the list, but that price represents a $4,145 average savings. The SUV is listed for an average of 12.7 percent below market value.

No. 3 - Mercedes-Benz A-Class

2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Hertz has listed the Mercedes-Benz A-Class car for an average of $28.555. That's $4,252 an average savings of $4,252 representing 13 percent below market value.

No. 2 - Chevrolet Trax

2019 Chevrolet Trax

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Chevrolet Trax fits the bill of what people most often think of when they think about a rental SUV. Current listings have the Trax with an average price of $11,196, an average savings of $1,714. That amount is 13.4 percent below market value.

No. 1 - BMW 7 Series

2017 BMW 7 Series

Photo courtesy of BMW

Donald Osborne is famous for, among other things, being teased by Jay Leno about how he cares more about percentage gained or lost on the value of a car rather than the dollars and cents side of the equation on Leno's popular TV show "Jay Leno's Garage".

The BMW 7 Series is a classic example of the type of car Osborne would appreciate while Leno would roll his eyes. It is listed for an average price of $42,680 - easily the highest number on this list. However, that cost represents an average savings of $6,877, making the car 13.7 percent below market value.


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Bugatti is selling just 40 Divos worldwide.

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

Only 40 Bugatti Divos will be made. Four of them were recently delivered to U.S. customers. The latest customized version of the supercar to be delivered by the French automaker pushed the limits of what the Bugatti craftspeople are capable of. As company founder Ettore Bugatti once said: "If it is comparable, it is no longer Bugatti."

Meet the Bugatti Divo named "Lady Bug".

The Divo premiered in 2018 and shortly thereafter a prospective buyer and noted collector from the U.S. approached Bugatti with an idea in mind. They wanted a strict geometric pattern that featured diamond shapes in a unique color contrast on their Divo. The Bugatti design and development team set about figuring out how to make that happen.

Bugatti Divo "Lady Bug" design process

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

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Two special metallic paint colors were developed: Customer Special Red and Graphite. The diamond pattern was designed to run precisely from the front over the sides to the rear – matching the silhouette of the Divo.

Bugatti's team spend a year-and-a-half to develop and implement the technical and graphic solutions the Divo owner required. Adding the diamonds to the car was far more complex than they expected. They would have to be painted onto the body with precision and exact definition.

What made it so hard? According to Bugatti, "the digital patterns in the CAD program bear little resemblance to reality: owing to the three-dimensional, sculptural form of the Divo with its contours, curves and ribs, the 2D-printed diamonds became distorted on the surface of the exclusive hyper sports car. As a result, they had to be digitally modified."

Being off by as little as one millimeter would ruin the entire visual effect. The total would be 1,600 diamonds by the time the pattern was fully executed.

Weeks later, designers discovered a way to match the CAD data with reality. They ended up being able to pull the film over the deeply concave surfaces of the Divo without the diamonds becoming distorted or developing folds.

Bugatti Divo "Lady Bug" graphics application

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

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During the pattern's development, a test car was used to perfect the pattern. After the initial steps of the application process were applied to the customer's Divo, Bugatti's team need to remove each diamond. Graphite paint and a clearcoat were applied on top of the effect paint in Customer Special Red in order to invert the pattern. As part of this process, the paintwork was sanded, smoothed, checked, retouched and then re-sanded. All in, the total time spent on the paint on the customer's car alone was two weeks.

"Every Bugatti Divo is one of a kind. With the custom-made 'Lady Bug', Bugatti has demonstrated the full range of its customization expertise. What initially seemed impossible was executed to perfection by the designers and developers in collaboration with the customer," says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti."We are proud to have matched the customer's personal taste and expectations with this unique Divo. The car really demonstrates what the marque is capable of in terms of creativity and craftsmanship."

Bugatti Divo "Lady Bug"

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

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There were no changes to the car's W16 powertrain for the project.

Each Divo is priced at $5.6 million USD but buyers pay more depending on which options they choose. All Divos are produced by the Bugatti Alelier in Molsheim. The first deliveries of the supercar happened in August 2020. All models will hav been delivered by this spring.

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The Nissan GT-R probably isn't the first supercar that comes to mind, but it's worthy of consideration if you're not all about being seen.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

You put the pedal down. A confident growl busts out the back end. The wheels may squeal, and you might too. It's not all about the power, though it has plenty. The 2021 Nissan GT-R delivers the type of drive experience that you're never going to get from an electric vehicle - and it's magnificent.

Godzilla has been in production since 2007 with nips and tucks and add-ons here and there along the way. It's not as sleek or stylish as the Audi E-Tron GT or even Audi's R8. There's no giant wing out back à la McLaren and certainly nothing Italian about it. The GT-R is it's own man.

Even areas of the country that are supercar-heavy, aren't heavy with GT-Rs. A Ferrari or Lamborghini is a bigger status symbol for adoring eyes. It's the real drivers out there who know that a GT-R is perhaps the better investment for someone who wants a supercar to drive, not just to be seen in. Its unique looks are subtle but properly athletic.

2021 Nissan GT-R Premium The car is capable as a daily driver but it can also push the limits during a track day.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

2021 Nissan GT-R Premium

The reason for that starts but doesn't end with Nissan's 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6. It rests below the hood, not behind your ears, and delivers 565 horsepower and 467 pound-feet of torque creating a visceral acceleration experience. It's enough to satisfy you, bring a smile to your face, impress those around you, and make you realize that Godzilla really is a beast.

The six-speed dual-clutch transmission in the GT-R Premium ($113,540 base price) manages the power nicely and shifts relatively smoothly - it's no Ford 10-speed automatic and that's okay. If you want a GT-R with a manual transmission, you'll have to upgrade to the NISMO model. Don't "save the manuals" me. So few people are buying them that they're becoming extinct despite your bumper sticker saying and hashtag. Most supercars don't have them. Nissan is just simply following an industry trend and the DCT is perfectly fine for drivers not spending the majority of their time on a track.

All wheel drive is standard on the model, meaning that the GT-R sticks to the road as you put it through its paces. That also means that you don't need to head home every time there's rainfall or snow in the forecast, and you can take corners a little faster than the local constabulary may prefer.

The car has athletic looks despite not conforming to the typical supercar design language.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

2021 Nissan GT-R Premium

Proper engineering has made the GT-R a great daily driver. It's fun to push it around the twisties on a winding road in the country during a long weekend, but it's also not a bad car to commute or run errands in (it has a real trunk!). Like any good supercar, the GT-R goes right where you want, when you want it, whether you're doing slow speed maneuvering around a neighborhood or putting the throttle down on the highway. The speed-sensitive steering calibration is spot-on.

Parts of the interior are dated, especially when compared to other vehicles in its price point. But none of those parts are enough to make the GT-R even the least bit undesirable. The seats are surprisingly comfortable and the ride isn't too harsh. Analog dials are a nice break for the eyes.

But the real reason you're in the GT-R isn't because of the the amenities. It's because you love to drive. Because you're confident enough to go with Godzilla rather than a flashy Italian or German. Because you understand that the car nicknamed after a fictional monster, and its gasoline-powered ilk, are in danger of going extinct as carbon neutral priorities seem keen on removing the type of visceral fun that internal combustion engines provide.

The car has analog dials in front of the driver.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If we're going to have to make concessions to make the air and water cleaner, it would be nice if, on the other end of the spectrum, the powers that be let us keep having the muscle of the GT-R.

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