By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Looking for cars just a year or so old?
Best rental fleet cars make their way to Hertz lot
Looking for something stylish and unique? The Chevy HHR – known as the Heritage High Roof – pays homage to the old school Woody’s of yesteryear. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
STOCKTON – If you didn’t get in on the Cash for Clunkers program, it might not be the easiest time to find something suitable on a dealership lot.

Certain brands like Honda and Toyota emptied their stock thanks to the government-sponsored program – putting buyers who couldn’t qualify out of luck because of the short supply.

But if you’re looking for something relatively new to park in your driveway, you still don’t have too far to go.

Just find your local Hertz Car Sales center.

While the company is most recognizable as the nation’s largest rental car provider, they also never keep anything in their rental fleet that is more than a year old – meaning that those looking for value while enjoying the perks of driving something new don’t have to look very far.

“The cars that we have on the lot are all just a year old, and still under their factory-offered warranty,” said Hertz Stockton Location Manage John Enea. “We also make it available for customers to extend that warranty and have a car that they can enjoy without having to worry about the depreciation of a new car.”

While the government’s Cash for Clunkers program did a lot to boost sales for new cars, the trade-ins that most dealerships would be able to turn around are now headed for the scrap-yard instead of the used car lot – something that will eventually create a shortage of previously owned vehicles that were loaded with value.

But Hertz on the other hand that doesn’t accept any trade-ins so itstill has lots full of previously driven cars that offer the same value that newer trade-ins would provide at dealership lots, and at times for thousands less.

And the old adage of rental cars not being reliable is something that Enea hopes to dispel with his fleet of top notch machines.

Despite not having the best reputation among the public because of their extensive daily use and the possibility of abuse, Enea says that Hertz scours their fleet for only the best cars to place on their general sales lots – filtering cars with mechanical defects or other problems through other channels like auctions.

Renting a car for the sole purpose of beating up on it, Enea said, wouldn’t be the most economical thing to do – especially since the company isn’t exactly giving rentals away.

“Almost 80 percent of our customers are either corporate or business clients or families that are on vacation,” he said. “There are definitely cheaper avenues for renting a car if all that you’re planning on doing is beating up on it, and the company goes out of its way to stand by the cars that it makes available.”

Unlike other dealers, Enea says that Hertz has the flexibility of getting access to just about any vehicle in the area that’s for sale on a company lot – meaning somebody from Stockton can still buy a car from Santa Clara without having to make the drive back-and-forth.

The overall customer base of the Stockton site – which is the only Hertz used car site from the Central Valley all the way down to Riverside – stretches far and wide and sometimes even outside of the country.

“We get customers that have come to us from as far away as Canada,” Enea said. “Just last week we sold a car to somebody who came to us from Oregon – people from all over the place recognize the value that these cars provide.”

And this weekend only buyers will get another chance to walk away with something pristine for thousands less than what they’d find on a comparable lot. According to Enea, the Red Tag Sale that continues through this weekend will include offerings such as the 2008 Chevy Aveo for only $8,595, the 2007 Chevy Cobalt for only $7,995, and even the coveted Toyota Prius – the first mass-production hybrid vehicle – for $18,995.

Hertz Car Sales is located at 3646 Telestar Place Spot C off of Stockton’s Hammer Lane. To get there from Manteca, take Highway 99 north to the Hammer Lane exit and head west before eventually turning left on Sampson Road and following the road the corner. The entrance to the site is on the left. The site is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information, call 477-4112 or visit