Your upcoming road trip is just around the corner and you’ve mapped out every minute of it. You’ve booked the best rooms, city tours, and even jotted down can’t-miss diners and spots on the way. But who’s driving? And what?
When it comes to driving long distances, not everyone is keen to reach for their car keys since road trips can rack up mileage and maintenance costs in just a few days. When you’re deciding between driving your own car versus renting a vehicle for your next road trip, it’s smart to take into account all the incurring costs including gas mileage, rental car insurance, vehicle depreciation, etc.
While many travelers prefer public transportation to get around, renting a car offers many benefits that simply aren’t available with other modes of transport. Depending on what you want to get out of your road trip, we break down all the reasons why choosing to rent a car on your next vacation might be the best decision.
On average, driving a car at an established rate of 53.5 cents per mile means a 2,000-mile trip costs about $1,070 in gasoline, maintenance, and wear and tear for a family vehicle. While this rate is subject to adjustment each year, it rarely fluctuates more than a few cents per mile.
For a rental, a 2,000-mile trip spread across 10 days at a rental rate of $35 per day (including taxes and fees) costs $350. The average vehicle gets about 25 miles per gallon, so the trip requires about 80 gallons of gas. Gas prices vary across the country and frequently change; however, if you assume a cost of $2.50 per gallon, you will pay about $200 for fuel. This brings the total cost of the rental and gas to approximately $550. This is about half the cost of driving a family car with maintenance and wear and tear costs factored into the price.
A Variety of Options to Choose from
Not all trips are created equally. Driving your kids to college requires more room than taking your family for a day at the beach. If your priority is more leg room for your upcoming road trip, an SUV, Minivan or 4×4 is the way to go for that much-needed space. On the other hand, if your road trip is a romantic getaway or an anniversary special, a dreamy vintage ride would be perfect. Eitherway, when renting a car, you can take the opportunity to choose from a variety of vehicle options best suited for your journey and the number of people on board.
This also means a golden opportunity to slide behind the wheel of a vehicle you would love to buy but can’t afford. Additionally, if you’re thinking about buying a new car, truck, or SUV, renting the vehicle for a trip gives you the opportunity to enjoy an extended test drive.
Renting Saves Time
Relying on public transport can get hectic with the added pressure of missing your bus, train, or flight, and waiting for the next one to come around. Renting a vehicle gives you the added advantage to start your journey when you choose to, thereby saving you a lot of time. With the car being all yours, you can pause and explore places during your journey at your own pace. This gives you the chance to see as much as you can and make your own detours to capture sights that you usually wouldn’t cover in a tour bus.
You can say goodbye to privacy if you choose to travel by public transport. Whether you want to sing on top of your voices or play a fun game, renting a car gives you the privacy to enjoy your company and bond with your travel mates without worrying about privacy or disturbing your fellow passengers.
If you’re traveling as a couple, renting a car for your next trip is the perfect way to spend quality time with each other without worrying about strangers being all up in your business.
While taking public transport is not unsafe, when you rent a car, you can rely on yourself completely to drive safely. If you’re tired or sleepy, you have the luxury to take a break or make a pitstop if you’re in the mood for a quick bite. You can also resort to detours if you come across traffic and not have to make multiple drop offs like in the case of tourist buses.
What if you want to explore a few places that are not on your itinerary? That is never an issue if you have rented a car. You can change your plans or stop somewhere for longer without any constraints. Make your own decisions and travel as you like without any pressure. As long as you have a rented car, you are free to choose any destination, spend more time than what was planned, and explore to your heart’s content.
Choose A Rental According to Your Budget
There is a general misconception that public transport is the only affordable option. This is not true since car rentals are very reasonable considering the innumerable benefits they offer. You can choose a car of your choice that fits your budget. There are diverse brands to choose from, and budget is never an issue since you can rent your favorite car at an affordable price point. There are flexible car rental plans that let you fulfill your short term or long term needs whether that’s transporting goods or going on an epic road trip.
No Incurring Costs on Your Personal Vehicle
A long road trip can be hard on your vehicle and can lead to a lot of future maintenance costs. A rental is an easy and convenient alternative to using your personal car – especially if you don’t think your car is reliable enough for a road trip! With meticulously maintained vehicles available on rent, no matter where your travels take you, you can get there safely.
There is no hard and fast rule to determine whether it makes more sense to rent a car or use your own vehicle for a road trip. The best way to decide this is to simply weigh the pros and cons of using your own vehicle versus renting one.
So are you ready for your adventure? Don’t know where to start? We break down how you can prepare your car for an epic road trip, including how to take care of your car and all the safety rules to follow.