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  1. Default 4 weeks or buy car ?

    Me and my wife are planning with a friend from NY to take a RoadTrip from NY - LA. We have 4 weeks to do this. We are situated in Europe and we will be visiting our frind in NY then head out on our trip but we have major issue regarding the car. We have couple of options :

    1. Rent a car and drop it off in LA
    - drop-off fees are very high
    - we need to pay flight ticket back
    + we have more time for vacation

    2. Rent a car from NY and drop it in NY again
    - it's going to very long trip
    - VERY high fees from the rental company if you leave the state at least at Enterprise rental company, I guess they have transponder so i can't take it out anyway
    + nice since we could choose to differente routes. one on the way to LA and one different one on the way back to NY

    3. Buy a car in NY and use it back and forth to LA
    - Time consumming to find a car
    - Time consumming to sell the car
    - Need insurrance, registration and inspection
    - Can't really trust car for 2500USD that it will keep running for 6500 mil
    + Good the car can be sold again at a resonable price
    + Cheaper than rental

    these are some of the things that i found. What do you guys think ? What's the best option or are there any other options ?

    Hope to hear from u

    thx for a cool website

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    This comes up quite often, and the consensus generally is as you have found - buying a car adds a layer of complexity that you're not going to want to just enjoy your vacation.

    I would recommend finding another rental company that doesn't charge fees for going South of the Mason-Dixon or West of the Mississippi. You are going to run into the drop off fees,etc, if you decide to drop off in Los Angeles, but as you stated, this would give you more time.

    Seeing as it would take five days of solid driving to go from NY to LA, I would recommend option 1.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default I like #2

    I think number 2 would be your best option, I would just look beyond enterprise for your car rental. I've found that vacation-type, out of state rentals really aren't their nitch - they focus more on the "get a car while yours is being fixed" market.

    With 4 weeks, you should have enough time to do a loop of the US, although remember you will also have increased fuel costs for driving both directions across the country.

    One other option worth considering, depending upon what your focus is, you could do 2 semi-separate trips. Spend the first trip in NY and in the Northeast, and then fly out west and do another trip seeing things out there. Its not quite the same, and you'd miss the middle part of the US, its another option worth considering if it fits your needs.

    Otherwise, I think you've done a good job of laying out the pros and cons of each option. Although, option 3 might cost more than you are expecting because it will be tough to sell again for a reasonable price. Remember, you'd need to sell the car far more than anyone else would need to buy it, which means you could have to sell it for a significant discount.

  4. Default

    Thank you..both of you for your input. I think i will go for option 2 and see if i can find a rental company which does not restrict me in taking the car out of NY state.

    Any recommendation what rental company will let u do that without a extra fee ?


  5. #5

    Default Europe/USA price differential

    Have you specified that you're European renters? For some reason it's very often cheaper for non-Americans to rent.

    I've just costed a mid-range SUV at Alamo for 28 days in July, collect in Manhattan, drop off at LA International, and got a price of $2344 (£1168 GBP) - including all necessary insurance and the $500 (£250) one-way fee. This equates to just under £14 per person, per day, which I don't think is too unreasonable.

    It's easier than buying, probably cheaper than extending your trip to accommodate the return leg and (to my mind at least - but I do enjoy the freedom to detour and slow down) preferable to squeezing a there-and-back trip into four weeks.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default the majors

    Most of the major ones will lets you travel throughout the US without an extra fee, but I'd probably focus on some of the "higher end" ones like National, Avis, or Hertz. They might have fewer fees or restictions than the budget priced chains like Enterprise, Dollar, and Budget.

    Identifying yourself as European is another excellent point. For reasons I certainly can't explain, the rental companies often have very different pricing structures and policies for international travelers. Generally speaking, I suspect it that will help you achieve your goals.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Very true

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    (Enterprise)...they focus more on the "get a car while yours is being fixed" market.
    It's funny that you should say this, but it seems the only time I or anyone I know has dealt with them it is because of automobile repairs being performed! Now that I think about it, all of the Enterprise locations near my home are within walking distance to one or more auto repair shops (one is actually located inside a Ford dealership).

    The larger national chains should also be able to offer unlimited mileage, which is very important for a trip of this length.

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