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  1. Default From Hawaii: Planning Road Trip from California to Texas

    Hello RTA, my wife and I are planning a roadtrip with my brother-in-law in the month of January. I will be 25 at that time. We're from Hawaii and were wondering what would be the least expensive, renting a car or buying a cheap used car. Our roadtrip will be for 3 weeks. From Los Angeles, California to San Antonio, Texas. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    It will almost certainly be cheaper to rent. By the time you factor in all the costs that go along with buying a car (taxes, insurance, license, etc) as well as the loss from buying retail and selling wholesale, it generally takes 2-3 months to break even on a car purchase.

    Even that doesn't really factor in the time it takes to find, inspect, purchase the car, take care of the paperwork, have potential breakdowns, and then find a buyer at the end. At a conservative estimate, you'd need a minimum of 3-4 days for all that, and when you've only got 21 days to work with total, I don't think that's how you'd want to spend a relatively large chunk of your vacation time.

  3. Default

    Thank you for the quick response, then my follow up question would be: If I rent a car in California and drive it to Texas then fly out there is there a extravagant fee?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Yes, there will be a one way drop off fee, and its quite likely you'll be looking at more expensive airfare. However, how much that fee will be depends on a ton of variables, including brand, supply-demand, time of year, etc.

    You'll really just have to get some quotes to get an idea of the specific costs.

  5. Default

    So we are closing in on our RoadTrip! YAY!

    Here's a question:

    I have never driven in snow before... and the course we have set is as follows
    Southern California > Las Vegas, NV > Grand Canyon, AZ > Paonia, CO > Albuquerque, NM > Midland, TX.

    What do you recommend rent an AWD, or is a midsize car good enough if I get "chains"?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default What Really Matters

    It's not FWD vs. AWD vs. 4WD that matters. It's not chains that matter. The single most important bit of equipment for winter driving is the proverbial "nut behind the wheel". If you "have never driven in snow before", doing so in a strange vehicle on unfamiliar roads is not the place to start. If the weather and road conditions turn bad enough that you're relying on your untried physical equipment to get you through, it's time to stop driving and find a warm room until the road crews have brought the highways back into shape.


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