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  1. Default Brit on mission to find himself seeks RTA community for help..!

    Hello All!


    I am Ronnie, greetings from England..! I am looking to go on a road trip in the USA for 2 weeks in October or November.

    I have a friend in Royal Oak MI that I would like to see for 2-3 days during the trip.

    I would like to hire a car and drive myself, but ideally do not want to be driving all the time, but I guess up to 200 miles a day would be fine.

    Ideally I would like some kind of old classic muscle car or cool ride to do it in, just something with a bit of character- rather than a glossy hire car.

    If anyone could offer advice on the following, it'd be much appreciated:

    - A good route, start and end desination?

    - Hire car, can I get a cool car that isn't gonna cost an arm and a leg?

    Things I like- Seeing new places, nice scenery, photography, meeting people, bars, adventure, seeing small towns, nostalgia, vintage, heritage, adventure, activities (not sport), cars, motorbikes, drag racing, art and design.

    Many thanks!

    Ronnie




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Let's Be Honest

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    First: You are not going to be able to "get a cool car that isn't gonna cost an arm and a leg". You are not going to be able to hire an 'old classic muscle car" for a cross-country drive at any price. Period. Such cars are available only in select cities and only for local use. And even then they cast an arm and two legs.

    Second: You may not be able to afford any car hire at all. I'm guessing from your post that you are under 25 years of age, in which case even the most basic ride is going to cost you about $250/week plus the underage driver fee of $175/week, plus insurance coverage if you can't get your current insurer to extend their coverage across the Atlantic, plus petrol. This is not cheap.

    Third: So far, you have given us exactly one possible point on the map that you might visit, but no starting point, no ending point, and no region of the country you'd be most interested in. Anyone who would like to help you out is going to need considerably more than that to go on.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default cool cars

    I think its easy to assume that an old car should be cheaper than a brand new one to rent, but it really is quite the opposite.

    Rental car companies need to have cars that are going to work every time for every customer. Any breakdown is something that the rental agency has to pay for, and frankly, no one wants to be stuck on the side of the road when they are paying to rent a car.

    The only practical way to make sure that rental car companies are sending out people in good running cars is to send them out in car that is nearly new.

    Classic cars can be reliable, but only if with a lot of attention to detail and maintenance, which cost a lot of money. You also need to take care of a classic car, and you can't always be sure that a rental customer will treat a classic with the proper respect. That's why old cars are not available for cross country trips, and why in the cases where they are available they are rented for special occations to people who are willing to pay hundreds of dollars a day.

    As far as the details of your trip, I have to agree with Buck. You really need to figure out at least an outline of what you want to do, before anyone else can begin to offer any useful suggestions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Ronnie,

    Hopefully you are not totally put off by the above information. Yeah! I know they look great, and I have admired many at local shows all over the US, but they are more for admiring than for driving. Even the owners have told me so. There is however, something else which you may like to consider and which may work for you.

    On my first visit to the US I too, had only one destination - my son's wedding. I knew I wanted to see that country, but did not know what.... nice scenery, take photos, visit small towns and all those things. I did not know anything about regions and did not have any specifics in mind. Then I met a gent who told me about driveaway.

    It is true that there are limitation on distance and time, but they are quite generous. For someone like you it may just take you to random places which most folk never see, just as it did for me in 2001 and 2004. If you would like more specific information, feel free to ask.

    I have great memories of the almost 50000 miles I drove in some two dozen cars. It certainly got me hooked on roadtripping.

    And, when at the end of my trip in 2001, friend in Reno asked what was the most exciting discovery I made, I had to admit, it was who I am!

    Lifey

  5. Default

    Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply to my post.

    I realise my original post came across rather open ended, naive and as if I have just logged onto this site and made a post without making any effort to go through any of the info avaliable here at this great resource.

    In truth all the above is accurate. There is an overwhelming amount of info avaliable here and whilst I am certain on making this trip - I genuinely have no firm idea of a route and location in mind, or particular knowledge on the USA or roadtrip experience -

    So.. I thought a post could be a good way to spark off a range of ideas and recommendations. Food for thought!

    I'm 29 full time working professional- feeling the need to go on a voyage of discovery- I'm not loaded with money but will be able to fund a flight, couple of weeks holiday, car hire and expenses just fine.

    I realise the need for good quality/reliable rental cars. I am interested if any alternatives are avaliable though. Lifey - can you tell me a bit more about Driveaway- I had a good look at the link- but still didn't really understand the concept?

    Ok- for more direction - I would be looking to end up in Royal Oak MI - I have to select a start point to fly out to and have 2 weeks to make the journey and wouldn't want to drive more than 200 miles a day, stopping at various places of interest along route.

    *Any* suggestions welcomed! Throw some out there!

    Thanks again

    Ronnie
    Last edited by ronnie_space; 09-10-2011 at 07:35 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I think you've missed the point as to why we really can't just "throw some suggestions out there" There are millions of things you could do, and the first step really is to figure out for yourself what your biggest priorities are. That involves doing some work on your part, reading and researching about places that most look interesting to you (and this site is one of many places you can start that research.) Otherwise, you're basically asking us to throw darts, without even telling us where the dartboard is! If we gave you any useful information, it would be purely by chance - and as such not a very good use of our time or yours.

    The driveaway option is basically a case where you are transporting a car for someone else by driving it to their destination. It can be a great option to get a car cheap - as it can cost next to nothing - but the tricky thing is that you need to be going where the car needs to go.

    I will say on a logistical aspect, the cheapest way to do a trip is typically to do a round-trip, doing a loop where you start and end in the same place. That makes your airfare and car rental cost the cheapest, and based on your one destination, that would probably mean starting in Detroit, but you could also compare a destination a little farther away like Chicago, or maybe even Toronto.

    But even there, your options of where to go are unlimited. You've basically said that you could drive 2000-3000 miles for your trip (200 miles x 2 weeks), and as a loop from detroit, that would give you basically the option of doing a loop to anywhere in the US east of the Rockies. If you decide to just do a one way trip, then even the west coast is also a possibility. But no one here can decide that for you, or give you much more specific help, until you lay the foundation for your own trip.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default And that's the beauty of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    The driveaway option is basically a case where you are transporting a car for someone else by driving it to their destination. It can be a great option to get a car cheap - as it can cost next to nothing - but the tricky thing is that you need to be going where the car needs to go.
    Some may regard that as a disadvantage, but to me it is the best part of driveaway. No need to decide where to go, just go with the flow. True, you may not get to see what others regard as the 'best' places, but if you do just a moment's research, even if only on a paper map, you can find all the hilights and tourist attractions along the specified route. Then just go out there and enjoy those.

    My tactic was to always choose a vehicle which was going to a place of which I had never heard, and did not know where it was. It forced me into areas I may never have considered to visit, and allowed me to see sights and experience places I otherwise never would have considered.

    e.g. I had heard of Arizona, but had no idea where it was. Nor did I know that the Grand Canyon was in Arizona. Yet the vehicle I drove from St Paul MN to Green Valley AZ was probably the hilight of my first visit in the USA. It took me through the Rockies and Oak Creek Canyon among other places. And my three day stay in Tucson was among my most enjoyable. I then picked up a car in Tucson, which I drove to Putney VT, through the Great Smokey Mountains and part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, etc. (None of these places I had ever heard of.)

    I would recommend it.

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    777

    Default Time or distance?

    My wife (non-native Californian) is fond of saying in California we don't measure distances by miles, but by how long it takes to drive them.

    You can easily travel 200 miles on Interstate 5 between Northern California and Southern California in well under 3 hours (70mph speed limit).

    On the other hand, traveling the 190 miles on the Oregon Coast between Bandon and Tillamook will take between 4 (off season) to 5 hours (on season).

    So; the question becomes, are you trying to limit your distance or the time you spend driving? If the latter, what's your target behind-the-wheel time each day?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Ruston, Louisiana (at the momen)
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Ronnie,

    I got a jeep, time and some cash. If you wanna roll let me know. Nothing gangster, nothing illegal, just looking to find meself as well. Let me know. Two weeks is short I gotta say. Possibly doable.

    Benny

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