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  1. Default Rental cars vs Own

    Which is better? We are thinking about putting 3000 miles on this trip to New York. We're not sure on whether to rent a car for it or drive our own.
    The car that we have is a Nissan Altima I think it's a 2009 model? It has 60k miles on. As you may know, Nissans are pretty good with gas.
    We've never rented a car before, so I don't know which is better. Which will cost less?


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


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    It really isn't a one size fits all answer - and in general the answer really comes down to your own personal preference. Your own car is quite new, and as long as it has had regular maintenance, there's no reason it shouldn't be up for the trip. If you enjoy driving it, then that's a perfectly good choice.

    If you rent, you get the advantage of having a practically new car where you don't have to worry about any sort of repairs, and if you want something that's either bigger or smaller, you have some options.

    Costs are kind of hard to calculate. Simply cash up front, you're going to pay more with a rental. The costs in your own car are more long term expenses, things like the extra wear on the tire, brakes, and other parts that will have to be repaired or replace a bit sooner, and the loss of resale for the higher miles. However, having said that, you already drive a pretty healthy number of miles a year, so an extra 3000 miles is really a drop in the bucket in the big picture.

    Here's a longer discussion on this topic
    from the RTA archives.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default No brainer for me.

    You don't say how long you are planning to take to make this journey. The longer you are on the road, the higher the rental cost will be, the costs for your car will remain the same.

    Personally speaking, I think it's a 'no brainer' and would take my own vehicle. A round trip of 3000 miles would be a 5-6 day rental, plus the time you plan on spending in NY. If you dropped the car off on arrival you would be looking at 2 hefty one way drop off fees and it would likerly cost you more than keeping the car during your stay.

    As Michael mentioned, 3000 miles on a fairly new vehicle is next to nothing, and I doubt those miles would get anywhere close to matching the cost of a rental.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    We took our own car on a 6500 mile trip last summer, and our car is MUCH older and has higher mileage, than yours. We had well over 125000 miles on the car, and it's a 2002. As someone pointed out, if you have kept your car well-serviced, and it's in good mechanical shape, you should be fine. We always take our car in for an oil change right before we leave, and have the mechanic give the brakes, hoses, tires, and a few other things a good look. This past year, we had to change the windshield the day before we left, because we had not noticed a small crack had formed below our eyesight! Our mechanic pointed it out.


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