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  1. Default NJ to CA Road Trip

    Hello all,

    My girlfriend and I have plans on moving to California next June. We're moving to West Hollywood and we'd like to drive, but have no idea where and what to begin researching. I have a few questions:

    1. My car is a lease. Is it a terrible idea to drive cross country with it?

    2. We are going to make several stops; however, without taking this into consideration, will it be cheaper to just fly?

    3. What are some popular routes?

    We're completely lost and would appreciate some advice!
    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Begin with goals and costs. [research]

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    First of all if budget is a major issue you should work out the costs and match that to what you would prefer to do, drive or fly. As a roadtrip forum you will not get many people not to take a roadtrip, any excuse will do, but it's not for everyone or their circumstance. Basically only you can decide once you have the facts. You are going to need a minimum of 4 overnight stops along the way, more for any major sight seeing you want to do. You can find cheap rooms but I would figure on $70 per night for calculating costs. On the right of this page you will see the RTA fuel cost calculator, you will travel around 2800 miles without major detours so if you know what mpg your vehicle does simply divide it by that and multiply by $4 per gallon as an average. Food will depend on whether you eat out or from a cooler and cooking in your hotel room, either way you gotta eat each day whether you are on the road or not.

    1] Why would driving your car across country be a terrible idea ? Will you be keeping the car, are there any restrictions in the lease, or any other reason not to take it. Unless you have good reason not to, cars are there to be driven.

    2] Once you have done your sums and weighed up the Pro's and cons of driving you can check flight costs for your travel date.

    3] There are thousands of route combinations you could choose from and this depends on your goals for the trips, whether to get there quickly or turn it into a road trip. If you want to do some sight seeing then it's best to get a good map of the USA and see what appeals to you. We can help with 'fine tuning' and offer suggestions once you have some clear goals, a time frame and shared some of your interests, but right now there are too many variables to give you meaningful advice.

    So research the costs against your own desire to drive and study a good map is really the way to move forward.

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


    As far as the lease and the costs are concerned, you've really got to think in terms of the logistics of your situation, especially because it's a move.

    For the lease, the first question is are you in danger of running against your mileage limits, and if so, what are the penalties for going over those limits. If you're not close to your limits, then don't worry about it, but if you're looking at a 25 cent per mile overage penalty, then that would add another $750 cost to consider.

    For the rest of the drive vs. fly debate, again, it's not clear cut. You could probably find 2 one-way plane tickets for about the same amount as you'll spend on fuel. Motel costs could make driving more expensive, but that would be a wash if you'd have to spend your first few days in LA in a motel anyway. The bigger thing, however, is that since this is a move, presumably you have to get your car and the rest of your stuff across country. Plane tickets plus the cost of shipping your car are usually going to be quite a bit more expensive than just driving, plus I'd guess you also have to get your stuff across country, and if you want to bring some of those things with you, you could take a whole lot more in your car then on a plane.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default How long?

    Besides costs, how much time do you have for this move. That is going to bear heavily on your decision.


  5. #5


    If you are moving how can you leave your car back east? Will you not need a car living out west?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Quote Originally Posted by 32vld View Post
    If you are moving how can you leave your car back east? Will you not need a car living out west?
    If the lease can be terminated without penalty, it may make more sense to fly and lease a new car when you get there. It certainly isn't cheaper to drive.

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