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  1. Default NYC to LA - rent or buy new car?

    My girlfriend and I are moving from NYC to LA next year. We are planning on doing the road trip in December 2015. We want to head South, visit places like Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, and Austin.

    But we are trying to decide if it's best to rent or buy a car to do this.

    Since we both do not have cars right now and will need at least one in LA, I figured it would be a good reason to buy one in NYC and drive it across the country.

    Would appreciate any advice. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    It would be best to rent, then buy when you get there. It makes no sense to buy a car, pay for the NY titling, inspection, and registration, just to do it all over again when you get there. If it's a used car, there's no guarantee that it would pass a California smog check. At least when you buy a car out there, it has to have a current smog certificate in order to be sold. The California tests are a lot more stringent than the ones in NY. There also won't be any rust issues on a California used car.

    Shop around for a deal on a one way rental. Fees vary widely by company, class of car, and rental location.

  3. Default NYC to LA through the South - 21 days

    Planning on driving from NYC to LA next December 2015. Our planned route is taking us through the South. Wanted to share our 22-day itinerary and see if I can get any suggestions on routes, points of interest, etc.
    My girlfriend will be going with me and we are both really into music, food, whiskey, sports, and history. We would have a car with only the stuff we can fit into it.

    NYC
    Baltimore, MD
    Ashville, NC
    Great Smoky Moutains
    Nashville
    Memphis
    New Orleans
    Austin, TX
    Amarillo, TX
    Sante Fe, NM
    Flagstaff/Grand Canyon
    Las Vegas
    Los Angeles

    Would like to hear what you think. Cheers!

    Moderator Note: Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 12-01-2014 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Merged Threads

  4. Default NYC to LA. 30 day car rental?

    Hi! My girlfriend and I will be driving from NYC to LA in December for 30 days.
    We are planning to rent a standard SUV.
    Right now it looks like that type of vehicle is about $2,100 for a month.
    I can't seem to find anything cheaper.
    Is this a decent/normal price?

    Moderator Note: Again, Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 07-06-2015 at 06:09 PM. Reason: Merged Threads, Again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default About Right

    $400-500/week seems about right for a 'Standard SUV'. It might even include the one-way drop off fee if you're not planning on returning the vehicle to New York. My question is: Are you sure you need a standard SUV? If there are only two of you and usual travel baggage, you'd fit just as well in a mid-sized/intermediate sedan which would cost half as much and get twice the gas mileage (round figures).

    AZBuck

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

    Default seems about right

    Car rental prices jump around a lot, and even minor details - from the specific date to the exact pick up location - can lead to big variations.

    Having said that, I think finding a month long, one-way, cross country, rental SUV for under $2,000 seems unlikely. Your rental plan pretty much hits all of the big buttons for high prices. SUV's generally command a significant price premium over a sedan, and a one-way cross country rental will typically bring a $500 one-way fee all by itself. Going from a cold climate to a warm climate in December could increase your costs even more.

  7. Default

    We're moving to LA so we are trying to bring some stuff with us.
    I looked at a crossover SUV and it's the same price, maybe just better gas mileage.
    A full size sedan is $1,600.

    The breakdown of the price does not list a drop off fee, just the taxes.
    I've looked on Hotwire and Enterprise.
    Last edited by molocono; 07-06-2015 at 06:47 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Look right here on this site. Click on the Hotels & Motels link at the bottom of the page, then on Rental Cars.

    I just looked for Dec 1 through Dec 30 from EWR to LAX, a standard SUV (Hyundai Santa Fe or similar) is about $2250. A full size car (Ford Fusion or similar) is about $1700. Both are from Enterprise. Enterprise is also offering a van (Dodge Grand Caravan or similar) for $1 a day less than the SUV. That's what I'd go with if you need luggage room. These rates include the one way fee and other taxes, fees, and surcharges. You may get a better rate renting from and/or dropping off at an off-airport location. Play with the finder and see what works best.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by molocono View Post
    The breakdown of the price does not list a drop off fee, just the taxes.
    The one way fee isn't always broken out into a line-item fee. Some companies just roll the fee into the daily rental rate. For example, using the same dates GLC used, also renting a SUV from EWR, but returning to EWR instead of LAX, the rate drops by about $300 down to $1975.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    $300 is pretty darn cheap for a cross-country dropoff fee.

    Definitely check all locations - the taxes, fees, and surcharges on a EWR-LAX rental are considerable. In our search engine, those (except for the one way fee, that's in the daily/weekly/monthly rate as Michael said) are itemized if you click on the appropriate link. Normally, a one-way has to either originate or terminate at an airport, so try different combinations.

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