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  1. #1

    Default Vehicle Rental for two road trips ahead

    Hello friends,

    I am a new member who lives in NYC.

    I am currently planning on two road trips in upcoming months.

    Here's description to those trips
    1. Southeast Road Trip (7/11~7/25)
    : Planning to take a flight to Savannah, GA and rent a vehicle.
    Going down to Florida and see three national parks and head back up.
    Heading to west all the way to eastern Texas(Dallas, San Antonio, etc)
    Head back to Savannah
    2. Cross Country Road Trip (estimate 8/7~9/26)
    : Planning to rent a vehicle from NYC where I live and head to Chicago->N/S. Dakota->Colorado->Utah->Wyoming-> Montana-> Washington to Seattle then to south all the way down to LA then head east again all the way to western Texas such as Big Bend N.P. then head northeast to NYC from there. The route has been decided and takes approximately 50 days with close to 15,000 miles in driving.

    So my question to you is regarding the renting vehicles. First, I am willing to rent intermediate size for first trip and SUV for second.
    I have checked several websites and came out to conclusion that first trip renting cost is around $500-$600 and
    second trip renting cost is around $4,000-$5,000.

    Is this what the realistic price be or can I lower down the price anyhow(such as Costco Discount)?

    Also, I have approximately 1,970 dollars worth of credit card travel point from Sapphire Reserve to use. How can I use them wisely for these trips?

    Please provide me with your sagacious advice.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,699

    Default Suv ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Others may come up with some good tips, but the only thing I can think of other than shopping around for the best possible deals on line is why do you want an SUV for your second trip ? You don't need one and a mid size sedan would do the same job for less, including fuel savings.

    Your estimate of 15000 miles on trip 2 seems a bit excessive unless you plan on doing some serious zig-zagging, but 300 miles a day average for 50 days would get tiring real quick if you want to stop and see things along the way. At a guess I would put it at more like 10,000 miles which is more doable when you juggle it with days off from the road sightseeing. If you are going to Big Bend on trip 2 you could go through Dallas etc on the way back to NY so I am struggling to see the reason you would go that far west on trip 1 when there is a lot of other places to visit. Just sharing a couple of thoughts. :-)

  3. #3

    Default

    For the long trip the vehicle type may be influenced by whether you are camping or hoteling, hauling a bicycle or other particulars. Also, for a long trip I would usually favor a full-size vehicle (such as a Toyota Camry) which usually is a smoother ride. A minivan is very flexible if you can obtain a decent rate. Having said that once you cross over the 30 day mark many car rentals become some kind of lease arrangement - others can comment more on that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,509

    Default

    To add to what the others are saying -- Costco Travel may offer you a great deal, if you are a member. We always seem to save a lot. As soon as you ask for a specialty vehicle, such as a mini-van or SUV, however, the price does go up.

    Often, car rental places want you to check in to one of their offices every 30-31 days. Anything owned by the parent company of Enterprise, such as Alamo and National, will ask you to do that. They may just tag you and send you on your way (especially if you're in a smaller town), or trade vehicles with you, or ask you to stop for an hour or so to get the oil changed, etc. This is something you need to ask before you rent, because you may need to alter your plans just a tad to accommodate this.

    Hubby and I have done a couple of trips that took us to the East Coast. The longest was a 7-week trip that went San Diego --> east coast FL --> Acadia Maine --> central MO --> home via Arches UT. That trip was 9000 miles. We had to change the oil in MO. Another trip was San Diego --> Houston --> Central MO --> Gettysburg PA --> Chicago south suburbs --> north WI - ND - SD - Yellowstone - Grand Tetons --> Oakland CA area --> San Diego. That trip was about 7 weeks as well, 8500 miles. We had to change the oil in Bismarck, ND. (We have a diesel, however.) Just sharing that so that you can see mileage.



    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,995

    Default A couple ideas

    For your first trip, since you are doing a loop, you might look at starting and ending at other cities. For example, see if it's cheaper to fly into and rent from another place on your route, say Atlanta, Orlando, Dallas, etc. You could still spend the same amount of time in Savannah, but just change the order.

    With the bigger trip, as others have said, an SUV is likely to balloon your costs with few benefits. Also, look at a wide range of places to rent, especially comparing new York with New Jersey.

  6. #6

    Default

    1. SUV : as a texi driver, I have driven both sedan and SUV. It seems to me SUV is more comfortable driving for long term driving so I have chosen SUV. And in case I cannot find place to stay for sleep, I can just sleep in the car.

    2. 15,000 miles trip route was decided due to national park trip that I am intend to do. It's my bucket list to go to all 59 national parks in the USA. So far I have visited 6 of them in the east and I don't get that many chance to go to national parks so I have decided to go all of them at once since I am free to couple of months from July and on. I am not trying to do some serious exercise on the way. It's some basic sightseeing of each national parks.

  7. #7

    Default

    Great advise on that Donna. Thank you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,995

    Default

    I'd question about SUV being more comfortable over the long term. A large sedan is actually designed to give you a more comfortable ride, especially compared to the relatively base model SUV that is typically found in rental fleets.

    You asked about saving money, and going with a full sized car will likely save you hundreds upon hundreds of dollars compared to an SUV. Also, sleeping in a vehicle generally is not a recipe for good rest and the savings you'd get from a sedan would probably cover at least a weeks worth of hotel rooms. Of course, it is your choice and if you'd prefer an SUV, that's fine, just know that it is going to be a fairly expensive one.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,699

    Default

    1) Yep, it's all down to personal choice but an SUV isn't the way to save money and it will probably burn more fuel which could be significant over that distance.

    2) Personally I would have a rethink as trying to visit a further 53 National parks in 50 days while covering an average of 300 miles per day is going to equal some very basic sight seeing with little time to enjoy them. They will still be there for another trip but again it's your trip.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,509

    Default

    Trying to see the national parks that are in the continental US (AKA "lower 48") is a little easier when one remembers that there are 48. The other 11 are located in Alaska, Hawaii, and American Samoa. Then there's the two that are a lot more difficult to get to here in the Lower 48 -- one of them is Dry Tortugas which is off of Key West, FL, and the other is Isle Royale up in Minnesota.

    Still -- 48 national parks in 50 days is not going to mean good solid visits. Yellowstone, for instance, is a 2-3 day visit just to get the highlights. You're going to need driving time between some of them. Only a few are located within an hour's drive of each other -- Yellowstone and Grand Teton, Arches and Canyonlands, and Yosemite and Sequoia-Kings Canyon, to name 3 pairs. Olympic National Park is another park that is huge -- it's 400 miles all the way around, and there are no roads that go through the park.

    Why not choose one area of the country for this trip, and save the others for other trips?

    Donna

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