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  1. #1

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    I guess a good question to ask is, is it better to rent a car or use your own. I know you'd have to factor in wear and tear on your own vehicle, but, is a rental cheap enough to do a cross-country tour?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by irishblizzix
    I guess a good question to ask is, is it better to rent a car or use your own. I know you'd have to factor in wear and tear on your own vehicle, but, is a rental cheap enough to do a cross-country tour?
    Personally, I would only rent a car if my own car wasn't road-worthy. I really enjoy driving my car. A roadtrip in another car might be boring.....well, unless I rented a Porsche Boxter or something like that. Of course, this isn't any kind of financial analysis. But any car goes down in value as soon as you drive it off the lot.

    While a low-mileage, older-model car will have more value than a high-mileage one, I doubt the road miles will make all that much difference if you keep your car for awhile. If you're one that turns your car in every year or two, then those extra miles might make a difference.

    I just checked out my car on the Kelly Blue Book site where you can get values of your vehicle. I put my '99 in with the actual miles (almost 120,000 with quite a few roadtrips) and with only 50,000 miles on it. It made a difference of $2,000 in the value. Renting a car for the roadtrips I've taken would have cost me much more than the $2,000 difference in value.

    I think each person's circumstances will vary so you might check out the Kelly site or Edmund's and plug in some figures for your own vehicle and see what you come up with. Like I said, if you get new cars regularly, the miles might make more of a difference. However, I tend to keep my cars a LONG time. I've been driving for 32 years and I'm only on my 5th car. So, in my case, it's really not that big of an issue.

  3. #3
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    Default Done it both ways

    Quote Originally Posted by irishblizzix
    I guess a good question to ask is, is it better to rent a car or use your own. I know you'd have to factor in wear and tear on your own vehicle, but, is a rental cheap enough to do a cross-country tour?
    Judy's analysis is great -- but for me it has more to do with the quality of the intended miles. If I know I will be facing some challenging road miles (steep terrain, off-highway roads, etc.) I will almost always choose my own vehicles, because I know intimately how well they are maintained and how they will respond to adverse conditions. On the other hand, if I am expecting good, dry road conditions and HIGH mileage, I will often choose rentals so as not to add extra miles to my cars. Both of our personal vehicles have well over 100,000 miles and I prefer to use them for those high-guality "fun" miles. So, for example, a trip we took in October racked up ~3,000 miles and I used a rental. For me the relative cost of the rental is not the determing factor.

    Mark

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    ...Both of our personal vehicles have well over 100,000 miles and I prefer to use them for those high-guality "fun" miles...
    Silly me! I thought all roadtrip miles were fun miles! LOL

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    Default Got-Me

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    Silly me! I thought all roadtrip miles were fun miles!
    OK, OK, that is true... Wot was I thinkin'?

  6. Default

    It depends on the type of roadtrip I'd be taking, and how comfortable you are around cars.

    I almost always take my own car, just because I enjoy driving it so much. Even though I have more than 140K on a 2001 vehicle, but as least I know it's been maintained right and is still fairly reliable, and I am familiar with fixing it if I need to.

    For a cross country roadtrip, I might consider a rental vehicle if I don't plan on going too far off the beaten path. It'll be a lot more expensive for the rental, but if you rent from a reputable nationwide company, there's a lot less hassle. No need to worry about maintenance, theft, or damage (as long as you have insurance) If something does go wrong, most companies will supply you with a tow and a replacement rental right away without any hassle, so you won't be stuck middle of nowhere fixing anything. You'll pay a lot more, but worry a lot less. And you won't be decreasing the value of your own car, which you have to factor when comparing the price difference.

    I have taken rentals into some "less traveled" areas, and I can definitely say it's a lot more stress free when you don't have to worry about the car itself.

  7. #7
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    Default

    One reason why I can't imagine taking another car is that I enjoy driving my own car too much. But another reason is laziness. My car is pretty well half-packed at all times. I won't get into all the gear I carry at all times (I already detailed all this a long time ago in another post) but just the idea of moving it all and finding places for it makes me tired to think about. LOL
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-31-2005 at 02:15 AM. Reason: Added the link

  8. #8

    Default

    I agree with Judy here, though Mark makes an excellent point. Last week I figured out that I put 20,000 miles on my car in 2005 (not much, but commuting to/from work for a whole year is just above 10K). My two long drives were both with my car (which now has 72000 miles on it). I considered going the rental route, but using KBB I found out that my car is only worth $480 less now. I intend to keep it as long as I can, so the older it gets the smaller that $480 becomes.

    Mark, may I ask what type of cars you have that have well over 100,000 miles? :)

    Dan

  9. #9
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    Jan 1998
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    Default Three RoadTrip Vehicles

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan K
    Mark, may I ask what type of cars you have that have well over 100,000 miles? :)
    Dan,

    The two principal road trip vehicles I use now are a 1990 S-10 Blazer (~214,000 miles) and a 1995 Infinity Q45 (129,000). We no longer drive the Phoenix One ourselves, but at the time of the change-over, she had carried us well over that 100,000 mile mark.

    Mark

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