We need help.
Me, and 6 other friends are planning a road trip from South Florida up to N.C. to pick up 2 friends(there are 7 people total), than to the West Coast. We figured the numbers with one of our parents who has gone on a few road trips, and we came up with 2 numbers. $17,000 if we rent an RV, food, gas spending money ect. Than $15,000 if we take 2 mini-vans one rented, and the other is our own.
Do you guys think these numbers are right because if so this trip is going to cost alot more than we first thought. Also, would you suggest the RV even though is cost more, since it may be more comfortable, because I figured with 2 cars we can separate anyone who fights, since I know that someone will eventually fight, and be able to drive in towns, and cities alot easier.
We want the road trip to last about 3-4weeks, after we reach Cali. we are going to head to N.Y. than head home, so do you guys really think it is going to cost that much?
Your parents Know What They're Talking About
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!
I ran a quick set of numbers for what this might cost and I quickly came up with a round figure estimate of $15,000 for the two van option, assuming 3 or 4 to a room at low-end motels each night, eating most of your meals out of coolers rather than at restaurants, reasonable mileage for the vans and expected gas prices. NOT included in that estimate are the costs of renting the second van or any 'entertainment' expenses. So, each of the seven of you had better be able to kick in around $2,500 if you want this to happen. You can save a bit, maybe a couple of thousand dollars at most, by camping every night instead of taking motel rooms, but even then you're going to want real beds with increasing frequency as this trip progresses. By the way, I think the two van option is by far the better for all the reasons you enumerated.
I think the 2 vans would be best, too.
I did a quick run of a 4-week rental for a motorhome. When you add up the 32 cents per miley ou will have to pay, it would be roughly $7500 give or take a few hundred, to rent an RV the size you'll need. Once you add up the fuel costs, you're probably looking at $11-12,000 for the RV. Yikes!
If its even possible
I'm guessing since you are talking about your parents about this trip that you are under 21 years old?
When you take that into consideration, renting an RV would probably not even be possible because no one will rent such a vehicle to you because of your age.
Even renting a van will likely be a significant challenge because of your age. Mini-vans are often listed as specialty vehicles that are reserved for only those 25 and above.
I hate to be a buzzkill, but renting cars is a significant challenge for anyone under age 25, and becomes virtually impossible (or at least extremely expensive) if you aren't at least 21.
I figured that it might be more expensive since we all are under 21, our ages are me-19 and everyone else is 18 or 17. I was planning on having one of our parents legally sign for the mini-van or the RV. This way the cost remains lower than it should be, I know this may cause a problem if we get in any accidents on the trip but I think we can have insurance added to cover for another driver, this would keep the cost lower than it should and still cover us for any accidents. What do you think, can we get away with doing that?
Your parents cannot sign for you. You may not legally drive a rental if the contract (as it will) expressly prohibits any drivers under the age of 21. You will be voiding the contract and, in essence, driving a stolen vehicle. Forget this deceptive plan immediately.
Well if the contract says no one below 21 can drive than we wouldn't use that company. We would just have to search for a company that allows for any secondary driver with a valid license to operate the car. If we do it like that I don't see any reason why we wouldn't be able to do it, the only problem may be finding a company that allows people under 21 to drive their cars, and thats only if most car rental companies have a standard to have only 21 year olds and older drive their cars. But I'm just worried if the company would have a problem with the primary driver not being anywhere near the car if we do get in an accident, by not anywhere near I mean another state of course. What do you guys think?
What you want and why they have
Despite "not seeing any reason you couldn't do it" what you are hoping to find simply doesn't exist. There is no rental car company that I've ever heard of that allows "any licensed driver" to be a secondary driver.
Unfortantly, Rental car contracts do not work the way you are hoping they do. Most companies do have a policy that doesn't allow ANY under 21 drivers, and being a "secondary" driver is not going to help at all either. Secondary drivers must still be listed on the rental contract and still have to follow the terms of the primary driver.
If you are quoted a rate for one driver age 25/over, and you show up with a second driver who is under 21, they most likely will simply not allow that second person to be listed on the rental contract. If they do allow it, you will then have to pay both an extra driver fee (usually about $5-10 per day) plus your the underage driver fee (which if you can find a company that will allow it, is going to be at least $20 per day, but more likely around $50). Basically, the only thing being a "secondary" driver will mean is that you'll have to pay an additional fee for the extra driver on top of the underage fees you'd be looking at.
Sorry to tell you, you just aren't going to be able to "hide" from the rental contract by being a secondary driver. By all means, you can search around and try to find a company that would work with you, and you might find a local independent rental agency that with a more flexible underage driver policy, but I can just about guarentee that none of the major US rental chains are going to let you do what you are hoping.
Heed AZBuck's advice here
You will want to have the main driver rent the car and sign the rental agreement. You will not want to have anybody drive the car who is not listed on the rental agreement. If you do anything other than this (per what AZBuck has already said "You will be voiding the contract and, in essence, driving a stolen vehicle. Forget this deceptive plan immediately." (bold mine)
Do one or more of the parents have vehicles you could use for your roadtrip? If so, why don't you use vehicles already owned? And then the parents can rent vehicles to use to get around while you're on your trip. Just a suggestion that makes a lot more sense than driving a stolen car just so you can do a road trip.
I took a semi-long camping roadtrip with seven people once, just a tour of three or four states, using three different cars because of all our camping gear, and it was rough, because 7 people often have 7 different agendas. And then if you decide to part ways, someone always feels hurt even if no hurt is intended and it's a mess. We had a good time, but fought unbelievably. Another recent similar camping trip had 8 people, and it was some of the same. I really believe that 5 people and one car is about the maximum for a roadtrip to work. The ideal number is 4.
17,000. Holy cow, yo. That's crazy. I've never taken a roadtrip that cost me personally more than $300, and that's counting food and souvenirs but then again, I usually only go for about 10 days and drive a normal car.