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  1. Default New York to LA - advice wanted!

    A friend and I live in Wales (UK), and have had this idea to travel from New York to LA this summer. We are hoping to fly to New York, then find some way to Chicago, where we hope to hire a car and drive to LA while seeing all the sights along the way. We hope to all this in 4 weeks!

    I'm really struggling at the moment with finding a car hire company that don't charge and incredible amount of money to hire their car because:
    1. The drop off is at a different site from the pick up.
    2. My friend and I are both 24 (just underneath the all important 25 age!)

    Has anybody got any advice on where I should look to hire a car, or would it be cheaper to buy an used car in Chicago and try and sell it in LA. From what I've seen, they charge around $1800 to hire a car, which I think is a bit much.

    As this is a once in a lifetime trip, and I hope to see as many sights and experience as much of America as is possible in 4 weeks, I would be incredibly grateful for any links or information anybody reading this could give me..the roadtrip virgin!

    Many thanks in advance,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default that's about right

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    About $2000 sounds right about what I would expect for a month long trip with both under 25 and one way drop off fees. You might be able to shop around and do a little better, but probably not by much.

    Purchasing a car wouldn't be cheaper and really isn't practical for your timeline. Assuming you could get beyond all of the red tape of buying a car as a non-resident (a big assumption mind you) you'd be spending at least one of your 4 weeks dealing with everything that goes into buying and selling a car, plus you'd have to come up with several thousand dollars more up front and in the end you'd probably lose at least $2000 if not more on the resale.

    If you wait a year, you would save a substantial amount of money, but if you can't wait, then you're going to have to accept that your trip really won't be cheap.

  3. #3

    Default Boston - LA (2008)

    We drove from Boston to LA in summer 2008 in 18 days. That was hard work to get in everything we planned but was successful.
    Starting from NY you are south of our start but if you wanted to visit Niagar Falls you would meet out track, other wise you'd cross us at the base of Lake Erie.

    We found that we charged almost directly West for the first half of the country then were winding all over from the Rockies west to the Pacific.

    Popular locations we visited included: Niagara Falls; Chimney Rock/Scott's Bluff; Rocky Mountain Nat Pk; Black Canyon; Mesa Verde; The Arches Nat Pk; Valley of the Gods/Monument Valley; Grand Canyon, Las Vegas; and Death Valley.

    Our actual route, mileage and fuel consumption are included in a daily blog I wrote at Ged and Lynne - Trans American Adventure . WARNING: Exchange rate was $1.98 to £1. Treat GBP figures with caution in blog.

    We paid $500 for the drop off the hire car the far side of the continent. It has to be viewed in context, the hire rates are much lower that in the UK and we put on 5,600 miles in 3 weeks. It is only when you drive across you realise just how vast the country is and we could appreciate that a Rhode Island registered vehicle stuck in LA is bad news for the hire company.
    With that mileage, you would need to be very sure of the condition of a purchased car, you will lose a lot of holiday if it doesn't make it.
    Last edited by Ged-i; 02-17-2009 at 10:58 AM.

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