Rent a car for a road trip, or drive your own? 5 things to consider

by | Jul 5, 2024 | Financial

Patchareeporn Sakoolchai | Moment | Getty ImagesSummer is the season of road trips.A record 70.9 million Americans are expected to travel by car during the July Fourth holiday week alone, according to AAA.For some car owners, it might be more financially savvy to rent a vehicle for a road trip than use their own, experts said.”It’s going to be pretty dependent on a variety of factors,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering research.Those factors include your current vehicle’s gas mileage, the distance you’ll be driving, how long you’ll be gone, whether you lease or own and how big your vehicle is, among other things, according to Toyota.Here are some key considerations.The car’s specsVehicle capacity is a “no-brainer” when it comes to choosing whether to rent or not, said Brian Moody, executive editor of Autotrader, a car shopping site.It’s easiest to say, “I have a five-passenger car and I have eight going on the trip,” Moody said.Drivers may also need to compare specifications, such as the necessity of a two-wheel-drive versus a four-wheel-drive car, as well as storage space for luggage and gear.Operating costsThis is where the math gets a bit trickier. There are many financial costs, some obvious and others less so.Drivers would need to compare total rental costs — the daily rental rate and potential add-ons like insurance — versus those of operating their own car.”Most people will be shocked at what it actually costs to own and operate their car,” Brannon said.Fueling costs, such as gasoline or electric charging, are a financial consideration for both renters and car owners.It may be possible to rent a more fuel-efficient vehicle and save money. For instance, renting a car that gets 40 miles per gallon ver …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnPatchareeporn Sakoolchai | Moment | Getty ImagesSummer is the season of road trips.A record 70.9 million Americans are expected to travel by car during the July Fourth holiday week alone, according to AAA.For some car owners, it might be more financially savvy to rent a vehicle for a road trip than use their own, experts said.”It’s going to be pretty dependent on a variety of factors,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering research.Those factors include your current vehicle’s gas mileage, the distance you’ll be driving, how long you’ll be gone, whether you lease or own and how big your vehicle is, among other things, according to Toyota.Here are some key considerations.The car’s specsVehicle capacity is a “no-brainer” when it comes to choosing whether to rent or not, said Brian Moody, executive editor of Autotrader, a car shopping site.It’s easiest to say, “I have a five-passenger car and I have eight going on the trip,” Moody said.Drivers may also need to compare specifications, such as the necessity of a two-wheel-drive versus a four-wheel-drive car, as well as storage space for luggage and gear.Operating costsThis is where the math gets a bit trickier. There are many financial costs, some obvious and others less so.Drivers would need to compare total rental costs — the daily rental rate and potential add-ons like insurance — versus those of operating their own car.”Most people will be shocked at what it actually costs to own and operate their car,” Brannon said.Fueling costs, such as gasoline or electric charging, are a financial consideration for both renters and car owners.It may be possible to rent a more fuel-efficient vehicle and save money. For instance, renting a car that gets 40 miles per gallon ver …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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