Do your summer vacation plans include a family road trip? If so, you might think about renting a vehicle instead of driving the family car. Renting a car for several weeks is not as expensive as you might think.
We recently rented a Hyundai Elantra for a 6700 mile road through the US. While the $800 rental cost many seem extravagant compared to the cost of just driving a car we already own, renting actually saved us more money in the long run and made for a nicer vacation too. Here are 5 reasons why it worked for us:
Better gas mileage. All our household cars are older model cars that average about 20 miles to the gallon. Newer cars are much more fuel efficient with our rental Hyundai averaging nearly 38-43 miles to the gallon. At a savings of 18-23 miles per gallon, we saved nearly $650 in fuel costs alone by driving a rental.
Less wear and tear. Cars need regular servicing which includes things like oil changes and brake pads, tires, and all those other parts that need to be replaced after a certain amount of miles. Driving a rental spared ‘wear and tear’ on our personal vehicles and saved us at least $150 in oil changes and wear on the tires.
More comfortable. Our family cars are vintage Volkswagens which have no AC in the summer, no heat in the winter, and no get-up-and-go when climbing hills. As much fun as it would have been to take a vintage VW on our vacation, a rental car with a powerful engine and working AC/heat is much more comfortable for a month-long road trip.
EZ replacement. Older cars have an annoying tendency of breaking down in very inconvenient places. Driving a rental car not only lowered the risk of a breakdown during our family road trip, we knew that if anything did happen, a replacement car through Hertz was only a phone call away.
Better security. Older cars also don’t have anti-theft devices which makes them easier to break into or steal. Our rental car came equipped with several anti-theft features which we really appreciated when having to park our cars overnight in public garages or in a motel parking lot.
For our family, our rental car pretty much paid for itself in terms of fuel savings and less ‘wear and tear.’ More importantly, knowing that we wouldn’t be left stranded on the road with a blown engine or transmission during our summer vacation was an important factor.
More by this contributor:
How to save gas on a road trip vacation
How to save on a rental car