friends on a road trip

To Rent a Car or Drive Your Own for Long Trips?

Vacations are hard to plan during pandemic times. Aside from safety and sanitation concerns, there is also the eagerness to save money throughout the trip.

But now that you have made all the necessary bookings and written down your itinerary, you still need to carefully consider your transportation options. The biggest question that befalls you is: should you rent a car or drive your own vehicle?

There are upsides and downsides to either choice. If you want to make a decision that prioritizes both comfort and affordability, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of each. For your convenience, here are some primary considerations you should take:

It Ultimately Depends on Where You Are Headed

Amongst the many things to look at before deciding whether to rent or drive, it boils down to what destinations you are visiting. What are the road conditions in those areas? Can any everyday car do or do you need specialized functions for your journey?

For instance, if you are going on an off-roading vacation, cars that suit your needs may not be as easy to come by as a family-sized van. Off-roaders also usually have specs that they prefer to have in their trucks when traveling. In these situations, bringing your own truck is usually the wiser decision.

To prepare for these types of trips, you may want to add custom modifications to your car to make it more off-roading-friendly. But this often takes a lot of time that you may not have to spare. It is advisable to search for lifted trucks for sale since they are good investments, especially if you want to make off-roading a longtime hobby.

Other Important Considerations

Aside from the kinds of roads you will be traveling on, you also have to know how well your car can take long distances. Here are some questions to help you assess.

1. Which option saves more fuel?

Fuel efficiency is one factor that could help you cut down on expenses during your trip. Renting a car could be the cheaper option if the car uses fuel more efficiently than your own. Newer models are usually better equipped with the technology to consume fuel better, so it helps to look for these should you opt to rent.

Do take note that these will also depend on the availability of vehicles and the rental rates on your booking date. It is best to compute the expenses of bringing your own car ahead of time for easier comparison.

2. Can your car manage the long drive?

Contrary to popular belief, using your car for long drives is not in itself harmful to it. If your car is a generally well-maintained machine, then it should be able to manage a long drive from one city or state to another. In fact, if you use a car that runs on diesel, longer drives may even be better for it than short distances.

Just take into account the age of your car, how much you drive it, and how you use it. These will factor into its “health” on the road. Be mindful of the weather, too, warm weather can make your engine overheat.

3. Are you planning to resell your car in the future?

Each mile traveled contributes to the depreciation of your car. It is just a natural part of a car’s life cycle that it wears down the more you use it. However, if you are hoping to resell it in the future, taking it with you for long journeys may be unideal. Especially if these vacations are a regular event for you, the wear and tear may negatively affect you.

5. Is your car able to take the load?

Sometimes, it is just a practical consideration of if things will fit inside your car. Long vacations mean needing more stuff, so you have to take the weight of all your clothes and equipment into account.

Then there is the concern of how many people can fit in your car once your things have been packed inside. Don’t attempt to have too many passengers in your car at all, too, as this could earn you a ticket.

As a guide, count how many seat belts are available once all your things are loaded. This will tell you how many people will fit in the car. If it isn’t enough, renting a van that can comfortably fit you and your passengers will be the better option.

To summarize, when choosing the best option for your trip, think of affordability, comfort, and the possible consequences it will have on your car. These will help you make the smarter choice.