Author Topic: Long term car rental  (Read 531 times)


  • Stubble
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Long term car rental
« on: May 04, 2021, 09:27:25 PM »
I currently don't own a car and will be making a longer road trip in August/Sept for at least one month to visit some new additions to the family.  The road trip will be about 5000 miles if we just drive to the destinations and don't do anything in between.  Car rentals seem to be in the 1200-1500 range from the major companies.  Ive been debating on trying Turo for the longer term rental as this looks like it can be done for under 1000. 

My other option is to buy a used car for about 2k from a friend and then sell that after the trip is over.

Any advice on what to do here, or ways to get less expensive rentals?


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Long term car rental
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2021, 09:40:19 PM »
That's a long drive with no plans.  I assume you are looking at round trip, given you are looking into Turo?

If you are going north / south at all, you may find a one-way rental in the opposite direction of the snowbird migration may be cheap enough to fly the other way.  (Of course, airfares have their own dynamic this summer)  Rental companies of all stripes show their appreciation of your help repositioning their fleet.

Also, make sure to avoid rental locations at airports, which can tack on fees of 20% or more, meant to hit business travellers and not long-term renters.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Long term car rental
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2021, 09:41:53 PM »
The current market for rentals is the worst in history. Donít rent.


  • Stubble
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Re: Long term car rental
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2021, 09:52:17 PM »
The issue is we have a dog and would want to take him with us so we can't really fly so we will be doing a round trip.

Plan is to go from Phoenix to Chicago, then North Carolina then back to Phoenix.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Long term car rental
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2021, 12:40:56 AM »
Okay so first off, you probably will not be able to rent a car for more than 30 days at a time. If you use the credit card coverage, Visa cards are famously limited to 15 days for the CDW portion of things. Make sure you use the correct card: they will not check for you.

Also, rental car companies sometimes have a clause in their "unlimited miles" that turns magically turns them from "unlimited" to "3,000 miles per month maximum". Make sure you get a true unlimited miles contract, or split your rentals strategically.

Check prices on and make sure to accurately check the boxes of every loyalty program you belong to. It matters. Price round trip from different locations near you. Price one ways too. Triple check that you have the right amount of coverage.

I don't trust Turo. Too much legal gray area unless you pay for their most expensive insurance coverage.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 12:42:53 AM by Paul der Krake »


  • Bristles
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Re: Long term car rental
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2021, 05:38:55 AM »
Your August/September (September so kids are back in school, but maybe you need to be there during break) timing sounds ideal for a camper-van, depending on how much you want to see on the way.  I don't know much about it--- current rental market, pricing, etc, but know there are sites where individual owners will rent out their personal motorhomes/vans for trips.  We did rent a converted Dodge Caravan for 5 days from a company called Jucy, a few years ago, and it was slightly more expensive than a car, but much cheaper than car + hotel.

Also, how much of your trip is in either of your two destinations vs the travel between them?  If you're just looking for a way to arrive at the destination, have you looked at pricing to rent a car for just that leg of the trip and then turn it in when you get there?  Stay a week or whatever amount of time, then rent another car for the next leg of the drive?

If you can buy a reliable car for 2k, I'd like to think you can resell for same price (after vacuuming out the dog hair) when you return.  Have it checked by a mechanic before going through with the purchase.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Long term car rental
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2021, 07:53:25 AM »
Plan is to go from Phoenix to Chicago, then North Carolina then back to Phoenix.

Phoenix in August means you absolutely need a car with reliable air conditioning. While I think that buying a car and then selling it after the trip is over is the best option you really should get something more than $2k for such a long drive. Maybe in the $5k range or so would be more appropriate. Depreciation will still be negligible (or possibly even negative) and sales tax will be a few hundred bucks.

I've driven ~$2k cars on long road trips (back in college) which was always an iffy proposition. After accounting for inflation and the recent used car value surge it seems very unlikely you'll find a $2k car that can make such a long journey without dumping $$$$ into it.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Long term car rental
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2021, 01:45:13 PM »
I rented by the month many many times for long road trips. I just picked up a rental the other day for 31 days from Hertz and it was the most expensive rental I've ever gotten at $700 all inclusive with unlimited miles because prices are crazy high now. I generally spend around $300- $500/31 day rental as long as I'm flexible on days. I reserved a small sedan but got upgraded because I'm a Gold Member with Hertz to a Nissan Rogue SUV.

Here is what I normally do:

I use a CC (Chase) that allows 31 day coverage so I don't buy the expensive damage waiver. That is secondary to any collision insurance coverage you have on your own car but since I'm carless it will (supposedly) cover 100%.

I have a non-car owner liability policy (plus a umbrella policy) to cover liability on a rental car so don't need to buy that from the rental company.

Check to see what deals or discounts (or combo of discounts) the rental Co. has. I generally found AAA is best with Hertz but Costco membership and a bunch of others are good at other rental agencies.

If you are flexible you can fiddle around with various dates and monthly rates vs. weekly rates to find much lower prices. Example: the vehicle I'm renting now would have cost DOUBLE ($1400/month) for a 30 day rental if I got it one day later or one day earlier. Plus I got it for much less and an extra day. It can be a PITA to check various rates and days but like with air flights it is usually worth it.

Reserve a car (it's usually free unless you book at pre-paid deal) and then check daily for lower rates. I found prices vary wildly and you can change your reservation as often as you want with no issue - or cancel.

Also make sure you have unlimited miles and that you are allowed to take the car out of state. Some companies (Enterprise for example) only allow you to take their vehicles to neighboring states or they will start charging you a per-mile rate.

You can also compare rates at various travel sites but I've found booking directly with the rental car company got me the best deals.

ETA: Hertz has long term rentals (63 day minimal) that can often offer lower rates and a lower damage waiver amount if your CC doesn't offer that for the length of time needed. Not sure about liability coverage though since I have a policy that covers that via non-car-owner liability policy from State Farm.

Also be aware that some CCs won't cover the damage waiver costs for some types of vehicles (cargo vans, some trucks and on some Suvs). Then you'll have to pay the (very expensive) coverage offered by the rental agency or get some like the American Express rental car coverage. Amex offers their coverage (primary) for a small fee each time you rent as long as you are signed up for it before hand.

I did check out Phx rentals for the no th of Aug with a AAA discount but still high. Cheapest I saw was $1500/31 days all inclusive (taxes, fees, etc and unlimited mileage) and that was for the "Manager Special" whatever that is.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 02:12:28 PM by spartana »


  • Bristles
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Re: Long term car rental
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2021, 02:44:35 PM »
Not sure if it is competitive price-wise but the next battle against car leases is long term rentals from Rental car companies - you can rent for 1-12 months (I believe) at substantially reduced rates compared to renting/leasing.  These are the rental cars that have aged/mileaged out from the rental fleet.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Long term car rental
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2021, 01:54:42 PM »
Car rentals this summer is completely different. Rent away from airports. One reservations is not always cheaper. It could be cheaper to split it up into 2-3 reservations. Could you go 2-3 days without a car when you get to your destination? That could save you 6-9days worth of car rental days.