Author Topic: Road Trip MMM style  (Read 6309 times)

Falke401

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Road Trip MMM style
« on: February 12, 2015, 07:33:44 PM »
In July I will be driving from Arizona to Ohio and back.  I plan to rent an econo car so I get good gas mileage and not kill my car.  Does anyone have any advice for getting a cheap rental car?  Also any ideas on cheap, but safe places to stay while on the road?  I will have 2 kids with me, so sleeping at a rest stop is not an option.  From what I find, I can get a car for about $120 a week or so if I catch it at the right time with some coupon codes.  Thats about it. 

Falke401

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2015, 08:12:12 PM »
As of now the best I can find is:

Car:  2 weeks for $278. (Ford focus or similar)
Hotel:  Around 60 or so.  I will get one on the way there, and one on the way back.  $120 or so total.
Gas:  About 200 round trip at today's gas prices. 

$598 total. 

AllieVaulter

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2015, 08:14:26 PM »
Have you thought about bringing a tent and camping?  Camp sites are usually pretty inexpensive and I've never felt unsafe at one.  There's often drinkable water and port-a-potties available.  Sometimes there are fancier campsites with actual bathrooms and showers, but obviously, that costs more.  But if you have an end destination in mind, a day or two without shower is not bad.  You can bring baby wipes for "shower". 

SaintM

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2015, 08:17:14 PM »
How much is it to rent an RV? I really have no idea. You will pay more for gas, but get it back by staying at cheap campgrounds. You will want to take your time...it's a lot more fun that driving 1000 miles a day for two days each way.

kpd905

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2015, 08:19:11 PM »
How much is it to rent an RV? I really have no idea. You will pay more for gas, but get it back by staying at cheap campgrounds. You will want to take your time...it's a lot more fun that driving 1000 miles a day for two days each way.

Around $1000/week with Cruise America.

SaintM

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2015, 08:19:57 PM »
Tents are fun too. If we stay in one too long, SaintMichelle complains about her back.  Hence our camper.

SaintM

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2015, 08:21:52 PM »

Around $1000/week with Cruise America.

For that I would dig out my tent.

Eric

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2015, 09:05:18 PM »
Why would you pay to rent a car when you already own a car?  Is it on its last legs or something?  If so, then fine, but don't do it just to save some mileage.

Goldielocks

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2015, 09:36:34 PM »
Why would you pay to rent a car when you already own a car?  Is it on its last legs or something?  If so, then fine, but don't do it just to save some mileage.

I disagree, if you have a car with cramped back seat and teens, or a gas guzzler likely to need repairs first, then renting for fuel efficiency can work out.... My last two car trips were nearly $1000 in fuel each, as we were loaded to the top with campo g equipment.

I definitely second the tent idea, and would add a night so you can explore a pretty area along the way and make the drive part of the holiday, too. 

mrshudson

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2015, 09:42:03 PM »
Why would you pay to rent a car when you already own a car?  Is it on its last legs or something?  If so, then fine, but don't do it just to save some mileage.

Can we see some math on this? Assuming you will wind up paying roughly the same amount on gas for one's own car vs. a rental car, what is the math on own car's depreciation, maintenance and repairs vs. a rental car?

I'm assuming for the own car scenario, roughly 1600 miles one direction from Arizona to Ohio, and assuming $0.10** per mile of driving costs excluding gas (i.e., only depreciation and maintenance/repairs for say a used 2003 Honda Civic or a Toyota Corolla), the round trip costs $320, excluding gas.

My math suggests that for every trip that exceeds one way 600 miles, you are better off renting a car at about $120/week. I see rates at my local Enterprise at about $95/week for an economy rental for a week, which works out just great for gas mileage. Be sure to pressurize the tires of your rental car to whatever feels safe (I go usually 10% higher than rated pressure) to may be extract a little more gas mileage.

**Assuming $500 in depreciation every 10,000 miles, $500 tires per 50,000 miles, oil, filter, wipers etc. $50 per 5000 miles, $300 in other miscellaneous maintenance/repairs every 10,000 miles. It's possible that you can drive for a lot less than $0.10/mile, but if so, I'd love to know how.

OSUBearCub

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2015, 09:07:40 AM »
My dad and I took a tour of colleges back when I was in high school.  I have some of the best memories of that trip.

Suggestion for hotels - at almost any highway restaurant or rest stop, there are free travel magazines.  They're usually specific to the freeway you're driving on.  Coupons for budget hotels are printed in order based on mile marker.   Dad and I set a goal to not spend more than $30 on a room (1997) and it gave us some incentive to push those extra 10-15 miles at the end of the night to get to the cheapest option just a little ways up the road.

Quality varies widely but the adventure of not knowing what lay at the end of the travel day was exciting. "Muffins or murder?" :-)

(None were dangerous, no risk of murder ha ha)

Falke401

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2015, 09:43:38 AM »
My car is a lifted Jeep that gets about 15-18MPG at best.  Not very mustachian, but I don't drive it very far to work and such.  Gas buddy says $483 in gas back and forth.  If I rent a Ford Focus it is $188 in gas.  That $295 more in gas if I take my jeep with 145K miles.  I also like the zero liability and no worry about things falling apart in the July heat.  Just a flat tire would kill the deal. 

Khaetra

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2015, 09:44:09 AM »
Why would you pay to rent a car when you already own a car?  Is it on its last legs or something?  If so, then fine, but don't do it just to save some mileage.

For long road trips I always rent.  For me, it's peace of mind knowing that if I broke down in the middle of nowhere I can call and have another car delivered to me, instead of having to call a tow truck and having my car taken to an unknown mechanic, who may or may not have parts and having to wait around for it to be fixed.  I had that experience driving through Texas and I said never again.  It adds to my vacation cost, but for me it is well worth it.

Eric

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2015, 11:03:35 AM »
Ahhh, a Jeep.  Sorry, I guess I assumed that you already were driving a sensible car.  ;)
Do you have full coverage on that Jeep?  If not, make sure to include the cost of the LDW for the rental when running your numbers.

Falke401

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2015, 11:08:25 AM »
I do have full coverage on the Jeep so I am good with that.

APowers

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2015, 11:27:33 AM »
Why would you pay to rent a car when you already own a car?  Is it on its last legs or something?  If so, then fine, but don't do it just to save some mileage.

Can we see some math on this? Assuming you will wind up paying roughly the same amount on gas for one's own car vs. a rental car, what is the math on own car's depreciation, maintenance and repairs vs. a rental car?

I'm assuming for the own car scenario, roughly 1600 miles one direction from Arizona to Ohio, and assuming $0.10** per mile of driving costs excluding gas (i.e., only depreciation and maintenance/repairs for say a used 2003 Honda Civic or a Toyota Corolla), the round trip costs $320, excluding gas.

My math suggests that for every trip that exceeds one way 600 miles, you are better off renting a car at about $120/week. I see rates at my local Enterprise at about $95/week for an economy rental for a week, which works out just great for gas mileage. Be sure to pressurize the tires of your rental car to whatever feels safe (I go usually 10% higher than rated pressure) to may be extract a little more gas mileage.

**Assuming $500 in depreciation every 10,000 miles, $500 tires per 50,000 miles, oil, filter, wipers etc. $50 per 5000 miles, $300 in other miscellaneous maintenance/repairs every 10,000 miles. It's possible that you can drive for a lot less than $0.10/mile, but if so, I'd love to know how.

Depreciation seems odd to include in this comparison, unless you're also going to include vehicle registration, insurance, and the cost of your driver's license. Your car is going to depreciate regardless of whether you take it on a road trip or not. Or maybe newer cars are different?

*does research* KBB.com says:

2015 Corolla       500 mi: $17,335 (excellent condition)
2003 Corolla 100000 mi: 5,564 (VG condition)
2003 Corolla 120000 mi: $4,868 (VG condition)
1996 Corolla 180000 mi: $1,294 (good condition)
1996 Corolla 250000 mi: $1,270 (good condition)

It appears that a newer car depreciates per mileage ($348/10k in this case). BUT. The older Corolla doesn't. So I guess it depends.


Here's what I get when I do your math for my car, a 1995 Honda Civic: $0.038/mile.

We bought it for $2k. If it depreciated $500 every 10k miles, it should be paying ME :P . And tires are cheaper than your quote, and oil is cheaper than your quote....I just priced tires (I need a set): I can get brand new 90k mile warranted Michelins for ~$300 (including tax). Almost all the national auto parts chains periodically run specials for 5 qt. + filter = ~$20, which is almost two oil changes.

So when I run the numbers for my car, it costs:

Depreciation:    $0/10k -- $0.000/mile
Tires:          $33.33/10k -- $0.033
Maintenance:  $50/10k -- $0.005
Repairs:         $300/10k -- $0.03

Total: $383.33/10k -- $0.0383/mile
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

TL;DR: New cars are expensive. Rental cars are also expensive.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2015, 12:40:37 PM »
As of now the best I can find is:

Car:  2 weeks for $278. (Ford focus or similar)
Hotel:  Around 60 or so.  I will get one on the way there, and one on the way back.  $120 or so total.
Gas:  About 200 round trip at today's gas prices. 

$598 total.

I've done my share of family road trips from when I was married and had a son and this looks great to me.  Probably better than many deals I've gotten as far as the rental car is concerned.  I too have rented cars for road trips: my time is at an extreme premium when on a road trip. In regular life, being without a car for a couple days isn't a big deal.  If you're on a 14-day roadtrip and without a car for a few days, that's a huge deal.  That could seriously turn an ordinary family completely against ever going on vacation again, even.  This is even more true when looking at the 3-5 day vacations that were more typical for my family.  If our car broke down on the first day of our trip, then basically the entire vacation is over at that point.  The end.

With the rental car, it's generally going to be much lower mileage than your own car and thus less likely to break down in the first place.  Second, as long as you're renting from a reputable company with cars available nationwide, if the car breaks down they just assign you a replacement from their nearest rental place and you're on your way.  You might lose half a day at the most but as long as you don't have the transit days crammed too full with stuff, you can probably make up for that.  I love the idea of rental cars for vacation, as it gets you in the habit of thinking of your own car as only an in-town, infrequently used thing.  You can get away with owning a pretty cheap and minimalist car of your own if you simply assume that for major trips you'll rent a car instead.  So instead of having a $250/month car payment for life, you have a paid off car and every so often you spend $250 to rent a near-new car.  I view this as fiscally responsible.

AllieVaulter

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2015, 12:52:32 PM »
Something else to consider...  Do you belong to AAA?  I believe they give discounts on rental cars.  Also check your credit card rewards.  Our credit card give better cash back with particular rental companies.  Obviously, you'll need to compare the price w/ the cashback vs the cost at a possibly cheaper rental company. 

Falke401

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2015, 08:15:31 PM »
I dont have AAA, but can go through USAA.  I will keep any eye out for military discounts too since I am AD military.

SaintM

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Re: Road Trip MMM style
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2015, 09:15:43 PM »
I dont have AAA, but can go through USAA.  I will keep any eye out for military discounts too since I am AD military.

Ah, hence the $60/night for lodging. No 20% taxes and fees if you stay at AF bases along the way.

I still prefer camping:)