Author Topic: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi  (Read 5803 times)

klystomane

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Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« on: October 27, 2014, 10:35:55 AM »
Hi~

An upcoming business trip requires that I drive approximately 100 miles one-way (200 miles roundtrip duh) to the nearest international airport before I hop on a grueling 2 stop, 26 hour flight halfway around the world.

All expenses are covered by the company.

If financial consideration (ignore inconvenience, time, etc.) is the only thing we need to consider here, what makes the most sense?

1. Drive my own car (currently own a 2011, 35k miles car) and get reimbursed $0.55/mile ($110 total)?
2. Rent a car (for the miles/points)?
3. Other (taxi, car service, etc.)?

Something to possibly consider is that I expect to have to make approximately 2-3 of these trips every quarter.

Thanks!

Guses

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Re: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2014, 10:49:54 AM »
Hi~

An upcoming business trip requires that I drive approximately 100 miles one-way (200 miles roundtrip duh) to the nearest international airport before I hop on a grueling 2 stop, 26 hour flight halfway around the world.

All expenses are covered by the company.

If financial consideration (ignore inconvenience, time, etc.) is the only thing we need to consider here, what makes the most sense?

1. Drive my own car (currently own a 2011, 35k miles car) and get reimbursed $0.55/mile ($110 total)?
2. Rent a car (for the miles/points)?
3. Other (taxi, car service, etc.)?

Something to possibly consider is that I expect to have to make approximately 2-3 of these trips every quarter.

Thanks!

I personally like to have my company pay me mileage since the marginal cost of ownership is nowhere near what they are paying me.

klystomane

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Re: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2014, 11:02:27 AM »
Hi~

An upcoming business trip requires that I drive approximately 100 miles one-way (200 miles roundtrip duh) to the nearest international airport before I hop on a grueling 2 stop, 26 hour flight halfway around the world.

All expenses are covered by the company.

If financial consideration (ignore inconvenience, time, etc.) is the only thing we need to consider here, what makes the most sense?

1. Drive my own car (currently own a 2011, 35k miles car) and get reimbursed $0.55/mile ($110 total)?
2. Rent a car (for the miles/points)?
3. Other (taxi, car service, etc.)?

Something to possibly consider is that I expect to have to make approximately 2-3 of these trips every quarter.

Thanks!

I personally like to have my company pay me mileage since the marginal cost of ownership is nowhere near what they are paying me.

Are you getting the same rate?

I actually have no idea how much it costs to own a car to be honest...this is my first car and I've only had it for a few months.

Goldielocks

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Re: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2014, 11:45:14 AM »
The calculation for my business travel:  (60km one way to airport)

If I am leaving for 2 full days or more (e.g., pay parking for 2 full days +), it is break even for the company to pay for the taxi.

Taxi at $60 x 2 ways = $120   
   versus
$60 (approximately) paid mileage to me plus $30x2+ days airport parking. (expenses)

The Taxi is the most convenient, and reduces wear and tear on my car.  Why?  Either parking at airport in extreme sun or frozen snow for extended time, plus the airport dust "fall out" is a bit tough on the car.     Greatly reduces my annual mileage.  I am often too tired to drive after a long return flight...

I also prefer the convenience of being able to check my email / make calls, while on the way to the airport, and the time saved from "at the door" drop off versus the airport parking shuttles.

HOWEVER, Financially...
The cost is better to me to have the mileage, if the company pays for the parking... BUT, company policy is to use the most cost efficient method to the company, so they can balk at long mileage charges, and I get reduced $/mile when the annual reimbursement is over a minimal amount.


To your question..

Let's assume that 100 mile taxi would be $120+ x 2 directions = $240  (No money to you, or just 2% back on cash back cc)

or

Parking for 1 week (7 nights) is $25 x 8 days, plus $110 mileage = $310  ($110 to you, of which 1/2 is cost for wear and tear and fuel, and more for depreciation mileage, plus 2% cash back on fuel and parking on cc rebate)

or

Rent a car one way, drop off at airport $60 (?)x 2 days + Fuel $50 = $170   can you even rent locally easily.  No money to you,  get two transactions, of which you get a free day ($60 value) every 7 or so trips.  Do you have a need for a rental car?  Plus again, 2% cash back on your cc.

OR (new option)
Shuttle van (shared car pool van door to door to airport)..   $70 one way x 2... 
This is the best option for savings and convenience, and my go to when the company would not pay for taxi.


If your company allows you to pay for expenses using your own credit card, and you are playing the bonus miles game, then you may be able to use company expenses as a form of manufactured spending, to get your sign up bonuses.   In that case, you need to look for how to maximize out your approved charges to the company.   I would definitely try the TAXI option in this case, and show how it is cheaper for the company than you driving.   Your benefit is $240 manufactured spend on the bonus CC,  versus $60 in your pocket for net mileage....   Is that enough to make a difference to you?

Guses

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Re: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2014, 11:49:24 AM »
Are you getting the same rate?

I actually have no idea how much it costs to own a car to be honest...this is my first car and I've only had it for a few months.

Yes, I am getting a similar rate.

Since I am keeping my car regardless, I am only interested in the marginal cost of the miles, not the total cost of ownership per mile.


klystomane

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Re: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2014, 12:53:06 PM »
The calculation for my business travel:  (60km one way to airport)

If I am leaving for 2 full days or more (e.g., pay parking for 2 full days +), it is break even for the company to pay for the taxi.

Taxi at $60 x 2 ways = $120   
   versus
$60 (approximately) paid mileage to me plus $30x2+ days airport parking. (expenses)

The Taxi is the most convenient, and reduces wear and tear on my car.  Why?  Either parking at airport in extreme sun or frozen snow for extended time, plus the airport dust "fall out" is a bit tough on the car.     Greatly reduces my annual mileage.  I am often too tired to drive after a long return flight...

I also prefer the convenience of being able to check my email / make calls, while on the way to the airport, and the time saved from "at the door" drop off versus the airport parking shuttles.

HOWEVER, Financially...
The cost is better to me to have the mileage, if the company pays for the parking... BUT, company policy is to use the most cost efficient method to the company, so they can balk at long mileage charges, and I get reduced $/mile when the annual reimbursement is over a minimal amount.


To your question..

Let's assume that 100 mile taxi would be $120+ x 2 directions = $240  (No money to you, or just 2% back on cash back cc)

or

Parking for 1 week (7 nights) is $25 x 8 days, plus $110 mileage = $310  ($110 to you, of which 1/2 is cost for wear and tear and fuel, and more for depreciation mileage, plus 2% cash back on fuel and parking on cc rebate)

or

Rent a car one way, drop off at airport $60 (?)x 2 days + Fuel $50 = $170   can you even rent locally easily.  No money to you,  get two transactions, of which you get a free day ($60 value) every 7 or so trips.  Do you have a need for a rental car?  Plus again, 2% cash back on your cc.

OR (new option)
Shuttle van (shared car pool van door to door to airport)..   $70 one way x 2... 
This is the best option for savings and convenience, and my go to when the company would not pay for taxi.


If your company allows you to pay for expenses using your own credit card, and you are playing the bonus miles game, then you may be able to use company expenses as a form of manufactured spending, to get your sign up bonuses.   In that case, you need to look for how to maximize out your approved charges to the company.   I would definitely try the TAXI option in this case, and show how it is cheaper for the company than you driving.   Your benefit is $240 manufactured spend on the bonus CC,  versus $60 in your pocket for net mileage....   Is that enough to make a difference to you?

Thanks for detailed response. Company allows for personal credit card use. I put all expenses on my personal CC.

I did some Googling and here's what I found (all numbers based on round-trip figures)

1. Taxi:
About $240 one-way, $480 round-trip.
Too expensive, company would shoot me.
Vetoed.

2. Rental:
Approximately $180, $50 for cab from home to rental office, $30 for gas.
Total = $260
Result: Manufactured spending of $260

3. Personal Car:
$110 for mileage, $130 per week for parking
Total = About $240
Result: $80 in pocket, manufactured spending of $160 ($30 gas, $130 parking)

So, it looks like it's either option 2 or 3.

Assuming I don't mind the added stress/time required for renting a car, which option makes more sense now?

Guses

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Re: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2014, 01:47:17 PM »

2. Rental:
Approximately $180, $50 for cab from home to rental office, $30 for gas.
Total = $260
Result: Manufactured spending of $260

3. Personal Car:
$110 for mileage, $130 per week for parking
Total = About $240
Result: $80 in pocket, manufactured spending of $160 ($30 gas, $130 parking)

So, it looks like it's either option 2 or 3.

Assuming I don't mind the added stress/time required for renting a car, which option makes more sense now?

If you care about the financial aspect, you should not even consider option 2. Why would you care about manufactured spending? So you can get 1-2% back? I would much rather have the 80$ in my pocket than the 5$ in reward money.

On top of that, you claim that renting a car is more stressful and adds to the time required. It really is a no brainer....

How many miles do you drive per year? If you don't drive alot, your car will rot from old age before it dies from too many miles anyway.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2014, 01:50:39 PM »
Would you rather save $80, or gain 80 points? Given that points are redeemed for pennies in cash, and that you need thousands of points for frequent-flyer awards, I'd go for the cash.

Goldielocks

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Re: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2014, 01:51:30 PM »
When I have done the rental car route, I would pick it up the evening before, to reduce the stress / hassle on the day of the trip.  Returning is easy with a key drop slot.   

I like the manufactured spend route, IF YOU ARE GOING FOR THE 70k BONUS POINTS... and I dislike the hassle of routine car maintenance more often than a bare minimum.  So for me, I treat my car as a 15 year investment, to be used a minimum only, and use the rental car route.

It is up to you at these rates...   If you are parked in an outdoor lot, near the airport, plan to wash your car after 1-2 weeks at that lot (this is coming from someone who only washes her car every 2 months, on average).   There is a lot of jet fuel fall out over the vehicles.


Guses

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Re: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2014, 02:01:26 PM »
I like the manufactured spend route, IF YOU ARE GOING FOR THE 70k BONUS POINTS... and I dislike the hassle of routine car maintenance more often than a bare minimum.  So for me, I treat my car as a 15 year investment, to be used a minimum only, and use the rental car route.

I don't get this. The points are worth so much less than the cash.

If you don't use your car alot, the minimum maintenance items expire before they get used up(i.e., oil change every year instead of every 8000 miles). So it does not even accelerate your schedule.

With the 80$, you can pay someone to wash your car and still have 70$ left over...

Goldielocks

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Re: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2014, 03:53:53 PM »
I found that parking my car outside in summer in a hot (California) airport lot for a week, OR parking it for a week in -20 degree (Calgary) weather at the airport, both tended to accelerate maintenance / repair issues much more than the straight mileage.  (versus my garage, covered).  Something about long term outdoor parking.



For the  points, most people are right, unless the money will help get to a $3000 Bonus signup limit more quickly, with a return of points worth more like $900 on that $3000 spend. 

 When you travel for work, and can claim expenses, if you divert more spending to the CC, you can get the bonus after only a few trips.  All those $200 items do add up to "Free" $900 or nearly 25% return on manufactured spend.  Otherwise, a 2% cash back is the best you can usually hope for.




Hotstreak

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Re: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2014, 04:19:18 PM »
Whether you choose to rent or take your own car, consider selling your passenger seat to somebody else who is headed to the airport (or just to that city).  If it suits your demeanor, you can usually get more than enough from a single passenger to cover your gas (in this case about 3 gallons or $10 - someone might pay you $20 for the ride).
 

klystomane

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Re: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2014, 04:30:49 PM »
Whether you choose to rent or take your own car, consider selling your passenger seat to somebody else who is headed to the airport (or just to that city).  If it suits your demeanor, you can usually get more than enough from a single passenger to cover your gas (in this case about 3 gallons or $10 - someone might pay you $20 for the ride).
 

I never even thought about that - I think I'm leaning towards driving if only to get the bonus of some extra cash.

Good idea, thanks!

Guses

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Re: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2014, 06:18:35 PM »
I found that parking my car outside in summer in a hot (California) airport lot for a week, OR parking it for a week in -20 degree (Calgary) weather at the airport, both tended to accelerate maintenance / repair issues much more than the straight mileage.  (versus my garage, covered).  Something about long term outdoor parking.


This would be purely coincidental. A single week will have absolutely no impact on anything especially if you talk about inside vs outside. You can start having problem if you do not drive a car regularly, say every few months. Cars made of modern steel can withstand -20 to 40 C no problem without breaking a metaphorical sweat.

Not sure what a 3000$ bonus signup limit is. I only have one card that does rewards and it's the 2% MBNA one. 

To the OP definitely try to get passengers with you too.

Hotstreak

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Re: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2014, 10:10:17 PM »
Whether you choose to rent or take your own car, consider selling your passenger seat to somebody else who is headed to the airport (or just to that city).  If it suits your demeanor, you can usually get more than enough from a single passenger to cover your gas (in this case about 3 gallons or $10 - someone might pay you $20 for the ride).
 

I never even thought about that - I think I'm leaning towards driving if only to get the bonus of some extra cash.

Good idea, thanks!


You're welcome.  I'm curious, as I don't have much experience with rentals, is there something in the contract that would prevent driving other passengers?  That almost seems like an ideal situation.  Removes all the risk of driving your own vehicle, including that you can be a little less discriminate about passengers (if you're not worried about the "ick" factor of a smoker, smeller, eater, spiller, etc., in your rental.. that's a lot of disqualifiers out the window).

Guses

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Re: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2014, 06:31:58 AM »
You're welcome.  I'm curious, as I don't have much experience with rentals, is there something in the contract that would prevent driving other passengers? That almost seems like an ideal situation.  Removes all the risk of driving your own vehicle, including that you can be a little less discriminate about passengers (if you're not worried about the "ick" factor of a smoker, smeller, eater, spiller, etc., in your rental.. that's a lot of disqualifiers out the window).

That in itself is likely not a problem. Driving passengers for money might be considered operating a business or such and probably requires different insurance.

In fact, I randomly pulled this off the Hertz rental agreement:

"Exclusion of coverages may occur when the vehicle is used as follows:
 
-To carry persons or property for hire."

YMMV

The Mobile Mustachian

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Re: Using personal car vs. company/renting/taxi
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2014, 09:00:40 AM »
A different spin on this - I typically pay someone to drive me for less than the taxi fare. If the taxi fare is $80, I will pay a friend $60 who needs the money and/or is available. Thus, the company saves money and I have a happy friend who I got to spend time with.