Car Rentals: Worth It When Traveling?

Rental Cars Can Make or Break Your VacationThere are several things to consider when planning an upcoming vacation. You have to choose a destination, book your hotel, create a daily itinerary and decide how you’ll arrive at your location. There’s the option of driving your own car to save on airfare, thus freeing up additional cash for your vacation. Although your car may be in great condition and able to handle a road trip, there’s also the option of renting a car from companies such as Alamo Car Rental.

The time to think about a car rental is weeks before you leave on vacation. Whether you decide to rent a car and drive to your destination, or book a flight and rent a car once you arrive, an early booking can result in a better price. But before you head online to book your car rental, it pays to weigh the pros and cons of this choice.

Pros of a Car Rental

1. Save on your mileage. If your destination is only a few hours from home, it makes financial sense to drive your own car. However, if you’re traveling a distance, driving your personal vehicle increases your mileage. Not a problem if you have a low-mileage car. But if you have an older vehicle, a long drive increases the chance of experiencing problems on the highway.

2. Avoid extra maintenance. Car maintenance is costly, and many people have to space out repairs. If you’re planning a road trip in your vehicle, you don’t have the luxury of pushing back needed repairs, such as new tires, new brakes or a new timing belt. You’ll need to take care of these issues before leaving to avoid a breakdown.

3. Save on gas. If your personal car is a gas guzzler, driving this car when traveling can create a huge financial burden. But if you rent a smaller vehicle, you’ll use less fuel and pay less at the pump.

Cons of a Car Rental

1. Cost of the rental. Rentals aren’t cheap, and the price varies depending on where you reserve your car. For example, it may cost less to get a rental from the airport as opposed to your hotel. What’s more, the price of a rental may increase on the weekend or during holidays, which are popular travel times.

2. Age restrictions. Regardless of whether you’re responsible, have a job and living on your own, some rental car companies will not provide a vehicle if you’re under the age of 25.

Choosing the right mode of transportation is just as important as selecting the destination and hotel. When deciding whether to rent or drive your own car, consider your budget, the distance and the condition of your car. Select the option that makes the most sense, which can help you avoid any mishaps on the road.


Photo credit: Denis Dore Photography via photopin cc

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