Long Road Trip: Should You Rent a Car or Use Your Own?

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One of the most difficult decisions faced when planning a road trip revolves around which vehicle to take: rent a car or use your own. Although the decision may come easy to some people, others struggle with the choice. There are some inherent pros and cons to each option that must be considered before making a final judgment call. Furthermore, individuals may vary their choice based on the same list of advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons of renting a car and taking your own for a road trip.

Taking your car
The biggest pro of taking your own car on a road trip is familiarity. Everyone is most comfortable when driving their car because of the years of experience they have behind the wheel. This familiarity makes for a much more comfortable and safe ride when going on a longer road trip. Affordability is another great benefit of taking your own vehicle. Renting a car can cost a lot of money. There are extra insurances to buy in addition to the cost of renting the vehicle. By using a car already owned, you bypass thousands of dollars that can be used to have more fun on the road trip. This can be true even if you’re currently required to carry SR22 insurance for your personal vehicle.

One of the biggest disadvantages to taking your own car is the damage that can come from long road trips. Driving for extended periods of time can be rough on any type of vehicle. This wear and tear on the vehicle isn’t a welcoming consequence to a car that you depend on every day. Furthermore, the long road trip also places your vehicle at risk of getting into an accident. This accident may not end up being covered by insurance and can cost more money in the long run. Personal vehicle maintenance can cost a lot of money in the long run

Renting a car
Many people don’t even consider renting a car when they own one. The idea of renting what you already have can sound redundant. However, there are some major advantages to renting a car for a long road trip. Rental cars offer more variety when selecting. Instead of being stuck with the model you currently own, renting a car offers the freedom of choice. Being able to choose the right model for your road trip can make things a lot smoother and safer. For example, a trip out west will be better handled by a four-wheel drive vehicle than one with only two-wheel drive. Renting a car can also come with special forms of insurance.

One of the cons of renting a car is the lack of ownership. When taking a long road trip, people tend to treat the vehicle as a home. This treatment would be more comfortable in a car that is your own. A rental car, on the other hand, needs to be kept clean and in great condition to keep from incurring extra charges. This lack of ‘feeling at home’ can take away from the enjoyment of the trip. The heightened cautiousness while driving to prevent any small scratches or damages can also detract from the fun that should be at the center of any road trip.

There are some inherent pros and cons of renting a car or taking your own during a road trip. The advantages and disadvantages of both options should be weighed and considered before making a final decision. After all, each person may come to a different conclusion based on the same list of pros and cons.