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Usually when planning a vacation, families choose between flying and driving. Most of the time a rental car is only used when you fly to a destination. Have you ever thought about using a rental car for your road trip? This is something my family has actually done multiple times. Instead of driving our own vehicle we rent one and drive it. There are several reasons to rent a car for your road trip and today I want to share with you 5 reasons that we often rent a car when hitting the road.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post paid for by Allianz Travel Insurance, but as always, all opinions and words are my own.
5 Reasons To Rent A Car For Your Road Trip
- A newer, more reliable vehicle is always a plus for a road trip. We have rented a car for several reasons, but one reason we have rented a car in the past was because we wanted a newer vehicle that we weren’t worried about having issues. Even though we keep our maintenance up to date on our vehicles, the fact that we have purchased them used, or that they have more miles on them, makes us often worry if something might happen when we go out of town…well, because it has before. (Remember our trip in June of 2016?) Renting a vehicle usually means we will get a vehicle from the last year or two, and that it will have fewer miles on it. (Usually under 30,000 in our experience.) They are usually well maintained by the rental car company. Many even get way better gas mileage than the ones that we might have. Add in the extra features most rental cars have such as satellite radio, back up cameras, and more and it is a big plus for us.
- More room without purchasing a bigger vehicle. This is probably the number one reason we rent a car for our road trips. We often take along family members on vacations. That might be nieces and nephews, my mother-in-law, or any other number of relatives. Of course, we don’t have vehicles that are made for this many people usually, so renting is a great way for us to take a road trip with other family members without having to purchase a bigger vehicle that we don’t really need on a day-to-day basis. It also gives us the opportunity to rent a car with more trunk space than ours may have. And trust me, with two toddlers, the amount of gear you need for a road trip can add up.
- Save wear and tear on your own vehicle. I rarely drive at home. I go to a total of 3 places each week on a regular basis using our van. A tank of gas can last me an entire month (or more) if we don’t do any special outings. So, a 3,000 mile road trip. That is a lot of wear and tear on my van compared to what I normally put on it. That could get me another 6 months+ of use on my tires, or the next maintenance. Or if I know I am going to be trading my vehicle in soon, I may not want to add the miles or the wear and tear to my own car. So renting is a way to avoid those extra miles on my own vehicle. Sure, maybe I pay the rental fee (I usually find AMAZING DEALS using name your own price sites) but often times the rental fee is less than the cost of a major maintenance or 4 tires. I suppose one could argue this is a marginal benefit, but I don’t know. I think it can add up if you rarely drive at home like we do.
- Don’t worry about the what ifs. What if your car breaks down while you are on vacation? Or what if you get in a wreck and your car has to be repaired before you can drive home? We actually had a vehicle, back before we were parents, that died on us while we were out of town…on Thanksgiving weekend. YIKES! We had nobody that could fix it before we had to be home. So we ended up renting a car to drive home, then my husband had to go back up to get the vehicle a week later. Of course rental cars may break down, or you might get in a wreck. But that is where rental car insurance comes in. And I know what you are thinking…but it is so expensive. I learned something a while ago. Rental Car companies charge way to much for their insurance. Seriously way too much. And how often do you need it? Not often. But when you need it, you need it. Granted, your full-coverage insurance may cover your rental vehicle, but you will have to pay your deductible, which for some people may be $500 or more. I know I don’t want to have to shell out $500 when I just spent a bunch of money on vacation. But I don’t want to pay $30/day for the insurance through the rental company. That is why I love that Allianz Global Assistance has Rental Car coverage. Seriously, we are renting a vehicle at the end of this month for 13 days, and we only paid $110 through Allianz. It was less than $10/day. When we pick up the car, we simply decline the coverage through the rental company and let them know that we have coverage through Allianz. Then if the car breaks down or we are in a fender bender, we do not have to worry. And our personal vehicle is safe at home.
- It is a great way to test out cars you may want to purchase in the future. You know when you are car shopping and you test drive a car you know there are certain things you want. And then there are certain things you don’t realize you want until you go on a 8 hour drive in your car and realize you don’t have it. Like how our sedan does not have an arm rest that is actually high enough to utilize in the center console. Or maybe you realize your vehicle is short on cup holders or the seats are not comfortable for long drives. These are things that are hard to figure out during a 20 minute test drive. When you rent a car for your road trip, you can see what features you like and dislike of various models. Like, we realized that we really miss all the cup holders that mini vans have when we drove a suburban. Or we learned how awesome stow and go seating was. Or maybe you realize that you absolutely need an arm rest. Whatever the features are, taking a 2000 mile road trip in a vehicle will give you a much better feel for it then a 20 minute test drive with a car sales man jabbering in your ear.
While my family takes our own vehicles on vacation quite a bit, I love when we decide to rent a car for our road trips. Can you think of any other great reasons why you should rent a car for your road trip? Let me know in the comments below. And be sure to check out Allianz Travel Insurance Rental Car coverage next time you rent a car for vacation.
Also be sure to check out our post on how to travel big on a small budget for some great save money tips.
Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post paid for by Allianz Travel Insurance, but as always, all opinions and words are my own.