To Rent a Car or Not to Rent?
Updated: Apr 3
A road trip is a great way to see new places and sights around the US, but is it the best idea to see them while driving your family vehicle? For some of us, the answer may be Yes or No. For example, you may not want to put unnecessary mileage on the car and lower its value. Or, if you are traveling with family or friends, space may be an issue, and your car is not up to the task. According to AARP, there are many reasons to rent a car or not rent a car lets look at just a few below.
Reasons to Rent a Car for a Road Trip
You Have More Opportunities to Drive Off the Path: Most people do not have vehicles capable of off-roading or driving more off the beaten trails. However, many places around the US rent off-road-ready vehicles that let you explore with ease and not worry about damaging your vehicle. For example, BackBone Adventures in Estes Park, Colorado, allows you to rent not only jeeps but ATVs and UTVs for the trails.
When renting from agencies such as Enterprise or many other car rental companies, it is best to read their rental agreement carefully because some will not allow you to drive in such conditions.
You Can Choose What Fits Your Needs
When on a road trip, space in your car is limited, and you need to make the best use of it. Your personal vehicle may not be able to handle the amount of luggage that, say, an SUV or a Mini-Van can. A large enough vehicle will keep your luggage out of the way and out of the views of any thieves.
You Can Mix and Match Vehicles
If you are going to several locations renting a car allows you to change up your transportation. For example, you may be traveling in the mountains where off-roading is necessary, and make your way to the city where you may want to change up to a sedan or something that fits your needs. Also, if you are traveling and picking up friends or family along the way, it allows you to find a car that is right for your new situation.
You Can Enjoy the Latest Technology
A plus of renting a vehicle is most of the vehicles rented will have the latest technology available. In many cases, you will have heat and sometimes even cooled seats to get you through the changing temperatures. If you are going with family and have little ones, a rear-seat entertainment system will keep them entertained on the long drive. Do you know the best country station everywhere you visit? Neither do I, which is where satellite radio comes into play, listen to all the best music and not have to worry about it cutting out or finding a new station.
Reasons Not to Rent a Car for a Road Trip
You Must Quickly Adapt to a New Vehicle
Many of us know the ins and outs of our vehicles. You know how to set the cruise, use the wipers and know just what temperature you need to get the car to feel comfortable. But when you rent a car and have to learn on the spot, it can get frustrating when you are on a tight schedule and do not have the time or patience to learn a new car.
You Might Become Flustered When Driving
Along with learning a new vehicle, you have to drive on roads that you are unfamiliar with, which, if you ever have road-tripped before it's harder than you might think. The Department of Motor Vehicles published a thorough list of the worst cities around the US. If you find driving stressful in a new area, it might not be the best idea to add a new car to the situation.