Do we rent one?

We will be making a trip to Los Angeles, CA from Eastern Oregon - about a 15 hour trip each way. We need to bring home our children, their bikes, suitcases, etc. Would it be wiser to rent a pick up, large van, instead of driving our pick up truck which has under 50,000 miles?

I think you should just take the truck if it will safely carry everything. Why rent a vehicle when you have one that is appropriate already?

Won’t it save on wear and tear on ours?

Yes, but you’ll probably pay more for the rental than the 1500 miles will cost you.

Driving is driving, wear and tear is all part of driving our car. you will put the miles on now or later so dont worry about that. If you need more room to carry all their stuff, rent a small trailer and tow it with your own truck. except, em how many seats are in your truck is it extended cab with enough room for all? If not then do rent a van.

Highway miles are pretty easy on a car/truck.

Take the pickup. And if you need more room you can even attach a trailer. Check your owner’s manual for the towing capacity and information.

Sure, rent one every day and you will never have to replace yours.

In my managerial accounting course we were presented a problem exactly like this and the cost of wear and tear on your vehicle will be far less than the rental cost you’d incur renting a vehicle. If your truck is capable of making the trip you’d be far better off taking it over renting.

Are you talking about renting one of those large U-Haul trucks, or just an ordinary pickup truck?
Some rental agencies have policies against taking their vehicle out of state, check with them on this before you rent. Though a U-Haul should be exempt from this

Yes, it will save wear and tear, but if you are afraid to use your truck, why own one? That is what they are for.

Let’s say you own a Ford F150 Crew Cab with a V8. Edmunds says it costs you about 65 cents per mile to run it. If you drive 1800 miles on your round trip, that’s $1170. Gas will be about $285 at 19 MPG; your rental has to be less that $900 to break even. How much can you rent the truck for?

Saving on wear is no reason to rent a vehicle. You will not increase the value of your truck enough to matter. If the stuff would overload your truck, rent a bigger one. We don’t even know what truck you own or what size it is, what year, condition, etc.

Not Enough Information For An Informed Answer. There Are Variables.

How Many MPG does your pick-up get ?

How much does gasoline cost per gallon in this area ?

Are you going straight through and straight back in less than a week ?

Approximately how many miles is that trip ?

Have you checked ? What is the weekly Unlimited Miles rate at which you can rent a truck or van (if you need covered transportation) in your locale ? How economical a vehicle (MPG) can you get that will fill your needs ?

We sometimes rent for short (time-wise) long distance trips (miles-wise) when we can get a good weekly or weekend unlimited mileage rate (and we very often do just that). Sometimes just the gas savings alone will make it a good decision. Sometimes they have special deals. My wif is good at finding and making great deals.

We have rented vehicles and taken trips, even vacations, driving rented vehicles, cheaper than if we had taken our own. There are lots of variables and in this case, not enough information.

Sometimes we rent and somtimes we don’t when we make quick, long distance trips. These are the types of trips for which one should consider renting. It all depends on unlimited miles going rates, time, MPG, hauling / passenger requirements, comfort, peace of mind, safety, and then “crunching the numbers”.

Please fill in some missing pieces.


I figured fuel economy (MPG) was a constant. It sounds to me like the OP’s vehicle is comparable to the vehicles the OP is considering renting in terms of size and MPG. Also, the last time I looked (today), the rental rates for passenger vans and full sized SUVs were much higher than the rate for normal cars. Check out the graphic below. Can you believe Avis wants $170/day to rent a passenger van?

But that 65 cents per mile includes lots of costs that don’t change with the trip (insurance, most all the depreciation, etc) and may have gasoline already in it. The incremental cost for using their truck for the trip (ignoring gasoline, which is a wash if the rental is similar) will be way less than $900.

edit-Yes, that 65 cents per mile includes all costs. I bet incremental costs might be half an oil change and a nickel extra a mile for depreciation, so that’s maybe $100-$150. No way to rent for that.

My Wife Sometimes Gets Good Deals From Budget. Also, We Have A Couple Of Local GM Dealers That Have Super Low Rates, But Only Have A Couple Of Vans, Etcetera, And You Sometimes Have To Book Way Ahead.

Prices vary tremendously, depending on when you rent, location of the agency (sometimes dependent on distance from airports), specials, discounts, promotions, whether they’re fully booked or looking for renters, too many of one type vehicle, etcetera.

The game is similar to the one played when booking motel rooms. It’s unbelievable.


With so many variables involved in renting, sounds like it would be a lot easier and simpler for the OP to simply use her own truck, especially with under 50,000 miles.

If you have a pick up truck and it has the space to do the job, why rent? If it is to “save the truck” then I’d ask why you have it in the 1st place? The trip won’t hurt it a bit.

What ?