Rent or drive my own?

We’re going on a 6 week/6,000 mile roadtrip. I’m trying to decide between driving my '05 Hyundai XG 350 (84K) or renting a car for the trip. Whaddya think?

Give us more information:

  1. Have you kept up the maintenance on your Hyundai?
  2. Are the tires in good shape?
  3. Is the car comfortable for all that will be going along or should you really be traveling in a larger vehicle? (How many people are making the trip with you and how much luggage are they taking?)
    If you have maintained the car and all is in good shape (tires, brakes, steering, etc.) and the car has adequate room for everybody, 8 years and 84,000 miles isn’t a lot for cars today.

new radiator & hoses, wiring assembly and plugs, and timing belt. O.K. tires. Getting an alignment tomorrow. Just 2 people, couple of bags apiece.

As long as you’ve been keeping up with maintenance…then use your own vehicle. It’ll be a lot cheaper then renting one for a 6000 mile trip.

I once had a colleague who had a car he absolutely raved about.

He said “It’s a great car, but I wouldn’t take it on any trips. It won’t make it.”

My response was "It sounds like it’s not such a great car"k


I agree. As long as it’s been a reliable car for you in the past, it should continue to be for the next 6k miles. Trips are not hard on cars. They are usually the easiest miles the car will experience. I feel there is just as good a chance your will run better after you return…

Check With Your Insurance Agent.
Also, Check The Cost Of Insurance From The Rental Car Company.

I have rented cars several times for family vacations. Our vacations have usually been thousands of miles in a week or two. I don’t want to have problems with my own car that far from home. It’s not reliability I’m worried about, but rather accidents or theft/vandalism, storms, etcetera.

My insurance company (a leading, major car insurer in the U.S.) will cover rentals for only up to 2 weeks on my regular car policy, but that’s the limit. Extra insurance to cover a rental can be expensive.

Before you decide, check out insurance, first. Oh, and if you are living in the U.S. and are driving to Mexico or Canada, pay attention to that. Your car insurance company could have (mine does) special restrictions for that.


If you don’t already have it consider getting a AAA Membership, usually gets you discounts at various places and you hope to never need a tow or other assistance but better safe than sorry. Assuming everything that the car needs has been done I’d go for it.

Perfect opportunity to take your own car.

As everybody said, highway miles are some of the easiest ones on your car. The big downside to taking one’s own car is depreciation due to miles…but your car is pretty well depreciated already, so each mile has a smaller monetary hit than on a car with, say, 14k mi.

In short, this is the PERFECT age for this car to make this trip.

Anyways, cars seldom quit running with zero advance notice, and you already have your car’s foibles sussed out. Granted, rental cars are generally newer, but should you crap out and rent a problem child, you’ll have no idea what to look out for.

Besides, worst case scenario, you make an unscheduled stop, rent a room you weren’t expecting to, and start out next day in another car. That’s why you have a credit card, right?

U.S. car insurance is simply not good in Mexico, unless a specific company covers you within 25 miles of the border. (i.e. - State Farm in McAllen).

If you go to Mexico, Sanborn’s has insurance on the US side at most bridges. However, you cannot buy insurance more than you have in the US. For longer stays, search for Lewis and Lewis, which is what I use. They want to know your US insurance company but you can buy as much as you want. I go 500,000 liability under the new rules, in case I hit another North American.

Also get Legal aid coverage, it is cheap.

Have you done a cost comparison? If you don’t mind the cost go rental.

6,000 miles isn’t much wear and tear on cars these days when they last 200,000 or more. Depreciation of the vehicle isn’t really an issue either. Save the 6 weeks worth of car rental money and drive your own car.

The difference in resale value of an '05 car with 84K miles or 90K miles is negligible. So, the added miles cost less in depreciation of value than the cost of the rental. You have to buy gas and oil either way you go. So, the cost of the trip is another oil change. I don’t see any reason to rent if your car is in good mechanical shape.

There are folks who rent just in case their car develops an unexpected problem. I drive my own, which has 198,000 miles on it.

Take your own vehicle.