Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Take your own car or Rent one?

I’m planning a trip down to see my brother in Louisiana, it’s a 2044 mile round trip. Airports and planes make me nervous so I’d rather just drive and save myself the hassle of getting my bags lost. My car is a '97 jeep grand Cherokee Laredo with 134000 mi. So my question is would it be better to rent a car or take my own?

If your car is in good shape I would take it; you are familiar with it and you’ll have less chance of an acident. In any case make sure you have a cell phone and an AAA membership would help.

If the car is at all in doubtfiul condition, and only a mechanic can tell you that, I would rent.

Years ago we took a 3 week, 7000 miles holiday trip with a 10 year old Buick station wagon towing a tent trailer. We had one burnt out spark plug wire on the whole trip, but I had a mechanic check the car out beforehand.

If you value a reliable vehicle for the trip (over spending a few extra dollars), then rent a car.

If you value saving money over the reliability of a newer vehicle, then drive your Jeep Grand Cherokee.

2k miles isn’t really all that far. Take it and don’t worry about it.

If it’s in good shape I’d just drive it and not worry about it. It’s got 134k miles; what’s another couple of thousand?

I took a cross-country trip years ago in a 1960 Chrysler New Yorker (413 engine and tail fins) that I paid 10 bucks for. Not a hiccup during the entire trip except for one flat tire.

I would go for the rental, 29 bucks a day with unlimited mileage. No offense intended but that is not a car you want to get stranded far from home with.

Check the cost of renting a small RV that you can spend nights in and compare it to the cost of renting a car and staying in hotels. If the RV isn’t too much more expensive, you could have a road trip adventure.

I think we’re missing an important piece of information: approximately how long would the rental be for? That being said, 2044 miles is quite a bit of wear and tear–not to mention your car isn’t the most fuel efficient in the world. You might save over $100 in fuel alone just by getting a compact rental.

Scrabbler Is Right. Also, Have You Checked The Rental Prices In Your Area For That Period Of Time ? That’s The Other Missing Information.

We have reliable cars all over our driveway, but sometimes rent cars for whirl-wind trips (lots of miles in a short time) and driving in really bad weather, or going far from home on a week-end.

I rented a car for a “cheap” weekly rate and put 2800 miles on it, over-heated the brakes in the mountains and pointed out the “shaking” steering wheel caused by warped brake rotors from the over-heating when I turned the car in to the agency. Their reaction ? They said it didn’t matter because the car was “going out of service, soon”.

Add in the cost and inconvenience of half or all of an oil change and miles kept off of our cars and it was without a doubt a real bargain. Add in better mpg than a Jeep as Scrabbler says and it’s definitely worth considering.

Give us the info, please.


Be sure to check the limitations on those “unlimited mileage” car rentals. A lot of places I’ve gotten that deal specifically won’t let you take the car out of state, or farther than adjacent states. I’ve seen both restrictions on supposedly unlimited mileage rental contracts.

Think of how the last several thousand miles went. Did the vehicle need work? If so, was it work that will not need to be done again for a while? Would the vehicle likely travel the next 2044 miles around home without trouble? Know that highway miles are easy miles compared to frequent local trip miles.

Bring a GPS with a decent database, a cell phone and a dealer list. The GPS and cell phone are things that we did not have some time ago but left home anyhow under similar circumstances so consider yourself lucky.

Feel’n Lucky ? Think About Your Vehicle Breaking Down Or Being Involved In A Collision. Although This Is An Inconvenience Close To Home, It Could Present Major, Expensive Problems Away From Home.

Should problems occur, you may have to deal with strange tow services, mechanics, rental agencies, etcetera.

I don’t know what it is, but I have heard too many stories from friends and relatives about going on long trips with their own well maintained cars and breaking down or being in accidents, one just last week.

Depending on the rental car deal It’s sometimes just not worth driving your own car. Many times, especially factoring in MPG savings alone, you can use a rental for practically no additional cost above what your own car would run.

Feel’n Lucky ?


If you’re confident in your vehicle, get it checked out before the trip, and take it.

If you can afford the extra expense and want any difficulties to be someone else’s problem, get a rental. You might even save a little on gas to offset the extra expense. If something happens to the rental or it breaks down, a phone call would rescue you, while your daily driver sits safe at home in the garage.

Up to you.