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Use own car or rent for a long road trip

I own a 2007 MB ML320 cdi (diesel) get around 25 mpg have 66k on the odometer. We will take a 5-6000 mile 3 week road trip this summer. Should we rent an suv/crossover at around $1200 or drive our suv.

Drive yours. Your more familiar with it would be one good point.

Take yours, the trip will be good for it. Continuous road trips are the easiest use for a car. Rent an SUV only if yours does fill a need or you plan to take it somewhere it might be at risk.

On recent extended trips I have rented from a national chain, Doing so totally eliminates a great many potential problems. Collisions, mechanical break downs, break-ins, etc., are resolved quickly with a phone call and a replacement car. The unlimited mileage agreement for 10 days was too good to pass up the last 3 summers. I have put 5,000+ miles on the cars each time and feel it was a great deal.

You average about 16,500 miles per year. Is 6000 miles such a large percentage of 16,500 that you want to spend an extra $1200 for a car rental? It’s you choice, but I’d take the Benz.

I would stick with my own car.

BTW having a rental or lease does not mean you will be trouble free. I have often had to rent for business trips. I have found rentals far less reliable than my own car. Sure it did not cast me money for problems, but it sure cost me a lot of time. I have had as many as three cars in a two week trip. I have never had that kind of trouble with any of my own cars.

Good Luck no matter what you choice will be.

If this was a 97, I’d see why you’d be considering renting, but the car is only 4 years old. The only problem you’d have is not being able to find a mechanic/dealership if something went wrong. Well, that and finding a gas station that carries diesel fuel out in the desert.

Thanks for your input. I think we’ll drive. ljlev1

If this trip will put you over your mileage allowance on a lease then a rental might make sense. Otherwise use your SUV. It won’t hurt it, it gets better mpg than an SUV you’d rent. And what do you have it for if not to drive it on a nice road trip!

I don’t think 6,000 more miles on your '07 SUV will depreciate its value at all, certainly not $1,200 dollars.

Any Long Trip Our Family Members Have Ever Taken Has Been In A Rental And We’ve Got More Cars Than People. We Have Never Regretted The Decision And In Fact That’s Why We Keep On Doing It.

$1200 sounds a little (quite) high. Have you exhausted searches for better deals ? Are these prices at airports or away from airports ? There are deals out there. Are you quite fussy on the specific SUV/crossover ? At that expense, even I would think twice.

Quite a bit of fuel goes into 5 or 6 thousand miles. What about a hybrid or other vehicle that is easier on fuel to offset some of the cost ?

Check with your insurance company and make sure you’re covered beyond 2 weeks and if you plan to cross borders into Mexico or Canada, check, because many insurance companies have special restrictions.


You’re saving the Mercedes for what? Its next owner?

Hey I like that!!!

I never rent cars for my road trips. Why own a car if you are afraid to drive it?

As long as your car has proven to be fairly reliable (and it should be at four years old and 66k miles), there is no logical reason to rent a car for a road trip. Although my sister’s parents-in-law do this for their biannual 600 mile trip from IL to OH. It makes no sense to me, but they say they don’t want to drive their two year old cars with 20k miles on the clock because they are “old” and “have a lot of miles on them”. Huh???

What about renting a car w/c is cheaper, about $20/day for 4 days, uses less fuel instead of driving own crv on a trip from CA to Vegas?

You do the numbers and see if it works. At the rental agency they will want you to buy the extra charge daily insurance (not needed if you put the rental on most major credit cards - check your credit card policy to be sure) so the $20 a day could be a come on rate that is really hard to stick to.

Generally if you own your own car and it is in good mechanical shape it is cheaper to drive your own car compared to renting.

BTW having a rental or lease does not mean you will be trouble free. I have often had to rent for business trips. I have found rentals far less reliable than my own car.

Exactly. People don’t own the rental car they’re driving, and so they beat the hell out of it.

Save It. This Ship Sailed A Half Year Ago. Besides, We Always Take A Rental On A long Road Trip (We Have Seven Cars), As Long As It’s Less Than 2 Weeks. I’ve Never Regretted The Decision. It’s A No-Brainer.

I buy former low mileage, late model rentals and have never gotten a bad car. They’ve all been trouble-free.


What will happen with this vacation?

Hopefully the problem will be solved quickly and under warranty.

Rod, We Hope That’s The Case. You And I Both Rent Cars For Vacation Travel And We Both Know That This Is One Of Many Reasons. We’d Be On The Phone And Help Would Come To Us. If The Car Couldn’t Be Made To Run, A Replacement Would Arrive Shortly.

That’s not even mentioning the several thousand miles of wear and tear kept off your personal vehicle and probably an oil change you won’t be doing. On a long trip, renting a vehicle that gets better mpg than your family car(s) can help offset the expense even more. Renting a vehicle for vacation use doesn’t cost. It pays.