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Thursday, June 25, 2009


With a lot of people staying close to home these days—and that’s a good thing because there is so much beauty, excitement, relaxation, and history right here in the good old U.S.A.—a driving trip might be right for you. Before you pack up your car, however, consider looking at a car rental for your vacation’s duration.

Economically, it costs approximately 50¢ a mile to drive your car when you factor in tire wear, oil changes and other servicing, gas, etc. The cost of a rental might prove less expensive, particularly if you’re traveling with another couple. If you’re in need of more trunk space for your luggage or more legroom in the back seat, a rental might make your trip more comfortable too.

Rentals generally come with unlimited mileage, though make sure you check about the range you are allowed to drive. Be particularly careful if you’re leaving the country or even your state. Check to see how your personal insurance company handles car rentals. Don’t buy unnecessary insurance if you don’t need it. Some companies require you carry your insurance card with you. We ran into that in California and had to have a copy faxed to us.

We check all the companies but have found Enterprise to give us the best prices overall. But check everyone. Call the companies, but make sure to check online because there are often “online specials.”

If you’re staying at a hotel, check sites like Expedia and Travelocity to see about hotel+car packages.

We’re considering renting to go to Florida next winter. Although we plan on the auto-train down, we’re hoping to meander back to take in Savannah and some other cities we’re hankering to see. Lots of car mileage. We haven’t done all the math yet, but it may make sense for us. The point is—check it out.

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