Planning your USA Road Trip: Rent or Buy a Vehicle
Updated: Jun 2
When planning a road-trip the first thing you’ll have to decide is whether you want to rent a vehicle or buy one of your own. There are so many different factors that you will need to consider, from costs of each option, to licensing and registration to organizing insurance.
In this article, we compare renting a vehicle to buying a vehicle. To help ensure you make the most of your USA Road-Trip.
Renting a Car in the USA
Most rental car companies will require you to be over the age of 21 to rent a vehicle, and if you are under the age of 25 there is usually an underage daily renters fee. If you are hiring a car with friends and plan to share the driving you will need to ensure that every driver is listed on the rental agreement for insurance purposes.
With the rental option, you pay your money and everything is taken care of from start to finish. This saves you a lot of hassle and stress. Most rental companies take care of registering the vehicle and making sure you’re insured. They do tests and ensure it’s in good working order so hopefully, you don’t have any issues on the road.
When renting you will get to drive a new car, reducing the chance of mechanical problems. If, by chance you do run into mechanical problems and have rented from a major-national company, they offer customer support wherever you are and will tow you to a mechanics or replace your vehicle to keep you moving on the road.
The cost of several weeks rental isn’t too bad, but then add on insurance, under-25 fees, the extortionate one-way charges and tax, maybe you’re just better off buying your own vehicle?
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Buying a Car in the USA
This may be a popular option for many; however, we recommend weighing up the costs between renting and buying. There are different rules and regulations for owning a car depending what state you live in. You will need to research all of these before purchasing a vehicle. This includes organizing the title, registration, inspection and insurance, before you can legally drive on the road.
It’s US law that you must at least have liability insurance on any vehicle you own. This means you will need to pay monthly fees to ensure you are covered whilst you own your vehicle, and while it is a necessity, it can be expensive.
Another major consideration will be about what you planning on doing with the car at then end of your road-trip. Selling can be difficult and time consuming and you don’t really want to be spending the end of your trip running around trying to sell a beaten up car.
Buying can be a great option because you get to have your own vehicle, it allows you so much freedom as you can treat it as your own. You don’t have to worry about getting extra fees for small damages to the car. Plus, you can pimp it out however you like, maybe covering it in bumper stickers or drawing funky artwork on the side. Just keep in mind that you will probably have to sell it at the end of your trip… Hopefully when you sell the vehicle on, you will get some money back to help fund your next travels. If you’re in the right place at the right time, you may even get a similar price to what you originally paid, making it all the sweeter.
Renting is easy, but can be expensive. Buying is a hassle, but may work out cheaper. If you’re only visiting the US short term then I would recommend renting a vehicle. The fees might be expensive but you can make it up with the time you save from the convenience. Browse thousands of RV's for you to rent on your next US Road Trip. Click below.
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