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Personal Finance
Clark’s road trip hack: Why renting a car could be smarter than driving your own
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Clark’s road trip hack: Why renting a car could be smarter than driving your own

Clark’s road trip hack: Why renting a car could be smarter than driving your own

Clark’s road trip hack: Why renting a car could be smarter than driving your own

One of the enduring questions of travel season is how can you save money and still have a great time? Perhaps you’ve cut your trip a day or two short for money reasons. You may have even foregone buying plane tickets and opted to drive to your destination to cut costs.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to drive rather than fly, you will typically add a day or two to your trip for road travel. You might also be thinking about driving your own vehicle to keep expenses low – but hold it right there!

Watch the video

Savings sensei Clark Howard says that you could save money in the long run if you rent a car for travel rather than drive your own.

Renting a car vs. driving your own for summer vacation

“Instead of driving your own vehicle on your summer vacation, rent one. Particularly if you’re going in a seven-day block, renting a vehicle could be a lot cheaper than effectively putting all those additional miles on your own vehicle,” he says.

Clark says gas prices are agreeable in much of the nation, making a road trip the most attractive mode of summer travel. Another advantage is that travelers can score vehicles with added amenities or larger space for long trips, Clark says.

“Let’s say you need a larger or smaller vehicle or a different kind for your trip than what you own. Renting one can just work out so, so well,” he says.

Why it’s sometimes cheaper to rent a car rather than drive yours

If you drive your own car, becuase you’ll be putting additional miles on it, you’ll be literally driving down the resale value of your vehicle. “If you shop and find a good deal on a rental car, you put those trip miles and the depreciation that goes with it on that rental car instead of your own,” he says.

Those highway miles will end up costing you more money than renting. “Figure putting miles on your vehicle — at a minimum – 50 cents a mile,” he says. Additionally, a rental car may get you better gas mileage, which translates to lower fuel costs for your trip.

Of course, it depends on which make and model you choose, but the market for car rentals favors consumers right now, Clark says.

“Car rental companies are feeling pressure from people not renting cars like they used to. They’re using Uber or Lyft instead of renting a car. That has softened up demand for the car rental industry. It has made the deals the best they’ve been in a long while on car rentals,” he says.

Now is this a one-size-fits-all solution to your travel plans? Of course not. You still need to shop around and see if it makes financial sense based on how far away you’ll drive and how many days you’ll be away.

“Not every time, every date, every situation will you find a car rental to be cheaper, but usually you will, compared to the effective cost of putting those miles on your own vehicle,” Clark says.

RELATED: 5 ways to save money on that roadtrip

Read More

News

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Original report: A police officer in Gwinnett County, Georgia, checking out a suspicious vehicle near a Snellville-area middle school was shot and killed Saturday as the car sped away. Four suspects were on the run Saturday night. The officer, Antwan Toney, died after he was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center, according to the police department. He had been on the Gwinnett police force for three years. Toney and other officers were responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle parked near Shiloh Middle School on Saturday afternoon, police said. When officers approached, the suspects fired through their vehicle’s window, hitting Toney before driving off, said police spokesman Jake Smith. The officers returned fire, but it’s unknown whether the suspects were hit or injured. The suspects crashed their vehicle a short time later, and as many as four people ran from the scene.  Law enforcement officers, helicopters, SWAT teams and K-9 units swarmed the area to search for the suspects, checking nearby buildings and wooded areas. DeKalb County police were called in to help. A witness described one of the suspects to police as a 6-foot-tall man with long dreadlocks, green sweatpants and a gray T-shirt. Descriptions of the other suspects weren’t available. Toney was a member of the Gwinnett Police Department’s Uniform Division, and he was working his shift on patrol Saturday. Toney is the first Gwinnett officer killed in the line of duty in years. In 1993, Officer Chris Magill was killed by a drunk driver while engaged in a traffic stop with another drunk driver. Three Gwinnett officers were gunned down in 1964 when they were investigating a “suspicious activity” call near Norcross. 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