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Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:24 am
by Jags4186
I have drive about a 750 mile round trip between this Wednesday and Friday for work. I am paid $0.535/mi. I can rent a car for about $80, pay for it out of pocket, and submit the reimbursement for $0.535/mi or I can just use my own car. Would you trade $80 to keep 750 miles off your car?

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:28 am
by MrNewEngland
Unless your car is extremely unreliable I would drive it. 750 miles is fairly insignificant.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:30 am
by dbr
Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:24 am
I have drive about a 750 mile round trip between this Wednesday and Friday for work. I am paid $0.535/mi. I can rent a car for about $80, pay for it out of pocket, and submit the reimbursement for $0.535/mi or I can just use my own car. Would you trade $80 to keep 750 miles off your car?
Yes, not just to keep miles off the car but to not have chance of dealing with repairs on the road. At my employer anyone faced with such a journey would rent a car from the corporate garage as a matter of course, and that was for any level employee, alternatively from the company designated car rental agency.

I can't comment on getting the reimbursement if this is not actually your own car, but it would not seem there should be anything wrong with how you supply the car. I guess you should ask why they would not just rent the $80 car in the first place.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:47 am
by adamthesmythe
Not again! This comes up every few months, and never gets resolved.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:51 am
by tev9876
I prefer my truck as it has all of my stuff in it, is configured the way I like, and most comfortable vs a rented Focus or Camry. My current employer has strongly suggested that we rent cars for long distance travel as it is cheaper and this year is making it mandatory for out of state travel. Typically I would not as I will leave early on Monday morning before rental agencies open and it was just not worth the hassle of time lost, but I guess I will change that. My previous employer mandated it for any trip over 50 miles and Enterprise would deliver cars right to our parking lot.

Even if it is not technically against the rules for you to rent a car and then request mileage reimbursement, it is not the image I would want to send to my employer. We had a guy fired in part because he was abusing the $50/day max meal policy by going to Walmart and buying exactly $50 of stuff and then submitting it on his expenses. Note that lunch and many dinners are provided for a group, so should have been deducted from that.

Is it better for your career to be seen as the employee who tries to scam an extra $250 in travel expenses or the employee who saves the company $250 by finding a better way to do things?

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:51 am
by bloom2708
I would put this one in the "rent" category.

Work related, they will pay your rental car and insurance. 750 is a big trip.

Put those miles on a rental.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:52 am
by Jags4186
My company will allow me to expense the mileage even if I rent the car. I just can’t double dip and expense the mileage and expense the rental.

I think I will rent. It would be true money in my pocket after maybe $75 in gas and $80 for the rental.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:56 am
by onourway
Depends on the car you own. If it's unreliable or gets bad mileage, that might tilt to rent.

Otherwise I always choose to drive my own because I like driving my cars - that's why I own them. It's not worth $80 to me to have to go out of the way to get to a rental office twice. That's an easy 1-2 hours of time.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:27 pm
by 260chrisb
I think I would just drive my car and take the rate unless there's an issue keeping you from doing so. On the other hand maybe your rental is cool or just different enough to you to warrant it. Nice to drive something else once in a while.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:35 pm
by michaeljc70
MrNewEngland wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:28 am
Unless your car is extremely unreliable I would drive it. 750 miles is fairly insignificant.
I would probably do this. Especially if I had to travel far to the rental place. I also like driving longer distances in a car I am familiar with and know I will be comfortable in.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:44 pm
by cherijoh
Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:52 am
My company will allow me to expense the mileage even if I rent the car. I just can’t double dip and expense the mileage and expense the rental.

I think I will rent. It would be true money in my pocket after maybe $75 in gas and $80 for the rental.
My company explicitly requires us to use the corporate travel service for all airfare, hotels and rental cars. They would also definitely expect me to use the cheapest reasonable form of travel which in your case would have been having the company rent the car and reimburse you for the actual gas purchases. So I hope you are correct that the company will be okay with this considering the amount of mileage reimbursement. I would definitely be in hot water if I submitted over $400 in personal mileage when the bill could have been $155 for renting a car and expensing the mileage.

I don't travel much for business but was authorized to attend a conference about 3 hours away. I've had bad luck with Enterprise picking me up from home - I'm between 2 Enterprise offices so they always want me to call the closer one which never has an appropriate vehicle (No I really don't want to rent a pick-up truck! :oops:). I also don't have someone I could easily ask for a ride to the better rental car place. So my preference was to drive my own car.

Fortunately, the timing of my return would have meant being charged for 4 days of rental, so driving my own car was also the cheapest option for the company. FYI - my manager did ask if I'd priced a rental car when I submitted my expense report.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:55 pm
by Jags4186
For better or worse I live 2 blocks from an Enterprise and it ended up costing $68 for the rental—pick up Wednesday return Friday. I drive a Honda Civic LX so I’m not really stepping down in “luxury”.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:59 pm
by bottlecap
It’s “money in your pocket” either way. The money is just in your pocket longer if you use your own car.

Personally, I’d drive my own. Too much of a hassle to rent, even if it saves you $10. I know my vehicle and know its controls and capabilities. I bought it to drive it.

The big difference where you could save is gas. But not if your car is a Civic.

JT

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:16 pm
by Jack FFR1846
The 3 biggest expenses for a car are:

Gas, depreciation, insurance, usually split about evenly. You're saving a little on depreciation and nothing else. I would drive my own car.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:40 pm
by dm200
Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:24 am
I have drive about a 750 mile round trip between this Wednesday and Friday for work. I am paid $0.535/mi. I can rent a car for about $80, pay for it out of pocket, and submit the reimbursement for $0.535/mi or I can just use my own car. Would you trade $80 to keep 750 miles off your car?
Some considerations:

1. Will your personal car meet your trip needs/desires just as well as the rental?

2. Will this work mileage put you into a different/higher (more costly) car insurance category?

3. Does your own car accumulate low mileage, so it might be good to put a few highway miles on it?

4. Are you sure the total rental cost of the car for three days is only $80 (including fuel)? Note that you may not be able to get the car on Wed and return on Fri because of the rental place hours.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:43 pm
by dm200
Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:55 pm
For better or worse I live 2 blocks from an Enterprise and it ended up costing $68 for the rental—pick up Wednesday return Friday. I drive a Honda Civic LX so I’m not really stepping down in “luxury”.
Yes - we also live within walking distance of an Enterprise (they will also pick you up and drop you off). Enterprise rentals can be a really good deal - including unlimited mileage. About half the time, when we have rented over the years short term - we got a better model than what we reserved and paid for.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:47 pm
by bloom2708
The company should actually require a rental car be used.

750 x .535 = $401.25 + fuel expenses (maybe the company won't pay for fuel on top of the .535).

Compare that to $100 for the rental with unlimited mileage + fuel expenses.

Some would say "Whoa, I can put $401.25 in my pocket for using my car, cool". Others would say "I will do the right thing for the company and save them some money. Plus, I won't put 750 miles on my own car." Win win here.

I would have maybe opted for the basic insurance option. Not sure if the charge included any insurance. Perhaps the company has an insurance policy in place that covers employees.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:04 pm
by Jags4186
dm200 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:40 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:24 am
I have drive about a 750 mile round trip between this Wednesday and Friday for work. I am paid $0.535/mi. I can rent a car for about $80, pay for it out of pocket, and submit the reimbursement for $0.535/mi or I can just use my own car. Would you trade $80 to keep 750 miles off your car?
Some considerations:

1. Will your personal car meet your trip needs/desires just as well as the rental?

2. Will this work mileage put you into a different/higher (more costly) car insurance category?

3. Does your own car accumulate low mileage, so it might be good to put a few highway miles on it?

4. Are you sure the total rental cost of the car for three days is only $80 (including fuel)? Note that you may not be able to get the car on Wed and return on Fri because of the rental place hours.
1) Yes
2) No I already drive 15k miles or so for work a year
3) No I accumulate high mileage so I'd like to avoid putting giant chunks on when I can
4) The rental is $68 + my fuel cost so should be about another $75-$100. So I will pocket around $200-$250 when all is said and done. Fuel cost is a wash because I'm paying for it regardless.

But anyway, thanks everyone for the replies I already rented the vehicle.

And for anyone thinking I am "ripping off" my company I am doing this A) under their direction and B) this is in lieu of flying, renting in the area, and flying back. Because it is an odd area flying is rather expensive and not convenient. So driving just makes the most sense for my schedule.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:22 pm
by bloom2708
OP, you are saying you get the rental AND the .535 for the 750 mile trip?

Maybe it is paid as some type of commission. I do not think both would be in the spirit of the IRS ruling for using your personal vehicle.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:28 pm
by F150HD
could swear I read this exact post last year somewhere on this site?

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:33 pm
by Jags4186
bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:22 pm
OP, you are saying you get the rental AND the .535 for the 750 mile trip?

Maybe it is paid as some type of commission. I do not think both would be in the spirit of the IRS ruling for using your personal vehicle.
750 * $0.535 = $401.25

$401.25 - $68 rental - $100 gas = $233.25

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:37 pm
by H-Town
Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:24 am
I have drive about a 750 mile round trip between this Wednesday and Friday for work. I am paid $0.535/mi. I can rent a car for about $80, pay for it out of pocket, and submit the reimbursement for $0.535/mi or I can just use my own car. Would you trade $80 to keep 750 miles off your car?
I'd drive my car. I love my car and I drive it everywhere. I maintain my car very diligently. So the more mileage I can put on it, the more utilization I can get out of my car, i.e. cost per miles will go down lower. It's sitting at 20 cents a mile now. I plan to have get it to 10 cents a mile.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:50 pm
by Barefoot
You get in an accident in your car, it's your problem.

You get in an accident in a company rental, you just give the keys back.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:52 pm
by bloom2708
Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:33 pm
bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:22 pm
OP, you are saying you get the rental AND the .535 for the 750 mile trip?

Maybe it is paid as some type of commission. I do not think both would be in the spirit of the IRS ruling for using your personal vehicle.
750 * $0.535 = $401.25

$401.25 - $68 rental - $100 gas = $233.25
I get the calculation. You are using BOTH the rental AND the personal vehicle mileage reimbursement. I guess my point is, that by getting a rental car, you are no longer using your personal vehicle. The company (you as a representative) is/are transferring the usage/risk/depreciation to the rental car company.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:07 pm
by dm200
Barefoot wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:50 pm
You get in an accident in your car, it's your problem.
You get in an accident in a company rental, you just give the keys back.
Years ago, while on a family trip (wife and son joined me by air for a vacation before a company paid trip), we had a rental car in Texas. While driving from San Antonio to Corpus Christi, the rental car started to act up. We just saw the signs for an airport just off the expressway, went to that rental company's place, and quickly swapped the rental car acting up for a replacement. Worked out very, very well.

Re: Rent a car for long trip or use my own

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:12 pm
by dm200
Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:33 pm
bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:22 pm
OP, you are saying you get the rental AND the .535 for the 750 mile trip?
Maybe it is paid as some type of commission. I do not think both would be in the spirit of the IRS ruling for using your personal vehicle.
750 * $0.535 = $401.25
$401.25 - $68 rental - $100 gas = $233.25
I agree with the calculations. They are similar to my own experience with short term Enterprise rental costs with unlimited mileage. The part I just do not get is how the rental company makes any money at all on such rentals? Might it be that this particular rental is not "profitable", but almost all other rentals incur much fewer miles and the overall net is profitable?