Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

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doss
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Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by doss » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:00 am

Around Thanksgiving, we will make a family trip (me, wife, 2 1/2 yr old) from STL to northern San Antonio, Texas. The drive will be about 12 - 15hrs each way depending on which route we take. We currently have a nice 2006 Volvo S60T with about 70k+ miles on it. The tires are fine but probably will need to be replaced soon.

My question is....should we just rent a nice full size sedan to do this drive and save the mileage on our car? Looks like prices are about $400+ for our dates. My wife loves the Volvo because she feels "safe" in it (I think the commercials at the time for the 2006 Volvo was calling it the "safest car in the world") and we just don't know what kind of car we'd get during rental (looks like Chevy Malibu or equivalent, according to Avis).

Or, should we just save that $400 and put it towards some new tires for the volvo (and any other tuneup needed) before the road trip?

Each trip leg seems to be about 900 miles.

JonSharpe
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by JonSharpe » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:05 am

I'm not a big fan of renting unless your current car is unsuitable for the trip, but it sounds like it is just fine. I'd save the $400 to make sure your car is ready w/ tune-up, etc... We are always more comfortable in our own cars and have driven in an older Honda Pilot from Philadelphia to Miami and back as well as Maine and back many times.

Rupert
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by Rupert » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:07 am

You should drive the Volvo. I would put new tires on the car first if the tread is worn or the tires are 5+ years old (from date of mfr) and have its hoses and belts inspected if you haven't done that recently. The soft bits on a car that old do begin to fail.

daheld
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by daheld » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:11 am

Drive the Volvo. 70,000 miles is not that many miles. If it makes you feel better, have it tuned up before you leave. If the tires are close to needing changed, I'd just go ahead and change them before the trip. In the grand scheme of things, you're putting roughly 2,000 miles on a car that likely has at least a 200,000 mile life before starting to need major repairs. That's 1% of it's usable life.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by sunny_socal » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:14 am

I vote fix up your existing car and drive it. Your Volvo is close to fully depreciated in terms of age, a couple thousand miles won't make a difference.

Highway miles are also the easiest on your vehicle, it's almost as if they don't contribute to wear & tear at all. It's the constant engine starts, starts/stops in traffic and also idling that cause more 'wear' on your car. When cruising all the fluid pressures are high and constant, bearings are being lubricated, the tires get to flex. My MIL's mercedes had to go in for repairs because she didn't drive it enough and the engine developed deposits on the valves. Subsequently her gauges didn't reset to the correct values and she had to drive another 1000 miles before she could even smog the car!

The only reason I could see renting a car is if the current vehicle is too small and you want a Suburban for the trip.

doss
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by doss » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:27 am

Yea, that's what I was leaning towards. Thanks guys!

:sharebeer

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:40 am

If I were you, I will rent a car for peace of mind. I assume a rental car company has a lot of stake in making sure that their cars reliable. If a rental car breaks down on a trip, it will be their problem and I will have a replacement. It will be a big hassle if my car breaks downs hours away from home. I live in the Bay area and often rent a car when going to Los Angeles, about 400 miles each way. The rental cost of $400 for a 1,800 miles of driving comes out about 22 cents per mile, which is quite reasonable.

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hand
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by hand » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:44 am

Not worth playing the rental car lottery over the holidays if you can help it unless you have some sort of "status" at the rental company and a rental location with a high volume of the types of cars you're looking for.

Rental car companies are notorious for:
1) Not having your car ready when you go to pick it up - you don't mind starting your trip an hour late right?
2) Not having the right type of car ready when you go to pick it up
a) How would your family fit in a Toyota Yaris?
b) How would your wallet like a drive in a SUV?
3) Extra charges to use automated toll payment (e.g. EZPass), and GPS

Spend the money on tuning up your current car - that's a gift that keeps on giving.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by arsenalfan » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:47 am

I would tune up the Volvo, if you are planning on keeping it another 5 years.

3 years ago we had the same situation but with a 2005 minivan & 120k miles.
We spent $2k on it (tires, fluids, AC, bushings, timing belt, misc stuff). 3 long road trips later, it is at 160k and doing great.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:01 am

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:40 am
If I were you, I will rent a car for peace of mind. I assume a rental car company has a lot of stake in making sure that their cars reliable. If a rental car breaks down on a trip, it will be their problem and I will have a replacement. It will be a big hassle if my car breaks downs hours away from home. I live in the Bay area and often rent a car when going to Los Angeles, about 400 miles each way. The rental cost of $400 for a 1,800 miles of driving comes out about 22 cents per mile, which is quite reasonable.
Why own a car at all then? If you rent for a small trip like that, why not just rent for everything?

Modern cars, when properly maintained, are super reliable. My 2005 with 120,000 miles has left me stranded exactly once in 14 years. Which is coincidentally the same as the number of times I’ve been stranded in a rental car, even though I’ve driven many fewer miles in rentals. When I got stranded in the rental, it was still an all day experience. I doubt I saved much time by being stranded in a rental vs my own car. I would have no qualms about taking my own car on a 2000 mile trip.

Depreciation happens when the car is sitting at the curb, so the car costs money even if you’re not driving it. A 20 year old car is worth roughly the same whether it’s been driven 50k miles or 150k.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by researcher » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:27 am

doss wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:00 am
The drive will be about 12 - 15hrs each way depending on which route we take. We currently have a nice 2006 Volvo S60T with about 70k+ miles on it.

My question is....should we just rent a nice full size sedan to do this drive and save the mileage on our car? Looks like prices are about $400+ for our dates. My wife loves the Volvo because she feels "safe" in it (I think the commercials at the time for the 2006 Volvo was calling it the "safest car in the world") and we just don't know what kind of car we'd get during rental (looks like Chevy Malibu or equivalent, according to Avis).

Each trip leg seems to be about 900 miles.
What is the point of owning the car if you are unwilling to drive it?

And what are you "saving the mileage on your car" for? What is the difference if your car has 70,000 miles or 71,800 miles?
At the rate you are going, the car will be over 25 years old before you even get to 150,000 miles.

I can't imagine spending $400 to rent a crappy, base model rental car to keep from putting 1800 miles on your nice Volvo.

doss
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by doss » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:44 am

researcher wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:27 am
doss wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:00 am
The drive will be about 12 - 15hrs each way depending on which route we take. We currently have a nice 2006 Volvo S60T with about 70k+ miles on it.

My question is....should we just rent a nice full size sedan to do this drive and save the mileage on our car? Looks like prices are about $400+ for our dates. My wife loves the Volvo because she feels "safe" in it (I think the commercials at the time for the 2006 Volvo was calling it the "safest car in the world") and we just don't know what kind of car we'd get during rental (looks like Chevy Malibu or equivalent, according to Avis).

Each trip leg seems to be about 900 miles.
What is the point of owning the car if you are unwilling to drive it?
My thinking was that for such a long road trip (mostly through long stretches of barren land) there COULD be more of a chance of a car issue due to age than a new rental vehicle. And, if something were to happen to the rental car, we have the rental company to come to our rescue (assumption). Also, since we will be far away from home, I have to be a bit more diligent when traveling with my family than I would if I were just driving solo. Older car = more chances of something going wrong? That's the way I was thinking about it -- but giving the car a good thorough inspection and tuneup (with new tires) before the trip by a reputable mechanic may be a good way to lessen the risk.

On the other hand, whenever I have rented cars for shorter trips, I felt it always enhanced the enjoyment (due to my Avis Preferred Plus status)...but $400+ is quite a bit of change that I think I would rather put into our current car.

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Watty
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by Watty » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:48 am

One thing to check with the car rental is which states you can take the car into. I have seen car rentals where you could only take the car into an adjacent state.
doss wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:00 am
Each trip leg seems to be about 900 miles.
I would assume that with a 2.5 year old you would be doing this in two or even three days because 900 miles is a very long way to drive in one day especially with a toddler.

I am not sure about that stretch of road but in some areas there can be a lot of traffic around Thanksgiving too.

If you are thinking about renting a renting a car anyway then why not fly to Texas and rent the car there?

Between gasoline, roadfood, and several nights in hotel the cost of a flight would be comparable if you are not flying on a prime Thanksgiving travel day. If you can't find a good flight to San Antonio you could fly to Houston or Austin.

You would also not need to worry about being caught in an ice storm in Oklahoma.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:56 am

Take your Volvo.

When I was doing calculations for my car expenses at work, I did an extensive spreadsheet with everything I could think of. The expenses broke down to just about 1/3 each of gas, insurance and depreciation. If you rent a car, you're still paying insurance and depreciation by time is still rolling in. Since you have to pay for rental car gas, you save nothing there. Take that $400 you would have spent on renting and put it towards the tires you need to buy.
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Rupert
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by Rupert » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:18 am

doss wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:44 am

And, if something were to happen to the rental car, we have the rental company to come to our rescue (assumption).
Bad assumption. I had a flat tire (with no spare) in downtown Atlanta once. I called the rental car company (Enterprise), which happened to have a location just two blocks from my hotel. Their response? "Take it to Firestone." And, get this, "Pay for the repair yourself."

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by GeoffD » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:23 am

I'm Hertz Five Star. I can get a Hertz 'F' car for $29/day and I normally get upgraded to the best non-premium car on the lot. I always rent when I'm driving for business. On long personal drives, it kind of depends. I have AWD and snow tires. If I think I might need those, I'll drive my car.

For a 2,000 mile trip where I'm renting for a week or less in October? It's a no-brainer. I'd rent. My car, ignoring fuel, costs me at least the IRS 55 cents per mile.

Would I drive 2,000 miles in a Hyundai Accent or a Corolla? Nope. An Impala? Sure.

I'd add that my car has an OEM extended warranty. If something bad happens to the car, it gets fixed by the nearest dealership. With a 2006 Volvo in flyover country, if something expensive goes wrong with the car, you're stranded. The car isn't worth putting on a flat bed to get it repaired so it's off to the salvage yard. You're paying premium 1-way rental fees from whatever car rental place is near where your car dies.

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RootSki
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by RootSki » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:38 am

Volvo all the way.

Do you really think that a rental (low end fleet trim) is going to have more comfortable seats than your S60? Highly unlikely.

At 70,000 miles, your S60 is just about broken in.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:40 am

Whenever the destination is within reasonable driving distance I drive my own car. That's why I have one.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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dm200
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by dm200 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:43 am

cheese_breath wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:40 am
Whenever the destination is within reasonable driving distance I drive my own car. That's why I have one.
Yes - as long as your car meets the needs of the trip.

If you take the Volvo, I would get it checked out before the trip -

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:48 am

Many rentals now have a mileage limit. I have a code through megacorp that doesn't change the rate, but bumps rentals to unlimited mileage.

I would use the $400 on a set of new tires. Change the oil with full synthetic (if due for an oil change before or during the trip), have the local mechanic check your car over, top off fluids.

Is that vintage of Volvo known for head gasket issues? Checking the oil and coolant levels are always good.

Have fun on the trip!
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:50 am

dm200 wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:43 am
cheese_breath wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:40 am
Whenever the destination is within reasonable driving distance I drive my own car. That's why I have one.
Yes - as long as your car meets the needs of the trip.
Good point. I wouldn't drive a MINI Cooper cross country, but then I don't own a MINI Cooper. I've always bought my vehicles assuming they would be used for trips. That means no compacts for me.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by jmorgans » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:54 am

hand wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:44 am
Not worth playing the rental car lottery over the holidays if you can help it unless you have some sort of "status" at the rental company and a rental location with a high volume of the types of cars you're looking for.

Rental car companies are notorious for:
1) Not having your car ready when you go to pick it up - you don't mind starting your trip an hour late right?
2) Not having the right type of car ready when you go to pick it up
a) How would your family fit in a Toyota Yaris?
b) How would your wallet like a drive in a SUV?
3) Extra charges to use automated toll payment (e.g. EZPass), and GPS

Spend the money on tuning up your current car - that's a gift that keeps on giving.
Yes this. Every time I rent a car I get an “upgrade” which really means they gave away the midsize car I reserved to someone else and I’m forced to drive an SUV or minivan. No thanks.

researcher
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by researcher » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:54 am

doss wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:44 am
My thinking was that for such a long road trip (mostly through long stretches of barren land) there COULD be more of a chance of a car issue due to age than a new rental vehicle.

On the other hand, whenever I have rented cars for shorter trips, I felt it always enhanced the enjoyment (due to my Avis Preferred Plus status)...but $400+ is quite a bit of change that I think I would rather put into our current car.
In your original post, you never mentioned any concerns about reliability/breakdowns, only the desire to save miles on your car.

You know the car better than anyone. I assume you wouldn't let your wife drive it around if you didn't think it were safe & dependable. I would drive the car on your trip and not give it a second thought.

I own a 2006 model with 162,000 miles. I wouldn't think twice about jumping in it today and taking an 1800 mile round trip.

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dm200
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by dm200 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:56 am

My wife loves the Volvo
The only answer you need! :sharebeer

Occasionally over the last few years, for short periods when we did not have a reliable car for a trip, we rented an Enterprise car for 2-3 days. Unlimited mileage - good cars (got a Camry one time) - and very low cost. Enterprise also will (no charge) pick you up from home and take you back home.

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8foot7
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by 8foot7 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:15 am

I agree with this line of thinking: what's the point of having a (reliable) car if you're not going to drive it?

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:06 am

I am taken by the suggestions for a "tune-up", brings me back to the days when plugs, points and rotors (the piece in the old time distributors for all you whippersanppers :happy ) were swapped out every 10,000 miles or so. I think it unlikely that the lack of a tune-up on a 2006 Volvo is going to cause a breakdown.

More likely it will be a radiator hose, a brake line (are you in the salt belt?) or other soft materials (yes, including tires) that will leave you on the side of the road.
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123
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by 123 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:08 am

A Volvo with 70,000 miles is barely into puberty.
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:14 am

123 wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:08 am
A Volvo with 70,000 miles is barely into puberty.
And when they reach that stage do they start sniffing around Mazda tailpipes? :shock:
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by Onion » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:19 am

I would put the $400 towards new tires.
cheese_breath wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:14 am
123 wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:08 am
A Volvo with 70,000 miles is barely into puberty.
And when they reach that stage do they start sniffing around Mazda tailpipes? :shock:
:P

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dm200
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by dm200 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:52 am

Onion wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:19 am
I would put the $400 towards new tires.
cheese_breath wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:14 am
123 wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:08 am
A Volvo with 70,000 miles is barely into puberty.
And when they reach that stage do they start sniffing around Mazda tailpipes? :shock:
:P
Yes - probably a good idea - depending on the current age/state of tires. Then, again, if the tires have good tread and are not too old, maybe not.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by afan » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:01 pm

Trip or no trip, if you need new tires get them! Big safety improvement over worn tirea. Tires that are still legal can be far from their best. I replace them well before the treadwear indicators demand.

Have a mechanic check the rest of the car. If it is in good shape you are not likely to get something safer from a rental.

Some people like large cars for longer travel. If you want a big car for that reason then that would be a reason to rent. Most rental companies would call the car you have full sized, so it might be hard to reliably book something bigger. Particularly tough if you don't want an SUV.
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dm200
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by dm200 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:06 pm

afan wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:01 pm
Trip or no trip, if you need new tires get them! Big safety improvement over worn tirea. Tires that are still legal can be far from their best. I replace them well before the treadwear indicators demand.
Have a mechanic check the rest of the car. If it is in good shape you are not likely to get something safer from a rental.
Some people like large cars for longer travel. If you want a big car for that reason then that would be a reason to rent. Most rental companies would call the car you have full sized, so it might be hard to reliably book something bigger. Particularly tough if you don't want an SUV.
From what I understand, tires beyond a certain age deteriorate and can be risky - especially, I believe, when driven at higher speed.

From the several times we rented for 1-3 days from Enterprise, the real unlimited miles bargains are the smaller categories of car. Not so much of a bargain for the largest ones.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by IowaFarmBoy » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:10 pm

doss wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:44 am
My thinking was that for such a long road trip (mostly through long stretches of barren land)
I wouldn't exactly call that route "barren". It is rural and if you take the Indian Nation Turnpike in Oklahoma it can feel empty but you are on major highways pretty much the whole way. It's not like you are going to be driving through the desert.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by novemberrain » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:35 am

I rent for such trips. Main reason is I get to drive a different car than my own car. Removes some boredom. Plus I get to try out a brand or a car that I might potentially buy in future

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by Nissanzx1 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:12 am

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:40 am
If I were you, I will rent a car for peace of mind. I assume a rental car company has a lot of stake in making sure that their cars reliable. If a rental car breaks down on a trip, it will be their problem and I will have a replacement. It will be a big hassle if my car breaks downs hours away from home. I live in the Bay area and often rent a car when going to Los Angeles, about 400 miles each way. The rental cost of $400 for a 1,800 miles of driving comes out about 22 cents per mile, which is quite reasonable.
I worked for a major rental car company for 10 years. The cars are generally "reliable" because they are newer. However- It was common to go 15-20K miles in between oil changes. My manager would sometimes not change the oil filters to save $3/car. Tires were almost never changed because they are expensive. We and our customers drove them hard, very hard.

I can assure you that if a rental breaks down on your trip, it's just as much a pain (probably a larger pain) than if it's your own car because you'll need to wait until a branch opens again to get another car- and let's just hope they have another car.

The motto was "don't look, just Book" reservations. If we did have a vehicle for you when you arrived, it was purely by chance.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by doss » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:27 am

IowaFarmBoy wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:10 pm
doss wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:44 am
My thinking was that for such a long road trip (mostly through long stretches of barren land)
I wouldn't exactly call that route "barren". It is rural and if you take the Indian Nation Turnpike in Oklahoma it can feel empty but you are on major highways pretty much the whole way. It's not like you are going to be driving through the desert.
Google maps is giving us two route options now (I guess based on cell user data, they are starting to optimize the routes even more efficiently?): One through DFW to San Antonio area and another (about 20mins difference) through Wichita Falls/Brady/Mason, Texas to our destination. The latter is a bit more "desolate", no?

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by dm200 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:17 pm

Nissanzx1 wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:12 am
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:40 am
If I were you, I will rent a car for peace of mind. I assume a rental car company has a lot of stake in making sure that their cars reliable. If a rental car breaks down on a trip, it will be their problem and I will have a replacement. It will be a big hassle if my car breaks downs hours away from home. I live in the Bay area and often rent a car when going to Los Angeles, about 400 miles each way. The rental cost of $400 for a 1,800 miles of driving comes out about 22 cents per mile, which is quite reasonable.
I worked for a major rental car company for 10 years. The cars are generally "reliable" because they are newer. However- It was common to go 15-20K miles in between oil changes. My manager would sometimes not change the oil filters to save $3/car. Tires were almost never changed because they are expensive. We and our customers drove them hard, very hard.
I can assure you that if a rental breaks down on your trip, it's just as much a pain (probably a larger pain) than if it's your own car because you'll need to wait until a branch opens again to get another car- and let's just hope they have another car.
The motto was "don't look, just Book" reservations. If we did have a vehicle for you when you arrived, it was purely by chance.
Many years ago, my wife, young son and I flew to Texas, rented a car from a major company - and made a one week trip - San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Houston -

While driving (evening) along the interstate between cities, all of a sudden - a bunch of warning lights went on - car still ran. Soon, I saw a sign for an airport - we drove to the car rental place - and exchanged one car for another. :)

badger42
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by badger42 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:27 pm

My car is a couple of years newer that yours, but given the choice, I would much rather take it than a random rental.

I know my car has had all of its maintenance done to a high standard.
I know my car has a recent set of tires with good tread.
I know my car's driving characteristics inside and out.
I know all of the controls in my car without having to look at or think about them.
I know how to troubleshoot common issues with my car, and where the jack, spare, toolkit, etc. are.

I don't hesitate to drive a rental if I'm flying somewhere and need a rental, or if I need something my car can't do (>5 people, large cargo, etc). However, I would not assume a rental is more reliable than an older, well maintained vehicle; quite the opposite. I had an Altima with 36k on it as a rental a few weeks ago, and it was already having minor transmission (CVT) issues - nothing quantifiable enough to say "give me a different car" but definitely "not quite right".

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whodidntante
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by whodidntante » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:42 pm

I have driven hoopties cross country before. If I had rented a car, I would have missed out on the hooptie factor.

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RootSki
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by RootSki » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:00 pm

novemberrain wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:35 am
I rent for such trips. Main reason is I get to drive a different car than my own car. Removes some boredom. Plus I get to try out a brand or a car that I might potentially buy in future
There’s nothing boring about a Volvo S60.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by novemberrain » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:55 pm

RootSki wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:00 pm
novemberrain wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:35 am
I rent for such trips. Main reason is I get to drive a different car than my own car. Removes some boredom. Plus I get to try out a brand or a car that I might potentially buy in future
There’s nothing boring about a Volvo S60.
2018 model yes no boredom, 2006 model yeah, lot of boredom. No rental company rents out 12 year old cars. Most of rental stock are new cars. Even a 2018 Chevy would be more fun than a 2006 volvo

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dm200
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by dm200 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:08 pm

Seems to me that a car that old (2006) with so few miles - is probably not getting the best value for miles.

researcher
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by researcher » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:07 pm

novemberrain wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:55 pm
Main reason is I get to drive a different car than my own car. Removes some boredom...

Even a 2018 Chevy would be more fun than a 2006 volvo
This couldn't be further from the truth. The vast majority of rental cars are crappy, second rate, base model, stripped down fleet vehicles.

Here is an example...
I drive a 2006 Honda Accord with over 150K miles.
Last year I had to opportunity to drive a rental car (2016 Ford Fusion with ~15K miles).
This is a direct competitor to my vehicle, but a decade newer and 135K few miles.

That Ford Fusion rental car was a complete piece of crap compared to my Honda.
Squeaks & rattles. Horrible audio system. Cheap interior materials. Weird drivetrain vibration.

The OP's 2006 Volvo S60T would be infinitely more enjoyable to drive.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:27 pm

novemberrain wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:55 pm
RootSki wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:00 pm
novemberrain wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:35 am
I rent for such trips. Main reason is I get to drive a different car than my own car. Removes some boredom. Plus I get to try out a brand or a car that I might potentially buy in future
There’s nothing boring about a Volvo S60.
2018 model yes no boredom, 2006 model yeah, lot of boredom. No rental company rents out 12 year old cars. Most of rental stock are new cars. Even a 2018 Chevy would be more fun than a 2006 volvo
I would take the Volvo every time. Much nicer car than any random American rental car.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by novemberrain » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:03 am

researcher wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:07 pm
This couldn't be further from the truth. The vast majority of rental cars are crappy, second rate, base model, stripped down fleet vehicles.

Here is an example...
I drive a 2006 Honda Accord with over 150K miles.
Last year I had to opportunity to drive a rental car (2016 Ford Fusion with ~15K miles).
This is a direct competitor to my vehicle, but a decade newer and 135K few miles.

That Ford Fusion rental car was a complete piece of crap compared to my Honda.
Squeaks & rattles. Horrible audio system. Cheap interior materials. Weird drivetrain vibration.

The OP's 2006 Volvo S60T would be infinitely more enjoyable to drive.
quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:27 pm
I would take the Volvo every time. Much nicer car than any random American rental car.
I enjoy variety. And I don't mind paying extra for a few days of fun in a different class of vehicle. From that perspective my rentals have mostly been fun experiences for me.

I specifically look for fun cars when booking a rental for a long drive. Usually some big SUV like a tahoe/suburban/expedition. I have mostly enjoyed the rentals. Granted if I do a dollar for dollar comparison, my own cars (BMW sedan) would have been cheaper for the drive. Also granted that comparing a sedan with SUV is not apples to apples. But as I said, I am looking for variety I don't mind paying extra just for a few days.

I can't afford to buy a ferrari for my daily use. But I would love renting a ferrari for a day. Similar logic.

My answer was probably not a direct answer to the OP's specific question, but a general question back to OP like hey, why don't you think from my perspective.

MarkBarb
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by MarkBarb » Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:36 am

Whichever car you take, make sure that you have enough of the appropriate power to keep your electronics charged. I recommend a cheap AC Inverter. Then you can plug a multi-port charger into that. You'll probably want a phone running Google Maps plugged in at all times.

We've done a lot of long drives. The kids pass a lot of the time playing games (Pokemon on their old DSes, games on their phone), listening to music or audio books (also on their phones), or watching movies (on car video system or phones). Having electrical power in the car makes the trip much better. We even hooked up a Wii in the car (had to customize the sensor bar) so the kids could play Smash Brothers and Mario Kart on the drive.

Just be aware that there is a power limit to a typical AC Inverter. Even it you get a really powerful one, it will be limited by the power available to the outlet you plug it into. A typical inverter can charge phones and other handheld devices with no problems, but laptops can be a very different story.

Traveler
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by Traveler » Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:56 am

Spend $100 on the highest level AAA membership and drive your own car. It wouldn't even be a question for me.

DiMAn0684
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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by DiMAn0684 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:33 am

I'd drive a Volvo rather then spend $400+ on rental.

With that said, I did rent a car for weekend trip a few weeks ago. I had less than reliable personal vehicle then, and found lots of rentals available Fri-Sun for under a $100. Ended up booking a compact, and getting upgraded to Nissan Rogue, for ~$77 and put slightly over 500 miles on it. If rental pickup wasn't as much hassle as it is at my nearby airport I'd consider taking a rental for a similar trip again, even with a much better personal vehicle now.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by stupidkid » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:06 am

I have a few cars and will generally drive whichever is most appropriate for the road trip. But, this past summer we flew from Denver to Bozeman Montana and rented a car to do a road trip from Montana back to Colorado. We rented a premium model Toyota Camry. Note, I have status with all the rental car agencies and always have some free days to burn. I was very pleased with the Camry.

Excellent fuel economy over a 1500+ mile drive, and it only needed regular whereas my cars take premium or diesel. I found it very comfortable, and fast but not too fast. Easy to do 85 but not much faster which was perfect, my cars it's too easy for me to go 100 (on an empty Western road, I have a heavy foot).

Best part, the car got filthy. Covered in mud and bugs, and at the end, we just dropped it off and got back in our nice clean car. I would consider renting again for a road trip if only for that reason. But if it's just a long drive on highway, I'm taking our car.

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Re: Should we rent a car or take our low mileage 2006 Volvo on a family trip?

Post by TN_Boy » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:32 pm

doss wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:00 am
Around Thanksgiving, we will make a family trip (me, wife, 2 1/2 yr old) from STL to northern San Antonio, Texas. The drive will be about 12 - 15hrs each way depending on which route we take. We currently have a nice 2006 Volvo S60T with about 70k+ miles on it. The tires are fine but probably will need to be replaced soon.

My question is....should we just rent a nice full size sedan to do this drive and save the mileage on our car? Looks like prices are about $400+ for our dates. My wife loves the Volvo because she feels "safe" in it (I think the commercials at the time for the 2006 Volvo was calling it the "safest car in the world") and we just don't know what kind of car we'd get during rental (looks like Chevy Malibu or equivalent, according to Avis).

Or, should we just save that $400 and put it towards some new tires for the volvo (and any other tuneup needed) before the road trip?

Each trip leg seems to be about 900 miles.
Not clear a 2006 Volvo would be any safer -- might well be less safe -- than a comparable sized newer car.

But one of the reasons I own a car is so that I can take trips in it. I would take your trip in my car, and it has about 1/2 again as many miles on it (also it is probably a better highway car than any I would pay for to rent, and it has satellite radio, etc). If you like driving the Volvo, why not take it? 70k is not that high a mileage.

If the tires are needing replacement soon, I'd replace them before the trip.

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