Sanf Fran to NYC - Best method of vehicle hire/buy/lease???

Travel Forums North America Sanf Fran to NYC - Best method of vehicle hire/buy/lease???

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1. Posted by sharpey (Budding Member 3 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hi, I am planning a road trip on my own (Early September to Late November) starting in San Francisco and Finishing in New York (travelling south through California, quick trip to Vegas, east along the Southern States to Georgia then up the East Coast and finally finishing in New York.
I've booked the flights so it's going to happen. My major question is what is the best method of travel? I would really like to drive it myself to give best freedom. Is it feasible to buy a car and sell on at the end of the journey as I reckon hiring would be too costly? What about car-leasing? Also, are RV's a cheap option?

Any advice would be most grateful.


2. Posted by IMonaghan (Respected Member 431 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Renting a car for that amount of time might be worth considering.

You can probably get a "mini-lease" that charges you a monthly rate to rent a car from any of the major rental companies in the USA. Rates seem to start around 550/month USD. This would total about $1100 for the amount of time you are talking about. While you can buy cars for less than that around here, the benefits of renting is you get a reliable car, you don't have to worry about insureance as long as you are insured in your home country. you don't have to worry about registration fees and you get 24 hour roadside assistance in case anything goes wrong. You also don't have to worry about selling a car, or buying a lemon this way too.
Just my thoughts on things.

3. Posted by Peter (Admin 6600 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hey Sharpey,

I hired a car while I was over here for a week and it came to about $800 including insurance coverage (my travel insurance wouldn't cover it and I'm not comprehensively insured back home). A much cheaper option (you only have to pay for fuel) is something like autodriveaway. Basically, the idea is that some people need their car moved from one side of the country to the other and they don't want to pay a lot of money for professional transport, so they get people to do it for free!! Have a look at . You kind of have to get lucky though, but if your trip is flexible, you could just try winging it while you're here and filling in the gaps with hire cars. We tried to get one, but none came along until a week AFTER we needed it .. grrr.. a pretty nice car too ! Ian's suggestion sounds pretty good too!!

Cheers, Peter

4. Posted by sharpey (Budding Member 3 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the advice guys. Ian, the hire-rate that you state seems very reasonable. What are the best rental companies to go with?

Peter, I had heard about such schemes, and was interested but hadn't found any info on the web so thanks for the details on AutoDriveaway. Would be superb if I could get around that way. Thanks again.

5. Posted by IMonaghan (Respected Member 431 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!


Here are some of the popular rental companies in the states.
Advantage Rent-a-Car
Rent a Wreck
All of these companies are fairly well known in the States and are reputable as far as my dealings with them have gone.

It seems like Advantage provides the best rates, but I'd check them all and see what gives.
Autodriveaway is also a good suggestion. I wish I would have thought of that as well.
Good luck with it either way, let me know if you need more info.


6. Posted by sharpey (Budding Member 3 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Thanks again Ian.

7. Posted by shazza (Budding Member 4 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hiya Sharpey,
Me and my boyf are planning a similar road trip than yours but not until 2005....
Could you give me an idea of how much time your giving yourself to do it?? it will be our first time to the USA so wasnt sure how long it would take and definate route to take either!!.
Also, if you can give me any other information e.g. acommodation:- are you booking anything in advance or just stopping at motels/hostels along the way??, also how much dosh do you think is needed?.
Also if anyone can give any ideas of definate places to visit or stopover that would be FAB....

Weve heard that you can contact car hire companies and ask if they need cars delivering to different states etc. we were hoping to make our way round that way??!!!

If anyone else has got any advice or information let me know.