Sunday, September 07, 2008

How Renting a Car Saves Us Money

First, you must know that we have a 1998 Dodge Ram Custom Van with over 180,000 miles on it. And it doesn't run very well:-) so we get about 12 miles to the gallon on the highway - on a good day!

So, since we make alot of trips up to Phoenix which is about 200 miles each way, I decided to check into renting a car that would get better mileage and see what it would cost. I found that I could rent an Economy Car for about $16/day on the weekends and it would get about 28 miles to the gallon. When I figured the math, we would SAVE money by renting the car since we would use SO much less gas.

Well, last weekend was the first time to put this theory into practice. Normally, if I drove my van I would use about $150 in gas (usually about 500 miles total). The rental car cost me about $56 total, plus I spent $63 in gas for a total of $119. That was a savings of over $30, not to mention the peace of mind that came with not worrying about the van giving me any problems since my hubby wasn't with us:-)!!

Next weekend, we are making the trip again, and even with renting a Full Size Car (there are 5 of us going) at $22.49/day (and only about 23 mpg), we will break just about even with about $76 in gas and $76 for rental. And again, the peace of mind is worth a little to me:-).

Because of our poor gas mileage, the age of the van, and all the little things that are potential problems, I am looking into buying a used car with a small monthly payment that will save us money monthly just due to better gas mileage. Any suggestions or input on this plan?

BTW, my dream car is the newer Nissan Altima - dark gray/silver - aaaaahhhhhh! Oh, well, it doesn't cost me just to dream:-)

If you would like to see more ideas for saving money and living frugal, check out the Festival of Frugality hosted over at Frugal Babe (love that name!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

GREAT plan. I love that car too. It's very pretty.