Rent vs Drive your own car?

Hey guys, here is a issue we are looking at. We will be driving from NC to MIA in May for a 6 day cruise. It is a 12 hr drive there, we usually take our suv, but have been looking at renting a vehicle. There are 5 of us with luggage, etc so a suv or van is needed. Have you considered this?

Pros of renting a car - if it tears up, call rental company and you get another one. ALSO, it should be a newer model car and in good condition.

Cons - cost of renting the car and it setting at the port not being used.

Note - has anyone looked into renting the car one-way turning it in and doing another one-way rental?

Looking forward to hearing your experiences!


18 Answers

We've frequently done that and have found Alamo to be the best source. Sign up for Alamo Insider's so you get the free upgrades etc.

If you drop the car near the port, you eliminate the need to pay to park. In other words, book it to the port one way and then book it from the port. Usually free shuttle service from car rental to the pier. (We usually drop the luggage etc and then return the car.)

Alamo frequently offers really good deals on Minivans ... we rented a minivan during our New England trip and paid less than $14/day for it!!!

I ran a sample check on my Alamo account for Raleigh NC to MIA and the total for a 7 passenger minivan for 2 days was $118.

Also - price it to Fort Lauderdale too - the ports are only about 25 miles apart and sometimes FLL can be cheaper.

When we were four people with large luggage pieces, we found that it was cheaper to rent two cars rather than one SUV.

Have you ever looked at pricing two one way rentals to avoid having to pay the rental while at sea and also to avoid the parking costs. In some ports such as NY the parking cost for a 7 or 10 day cruise can be substantial. The downside is dropping the car before embarkation and picking it up after debarkation.

I think you guys are right on target, I did some looking while at work, and I think we can get a van from Alamo for about $200 total by getting it at 7 a, dropping off in Miami, then rerenting it when we come back

The rental will be a new van (chances are less then a year old) and it will save your SUV the wear and tear, Also a new mini van should get better mileage then an older SUV.

thanks everyone, trying to work with Alamo to get the online deal to work, keep getting technical difficulties, might have to bite the bullet and pay the extra $20 for them to do it over the phone, but drat it, its again my principles lol.

Alamo's website can be that way but not as bad if you sign in as an Alamo Insider ... did you sign up for that?

Hi Debbie - totally understand about hateful websites! I did try to reserve it as an insider, but it would not take payment, this morning I checked my email and it did reserve the van for me in Miami,, but did not look to where it had paid for it. I will continue to try to get a reservation and pay for it, the prices are really good!


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