Trip to Florida wrap-up and the cost savings analysis of renting

Posted By on March 11, 2012

After the long overnight drive home here’s a wrap up post from my trip to Florida with my son Taylor over his college spring break.  We had a mostly great father-son time and I for one was glad he chose to spent the week with me rather than other friends or SigEp fraternity brothers – rentalcarspreadsheetactual1no offense intended towards the college spring break crowd of this generation (or previous); and before chastising my opinion, wait and revisit this subject when you become a parent.
Winking smile
Anyway, I did my obsessive compulsion of analyzing the cost of the trip using the comfortable (although underpowered) Ford Focus rental car compared to driving my Honda Pilot, as mention in a previous post. I adjusted the spreadsheet with the overall gas prices a bit higher for the trip and found that we saved a few more dollars. In fact, according to even the simplest calculations … which didn’t take into account tire wear, maintenance, mileage depreciation or potential repairs on my Honda Pilot … we saved $50 by renting for the week over driving the Honda. It is surprising what a 12mpg improvement can make in a 2600 mile trip. I acknowledge that I may have giving up a little over the road comfort, but not having to clean the sand out of my car was a big plus too. One caveat to renting is that I had to do all the driving due to rental restrictions … so be aware.

HutchinsonIsland_N_TeakWalk HutchinsonIsland_N_BeachRR tayloronfordfocus120305

While reviewing the photos on my phone, I remembered how impress I was over the beach access on Hutchinson Island next to the Navy Seal museum. We enjoyed the sand and sunshine here and appreciated not having to feed a meter. The all teak walk over was impressive as were the super clean bathrooms (for beach restrooms) that even had a mural painted on the wall! Let’s just hope they can keep those who disrespect nice facilities away and keep it nice for the rest of us … I for one plan on encouraging public enforcement by being more aggressive with hoodlums — approach verbally when possible … and “photographically” (faces and license plates) when that’s not the wisest. If the public could be encouraged to be more involved (and law enforcement/courts stood behind them), I think much of the vandalism expense could be thwarted. [/off_soapbox]

[flv:zodiactestspin.flv 485 270] Just tinkering with video settings

Comments

  • So how’d you enjoy your time with the Focus? Mine’s still going strong – definitely an enjoyable car to drive.

    • Great car … will consider a Ford when we look at another car. (still want my diesel though!) 😉

      The little 5-door is very utilitarian and handles great. I found the drivers seat to be very comfortable and LOVED the cruise control and digital display. The auto transmission was excellent, but I did find the little 4-cyl a little weak for my taste … but never a problem cruising or hunting for gear (even through the mountains). I’d give it a 5 out of 5 for a small car. Didn’t realize you bought one … I recall you were thinking back when I rented one for a week last year?

      • Glad to hear you liked it so well. Yup, I have a Titanium Hatch – pretty much with every bell, whistle, and gizmo they offer. It parks itself, etc. 

        If you ever want to play around with all that techno-wizardry, let me know and I’ll drive down!

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.