Gas prices, car rentals and the economy of traveling by car

Posted By on February 26, 2012

Katelyn and Taylor back in 1991 preparing for a road trip

While planning a couple upcoming trips after the recent jump in gasoline prices (over $3.50 and rising), I reflected on the “good ol’ days” when we would hop in the Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser station wagon and take off on long trips at what seemed like a moments notice. I’m sure we did a little more planning that that, but I don’t recall fretting about how much fuel would cost us. Nowadays, even with improved fuel efficiency, most young families have to think twice before buzzing over the river and through the woods.

I’ve reduced my sales call visits to customers and have been rethinking both my business travel and personal trips this past year. In fact, last week I even tweaked my “cost to drive” spreadsheet which now easily justifies renting a fuel efficient car for a couple longer upcoming trips. It just doesn’t make sense to drive my <20 mpg Pilot IF I can rent a 35-40 mpg car (with unlimited miles) and can keep the miles off my Honda – I didn’t even factor in mileage depreciation, oil changes or tires. Something to think about if you are planning a longish road trip. (below is the 2000 road trip comparison)



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.