Should You Rent Or Drive Your Own Vehicle This July?

This year, there’s no better way to spend your summer vacation than on a road trip. The loonie is at a one-year low, and the trade relationship between Canada and the US is rocky at best. Most Canadians (even the shoe smugglers) are ditching their plans of going down south for a homegrown, maple syrup-flavoured holiday solution: the Canadian road trip.

With more than 1 million kilometres of roads (1,042,300 km to be exact), Canada has some of the most scenic drives in the whole world. From the rainforests in the west to the red-sand beaches in the east, the nation’s variable landscape offers up unique and astonishing views wherever you go. The hardest part is figuring out which route to take!

Once you’ve determined where you’re going, it’s time to figure out how you’re going. Should you drive your own vehicle across the country, or should you rent a car to take you where you need to go? There are pros and cons to both methods, and Veerpreet is here to help you figure out which one best suits your needs.

Step #1: Consider your car’s condition carefully

Any mechanic in Mississauga would recommend factoring in the condition of your car before making a decision. If your vehicle is barely hanging in there — and it threatens to stall every time you merge onto the Gardiner — then you already know your answer. When an old car has trouble completing its normal commute, it has no hope of performing well in another province.

On the other hand, you may be hesitant to drive a brand new vehicle on your road trip. Though it’s in better shape to handle a long road trip, you might find it difficult to pledge your baby to such a long drive. Putting 8,000 km on it when you drive to Vancouver and back in just two weeks will depreciate your car faster than normal.

If you can get over the emotional hurdle of adding so many kilometres on your new car, then it might be the right decision. Whether new or old, any vehicle in good condition is cheaper than renting during a road trip. You’ll only have to budget for gas, schedule a tune-up, and get an oil change before you’re good to go.

Step #2: Calculate how many kilometres you expect to drive

The length of your trip is an important factor to consider when you don’t own your vehicle outright. Those who lease or finance their vehicle signed a contract that stipulates how many kilometres they can drive before paying a penalty. In many cases, this penalty comes into effect as soon as you drive more 25,000 km in one year. Your road trip may push you over the edge.

Step #3: Examine your route

The most common reason why drivers opt to rent a car for their road trip is their concern over wear and tear. In most cases, your road trip won’t do serious damage to your vehicle. The main highways connecting cities and provinces are well-maintained and shouldn’t cause any undue damage to your car. But perhaps you have plans to go off-roading in the territories or Tokyo-Drifting your way through Montreal. While the latter is most definitely illegal (sorry Vin Diesel fans), it and any rough terrain could add wear to your car and depreciate its resale value.

Step #4: Do the math

Unlikely as these scenarios are for the average road trip, you may find renting a car more affordable than driving your own vehicle this summer. You’ll have to pull out the calculator to figure out whether renting is better for your vehicle and your budget.

When it comes to renting, remember to figure into your budget the flat fee for your rental, any daily or weekly rates, the extra fees (like insurance and kilometres driving), and the cost of gas.

When it comes to driving your own vehicle, consider your lease’s kilometre limits, the cost of gas, and any pre- and post-road trip visits to our service centre. A tune-up before you leave makes sure your car’s ready for the tough job ahead, while a tune-up after you return home makes sure it’s ready to get back to its daily grind.

Any long-distance trip puts pressure on your vehicle, so we recommend coming by our muffler shop and service centre once you come back home. From basic tasks like oil changes and tire rotations to more intensive diagnostic checks and the best muffler repairs Brampton and Mississauga have to offer, our crew can help you with any issue — from bumper to bumper.

Just as you would sit down to plot your route, you should take the time to think about your vehicle. It might not be as fun as driving on the open road, but the effort you put in now can save you a lot of money once you get behind the wheel — and when you can save money there’s no way you can regret your awesome summer plans.