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How to Choose the Right Rental Car for Your Road Trip

Ready to Embark on Your Journey? 

A road trip is a long-distance journey on the road. Road trips are one of the most satisfying ways people like to take vacations because it enables them to stop by must-see attractions, try local foods, meet different types of people, and explore the countryside.

An average road trip takes around four to six days in the United States. Without having a well-conditioned vehicle, taking a long-distance road trip is risky. In fact, a perfect car is the best road trip companion because it eliminates all your worries related to the car getting broken down, passengers having insufficient legroom/headroom, and poor mileage.

Several car models, including Jeep Wrangler, Ford Mustang, Subaru Outback, Toyota Corolla, Chrysler Pacifica, Toyota Sienna, and Kia Telluride are well suited for road trips. However, these aren’t the only choices you have.  A little groundwork may help you find a suitable car for the road trip.

This article provides everything you need to know about how to choose the right rental vehicle for a road trip.  

Looking for the best deals for car rentals on your family vacation or business trip? Check out Airport Van Rental’s discount codes for next level saving on your getaway!

Features to Look For in a Road Trip Car

Not all cars are deemed fit for road trips. You may need to choose cars with unique features that enhance the safety and convenience of passengers during the road trip.

Below provided are some of the features you may need to look for in a road trip car:

Fuel Economy

Road trips are always lengthy. For instance, a road trip of Route 66 is around 2,500 miles. A road trip on Interstate 90 is over 3000 miles. When you are taking such long road trips, you may need to keep an eye on the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.

For instance:

  • The mileage of SUVs may range from 22 MPG to 33 MPG.

  • The mileage of passenger vans may range from 15 MPG to 22 MPG.

You may need to assess the mileage of various vehicles and choose a vehicle that helps complete the trip within budget.

Seat Comfort

Don’t just solely focus on the mileage. Other aspects such as seat comfort, legroom, and headroom should also be a part of the evaluation. Since road trips are long journeys, you may need sufficient legroom and headroom to stretch the body and feel relaxed.

The lack of seat comfort may result in back pain and achy muscles. You may not enjoy the road trip to the fullest possible extent if your seating is not comfortable. Therefore, make sure you rent a car that offers ample legroom and headroom.

Cruise Control 

Road trips involve traveling a lot on highways with less traffic. This is where the feature of cruise control comes in. It helps drivers keep the car at a constant speed and limit the amount of fuel it consumes. According to Kia Motors, cruise control can save an average of 7-15% of gas. Moreover, it prevents foot fatigue of drivers and allows them to enjoy the drive.

Off-Road Capabilities 

Road trips also involve visiting several must-see attractions along the journey. Sometimes, you may need to get off the beaten paths to fully explore State Forests and National Parks. Moreover, erratic climatic conditions such as storms and floods can impact the condition of roads. Therefore, a vehicle with off-road capabilities is the perfect choice for road trips.

Air Conditioning 

Daytime temperatures vary from one state to another in the country. For instance, the temperature in Las Vegas may touch 45°C in June, July, and August. If you are taking a road trip like Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon or Denver to Las Vegas in any of these three months, you may need to rent a car with the best air conditioning.

If possible, hire a car with a dual air conditioning facility. Dual air conditioning is a system that allows you to maintain different preferred temperatures for the front seats and rear seats.

Additional Safety Features

Safety features not only help the driver avoid accidents but also protect passengers from getting severely hurt during a car accident. Research conducted by LexisNexis Risk Solutions found that vehicles equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) have shown a 27% reduction in bodily injury claims.

You may need to look for the following 10 safety features while renting a car for road trips:

  1. Six airbags

  2. Child safety seats

  3. Anti-lock braking system

  4. Forward collision warning

  5. Blind-spot monitoring

  6. Lane departure warning

  7. Inattentive driving monitor

  8. Traction control

  9. Electronic stability control

  10. Automatic emergency braking

How to Choose the Best Car to Rent for a Road Trip

Different rental car models, including sedans, convertibles, SUVs, minivans, and passenger vans, are available for road trips in the market. However, not all of them can cater to your unique road trip requirements.

You may need to conduct the required groundwork to find a suitable car. This groundwork may involve envisioning the trip, conducting research about different cars, and visiting rental locations of various popular car rental agencies.

Envision the Trip

The first thing you may need to do when you think of taking a road trip is to decide the road trip destination and envision the trip.

You may consider the following aspects while envisioning the road trip:

  • Road type: Is the road trip going to involve off-roads, country roads, and forests? If yes, you may need to choose the vehicle with high horsepower, all-wheel drive and off-the capabilities. 

  • Temperature: Are any of the cities or attractions you cover have extreme temperatures during the period you take the road trip? If yes, you may need a vehicle that has a superior air conditioner.

  • The number of passengers: How many are you traveling with? If the number of people exceeds 10, you may need a passenger van. If only four people are traveling, a convertible may be good enough.

  • Budget: How much is the budget? The budget plays a crucial role in selecting the vehicle class.

  • Comfort and Convenience: Are any old-aged people joining for the family road trip? Are some of your co-passengers taller than 6 feet? Then, you may need to be very particular about seat cushioning, legroom, and headroom.

Conduct Research 

Plenty of car models are available in the market. Most car rental companies will always be ready to arrange the car model you are looking for. However, you may need to conduct a little bit of research on the type of vehicles available for each of your unique requirements.

  • Road type: If you are looking for a vehicle with off-road capabilities on a short-length road trip, you may like to choose Jeep Wrangler, Toyota Runner TRD Pro, or similar.

  • Distance: If the length of the road trip exceeds 1000 miles, you may like to choose vehicles, such as Volvo V90, Honda Odyssey, Land Rover Evoque, or similar.

  • The number of passengers: If only four people are going on a road trip, convertibles, such as BMW M8 Convertible, Audi A5 Convertible, or similar, are preferred. Likewise, for a group of 10 or more people, passenger vans like GMC Savana, Chevy Express, Ford Transit, or similar would be ideal.

The research would enable you to list down the suitable vehicles and select the best one among them based on the availability and the rental price.

Visit Rental Locations

Visit rental locations in-person to see cars and check if they fit your requirements. Most rental companies maintain a fleet of different vehicles. For instance, Airport Van Rental (AVR) has a premium fleet of full size SUVs, minivans, and passenger vans. You can visit any of AVR’s rental locations to check the cars. The customer support team of AVR will also help you select the right vehicle for your road trip.

Find the Perfect Road Trip Rental with AVR

The type of vehicle you choose plays a major role in enhancing your vacation experience. You may need to look for various features, including fuel economy, air conditioning, off-road capabilities, safety features, seat comfort, legroom, and headroom while choosing a vehicle for the road trip.  Envisioning the trip, researching different cars, and visiting rental locations of various popular car rental agencies would help find the best car for the road trip.

AVR is one of the leading car rental agencies in the United States. It has been catering to the travel needs of Americans for the last 12 years. With over a dozen rental locations across the country, AVR enables you to conveniently pick up and drop off vehicles at any of its rental locations.

Premier customer support, a premium fleet of vehicles, and the lowest possible rental rates make AVR the preferred travel partner for all kinds of vacation trips. AVR’s customer support is just a phone call away if you need road-side assistance, towing service, and any other help during the journey.

Book a rental car with AVR for your next road trip now with a debit or credit card at the best price!

Trying to travel across the country but worried about putting miles on your vehicle? Airport Van Rental has you covered with 8 seater van rentals, SUVs, and more, all guaranteed to give you the comfort and peace of mind you deserve.

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