It takes a lot of space to pack for a family vacation. Plenty of families end up using two cars so that they can have space for everything that they want to bring, but that isn’t always the best choice. In many cases, renting a van will save a lot of money and make the trip go more smoothly. Even the families that can fit into a single car can still benefit from renting a van in some cases, especially if their normal car will be cramped when it is fully loaded.
1. Single Vehicles Save Money
Using a single vehicle is almost always cheaper than using two or more. Most of the savings come from the cost of gas. While it is true that vans tend to be slightly less fuel efficient than smaller cars, a single van will almost always use less fuel than a pair of smaller cars to cover the same distance. As long as the added cargo space of the van allows you to consolidate everything into the single vehicle, you are going to come out ahead on the cost of gas.
Bringing two cars also means paying for twice as much parking space and paying twice at every toll booth. The cost of doing so will vary significantly depending on where you are driving, but there are plenty of places where it can be quite significant. These savings usually exceed the cost of renting the van in the first place, so there is a very good chance that doing so will be profitable.
2. Avoid Depreciation and Maintenance
Most cars lose value over time. Some of that depreciation is inevitable, but some of it is tied to the distance that it has driven. That adds a hidden cost to taking your own vehicles out for long drives, and it’s one that can add up over time. It isn’t a big deal if you choose to drive cheap or used cars, but it can lead to huge losses for people who have a new and expensive vehicle. If you rent a van or any other vehicle, you don’t need to worry about the cost of depreciation.
Depreciation isn’t the only hidden cost of driving. Parts of the car will wear out over time, and they need to be replaced. The heavy use that is involved in a family vacation can accelerate that process, especially if you plan on taking the vehicle out into the wilderness. If you rent a van, the rental agency will end up covering the cost of maintenance. You will still need to treat the vehicle with respect, since many agencies do charge penalties for excessive damage, but that isn’t a problem for most people.
Depending on local state laws and rental policies, you might even save money on insurance. A policy is not always required for a van rental. Even when it is, it is rarely more expensive than paying for normal insurance. All of these small savings can add up to make a rental into a significant discount.
3. Cargo Space and Comfort
Even if you can fit everything that you need to bring into a small car, you might be better off with a van. Most cars don’t offer much extra space to begin with, and packing for a trip will cut the space down even more. Most loaded cars are uncomfortably cramped, and that can ruin the traveling portion of the vacation. Vans4U said, “Renting a van will provide a lot of extra space, which you can use to either bring more things with you or to ensure that everyone has enough leg room to be comfortable.”
Dealing with car trouble is never pleasant, but it’s even worse than normal on a vacation. It can make you miss activities or lose valuable vacation time. Even if the delay isn’t a big problem, it’s harder to fix a car when you’re traveling and don’t know where to find a good mechanic. Since most rental agencies keep their vehicles in very good condition, renting a van can help to prevent problems. Vans are an especially good choice for the rental, since they tend to be more durable than many other options over long distances.