Car rentals are ideal when taking one-off family vacations or road trips. It’s a lot more convenient than putting all those extra kilometres or miles on your personal car.
We’ve hired a car and driven Route-66 in the U.S.A.; a 4WD and driven the National Parks of Uganda; driven all over the U.K.; through much of Australia; explored the islands of Fiji; plus many other places. But, there have also been times in Australia and UK/Europe, where purchasing a car made so much more sense.
When you travel often, however, those daily rental rates can start to add up. In circumstances like these, it may make more economic sense to invest in purchasing a car that’s equipped for long-distance travel. With so many options available to you, however, you may be wondering which car is the better buy.
Here are some factors to keep in mind that can help make your search when purchasing a car a lot easier:
Keep These Things in Mind When
Purchasing a Car for Long-Distance Travel
Above all else, you want to be purchasing a car that you can afford. If you spend more than you can afford on a vehicle, the chances of you being able to travel as often as you’d like are slim. While only you know what you can reasonably afford, it is recommended that you don’t spend any more than 15% of your monthly takehome pay on a car.
Review your budget to see what you can spend on a car after you’ve paid your regular expenses. You can use an online car finder to make it easier for you to see how much cars are going for and get the best deal possible.
If there’s one thing you’re going to have to factor into your travel expenses wherever or whenever you are heading off exploring it’s going to be fuel costs.
While you can’t do much to change the prices of fuel at the moment, you can lower your costs by choosing a car that is fuel-efficient. Review the miles/kilometres per gallon/litre stats on your top choices for cars to see which one will give you the most distance for your money.
The most fuel-efficient cars are often electric or hybrid cars, however, there are other makes and models that do well on highway distance as well.
Keep in mind that if you are towing that your fuel usage will also be considerably more.
Yes, you’re looking for a car that you can use for long-distance travel, but what kind of travelling do you plan on doing? Do you plan on doing lots of romantic getaways or are you more interested in family road trips? Will you be driving in the city, on highways, or on off-road terrains? Are you wanting to zip around the curves in a sporty open-top car? While some cars are great on highways, they may not have the durability you need to travel down windy, bumpy, or rocky roads.
Again, keeping purpose in mind, as you browse your options for cars equipped for long-distance travel, don’t forget about space. If it’s just for you and your significant other, you can look at smaller cars, two-seaters, or convertibles.
However, if you plan on doing more family road trips, you’re going to need enough seats to comfortably seat you and your loved ones. You’ll also want to keep luggage space in mind. Unless you don’t mind piling bags and suitcases on your laps, you’ll want a vehicle that has plenty of trunk and storage space.
No matter what kind of travelling you plan on doing you want to be safe while on the road. Though safe driving practices are ideal the type of car you choose can enhance your safety. You can check the safety ratings of any vehicle to see how it holds up in accidents. You can also look for additional safety features like parking and reverse cameras, lane assistance, automatic braking, and more.
Comfort and Entertainment
Last but not least, you want to look into the overall comfort and features for entertainment. When you’re driving for long distances you want to be comfortable. Plush seats that adjust to your comfort, seat warmers, and even massaging features can make that long drive a lot easier to get through. However, you can also benefit from various features that enhance your entertainment. For example, a vehicle that has USB ports for charging your devices, Bluetooth capabilities to listen to music, or ports for tablets and mini televisions to keep the kids entertained would be ideal.
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Travelling by car is by far one of the most affordable ways to go. Though you could essentially rent a car, often, the best option when being on the road often is to invest in a long-distance ride of your own. As you shop for the best car for long-distance travel, be sure to keep all of the above factors in mind to help you narrow down your options and choose the vehicle that is best suited for you.
Purchasing a car can be a lot of fun, so have a great time deciding what vehicle to buy for your next long-distance adventure.