In a report commissioned by Enterprise Rent-A-Car and conducted by Brett Smith, co-director of manufacturing, engineering and technology for the Center for Automotive Research, renting a vehicle for a weekend getaway proved to be the most economical choice versus using an owned vehicle.
Enterprise factored in the cost of the rental fee and other added costs on average, such as excise taxes and licensing fees, in order to obtain the total cost per mile for a rental car for three days starting Friday at 4 p.m. until Monday at 8:30 a.m. The cost of optional collision damage waiver or insurance coverage was not included the cost per mile rate.
The report compared a typical rate for compact car ($9.99 per day) and full-size vehicle ($19.99 per day) with using a personal vehicle and both costs were lower. It determined that based on a 300-mile trip, it would cost $0.63 per mile to drive a personal vehicle compared to $0.51 per mile to drive a compact rental car, or $0.62 per mile to drive a full-size rental car.
The study also examined qualitative benefits, in which renters are able to drive a newer and more dependable vehicle, have roadside assistance available in case of an emergency and choose vehicles to the appropriate task.
For the full report, click here.