Road trip auto insurance options
Travel Hacks and Tips,  USA

Auto Insurance for Road Trips: Driving Your Own Car Vs. Renting

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You have planned out every detail of your impending road vacation. You have planned every aspect of your trip down to the last detail, from where to stay and sightsee to which restaurants you must visit.

Is someone in charge of the wheel? What else? Not everyone is excited to get behind the wheel regarding long-distance travel. A road trip in your car has the obvious cons of increased mileage and regular maintenance. You might find your beloved Pontiac getting charged by a ram or rammed by a Charger on your national park trip.

It’s essential to do the calculations when deciding whether to drive your car or rent a car for your next road trip. This includes gas mileage, rental car insurance, vehicle depreciation, and more. See here to know the details about it. (Oh, and one more thing: research state travel limitations before going on your trip. Therefore, you can avoid making any drastic course corrections while driving.

Option 1: You Are Driving Your Own Car

Anywhere you choose to drive during your summer vacation will be fully covered by your auto insurance. If Canada reopens its border to travelers before the end of the season, your pass will also be honored there. (If something similar were to occur in Mexico, however, you should know that you would need to purchase a policy designed specifically for use in Mexico, such as those offered by GEICO, to be insured while you were down south.)

Because accidents aren’t the only thing that might happen to your car while on vacation, it’s also a good idea to analyze any roadside assistance you may have through your vehicleinsurance or elsewhere. You should consider getting this service if you don’t already have coverage. 

While the specifics of what is included in roadside assistance may change from company to company, you can usually count on being towed, having your battery charged, having gas delivered, having your locked car unlocked, having your flat tire changed, and having a winch used to pull you out of a ditch. In most cases, you can also count on free towing to the closest repair shop within a specific range of miles.

The cost of including roadside assistance in your automobile insurance policy might range. Though it can be somewhat pricy with some insurers, with GEICO, Progressive, State Farm, Farmers, and USAA, you can get this protection for as little as $25 per year. The number of times you can call and the amount of data you can get in one call could be limited. Several insurance companies also demand that you have collision and comprehensive insurance to add the service to your policy.

If you currently have coverage for free from another source, you shouldn’t add roadside assistance to your plan. Your warranty covers roadside aid if you bought a new automobile within the last several years. Chase also provides complimentary service calls of up to $50 in value to cardholders of certain credit cards.

If you have a roadside assistance plan, ensure to program the number into your phone before leaving. It’s also a good idea to keep a printout of your benefits information in the glove box of your car for easy reference whenever you need it.

Option 2: You Are Renting A Car

A rental car’s insurance is a must if you don’t have your vehicle covered. Again, having credit card insurance to pay for rental car damage is a huge help. The procedure is the same whether you are declining one or more waivers for loss or collision damage in the rental contract or paying for the rental out of pocket with your credit card.

In the absence of a credit card that offers collision damage waiver coverage, rent-a-car agencies typically provide their waivers for purchase at the counter. However, if you’re willing to put in a little extra time researching your options, you may be able to save money by going the third-party route. Third-party insurers offer collision insurance for less than $10 per day, while online insurer predicts you’ll pay $20 to $30 per day to the rental business.

Liability insurance is typically included in the cost of renting an auto, although it typically only extends as far as what is necessary to comply with local regulations. 

There aren’t many gap-filling choices available for free or at a significant price. Credit card companies rarely provide liability insurance for rental automobiles as a perk, as the Insurance Information Institute cautions. The most common choice is to pay an additional $8 to $12 a day for additional liability coverage through the carrental agency.


There is no one true answer to whether it is better to use your automobile on a road trip or hire one. There are pros and downsides to both taking your car and paying for a ride, so it’s best to weigh them before deciding. Regardless of your option, it’s important to have a good auto insurance to secure yourself from added expenses.

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