The roadtrip has begun – getting a rental car!

The roadtrip had begun!

Today was the perfect day to start travelling further, however I did not do several closeby landmarks such as the Observatory and Runyon Canyon which are supposed to be very interesting for the Hollywood region.

The idea of the roadtrip is to have ultimate freedom. In the end I found out about espace campervans, this company has converted regular vans to sleepover vans, including a full bed and small kitchen.

On the bus there, I got to chat with a nice (married) guy who claimed to live in Beverly hills. He told me a summary of his life, including some very personal details, in 5 min. It is always so strange how, even during a quick meetup, people I meet tend to share a lot about their personal life and you make connections. Those 5 minutes ended with an exchange of phone numbers… just in case 🙂

Rental Car

In the USA, most rental cars are not insured by default in the rental price. Some reasons are that you can potentially re-use the insurance of your own car back home or several creditcard memberships (gold / platinum) can cover you. The coverange by creditcard companies is interesting, since for a fee < 10 USD / month, you can get full coverage and all the other advantages of that membership.

There are multiple types of insurance to be paid / decided seperatly: collision waiver & third party liability (up to 1.000.000+ USD, which is higher then standard coverages). Both costed me around 10 USD / day, bringing the total of 17 days to 340 USD just for insurance (this is the equivalent to a 3 year creditcard membership).

In many rentals, you’ll also have a limited mileage, often around 100 miles / day. Do the calculation to get more miles, in my case it was 15 USD / day extra for 200 miles and 20 USD for unlimited.

Note that in the USA, almost all cars have automatic gear and are non-diesel (due to taxes and engine – environmental restrictions).

If you do long rentals, you should always negotiate to get for example a free GPS or other extras.

Finding company to drive with

Since I now owned a car, I felt to get most of it, including finding company to share it with from time to time.

Very popular in the USA is Craigslist, where people post all type of ads to sell all kind of things. The site is to my opinion very chaotic but works if you find your way due to a huge userbase.

There is one section for ‘rideshares’, where people post their route, leave their phonenumber & a rate.

Just one hour before leaving to San Diego I left an ad and offered a free ride from L.A. to San Diego. In just minutes, I received 3 messages and chose 1 person. More about that & the trip to San Diego in the next post 🙂

Sidenote: apparantly Craigslist is now even owned by Ebay…