Rent or Lease?
March 2, 2013 12:47 PM   Subscribe

Would it be cheaper to rent a car for 6 months or get a lease swap with short term car insurance in California?

I'm living in the area for at least 6 months, and need a car. Which is the better option? To get a long term rental with the insurance covered by my credit card or buy out a lease and get a short term insurance?
posted by pakoothefakoo to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
Best answer: Maybe you've already worked this out, but most credit cards won't cover insurance for more than 30 days.
posted by Betelgeuse at 1:32 PM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: No I haven't, thanks for the heads up.
posted by pakoothefakoo at 1:40 PM on March 2, 2013

Best answer: If you go lease, you might try a 'non owners policy', which is for people who frequently drive cars they don't own. I know USAA has such a policy.

Long term rentals are a huge rip-off in my opinion. I used to get them through my former employer and was always amazed by the price, I could have bought a reliable used car for the price of a 2 month rental, or "mini-lease" as they were called.

Don't know anything about buying out a lease, but I'd recommend you look at buying a 10-year old camry or similarly popular car through craigslist and then selling it at the end of your time in California. It would add some time and hassle to the beginning and end of your stay, but would be dramatically cheaper than any kind of rental. If you get a good buy and a good sell price, it shouldn't be hard to come within a few hundred dollars of breaking even.
posted by skewed at 4:39 PM on March 2, 2013

Response by poster: Yeah, I think I'll buy a cheap car. Thanks for the answer, extremely helpful.
posted by pakoothefakoo at 7:20 PM on March 2, 2013

Best answer: Don't buy your used car out of state unless it is old enough to not need inspections (pre 74 or so) or diesel so that you also don't need inspections. CA is notorious for failing cars from out of state on the emissions, costing you a lot on repairs. Cars from in state are already supposed to meet the high CA standards. Look into the laws of buying and selling in CA - I think private party sellers are supposed to have it checked before sale, but I may be wrong on that.

wife of 445supermag
posted by 445supermag at 8:06 PM on March 2, 2013

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