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Old 1st April 2017, 23:31   #16
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Default Re: USA: 5,700 mile road-trip in a Mazda 6

Nice account of your road trip saishivaj - wonderful pictures.
Never got a chance to visit the central grassland states.
Had a few roadtrips of my own while I was working in USA - but none encompassing so many miles as mostly my trips were completed within weekends/long weekends, with solo/+1 driver.
Mazda 6 is a nice car, one of the colleagues had one.
I used to own the predecessor Mazda 626, albeit an old used one.

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Old 2nd April 2017, 09:42   #17
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Default Re: USA: 5,700 mile road-trip in a Mazda 6

Awesome trip. I rented a Chrysler 200 for my spring break trip to Tennessee last year. I 'almost' bought it a month later, but decided against it because of frequent transmission issues with the 200's ZF unit. Its easy to fall in love with the car you drive for a spring break trip. I ended up buying a 2015 Nissan Altima instead and I'm really pleased so far, though I would have loved to get my hands on a Mazda 6 if there was one at a similar price.
By the way, which university are you studying at?
I'm doing my PhD at Iowa State btw!
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Old 2nd April 2017, 23:37   #18
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Default Re: USA: 5,700 mile road-trip in a Mazda 6

Nice travelogue saishiva. Hope you enjoyed Colorado and the marathon drive. I lived in Fort Collins, CO for a few years and it is one of the most beautiful towns that I have seen.
Most of the US car rentals are well maintained. Though not as popular as Toyota and Honda, Mazda makes good cars. But most Indians in the US too go with the herd mentality and refuse to look at anything that is not a Toyota or Honda.
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Old 3rd April 2017, 01:43   #19
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Default Re: USA: 5,700 mile road-trip in a Mazda 6

Nice travelogue! 5740 miles!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by saishivaj View Post
Being under 25 years of age is a pain while renting cars in the US. However, from internet, I learnt that becoming a member of USAA would waive off my young renter’s fee and I did just that to strike the cheapest deal and it worked like a charm. I also purchased rental car insurance from outside for those unforeseen situations.
I'd be doing two short trips of 4 days each, renting from Enterprise. I read about the USAA membership as well, on Frugalhack.me. The writer said he had some issues with the process.

Did you have any issues with getting the young renter fee waived? Is there anything else I need to be aware of?

Also, I have a Discover credit card which covers rental cars. Would you recommend an additional insurance?
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Old 3rd April 2017, 07:28   #20
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Default Re: USA: 5,700 mile road-trip in a Mazda 6

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
Nice account of your road trip saishivaj - wonderful pictures.
Never got a chance to visit the central grassland states.
Had a few roadtrips of my own while I was working in USA - but none encompassing so many miles as mostly my trips were completed within weekends/long weekends, with solo/+1 driver.
Mazda 6 is a nice car, one of the colleagues had one.
I used to own the predecessor Mazda 626, albeit an old used one.
Thank you blackasta. Mazda was really a great car and I refuse to understand the abysmal sales figures. It is nice to know that you braved to own the 626. I hope you enjoyed it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by studentonwheels View Post
Awesome trip. I rented a Chrysler 200 for my spring break trip to Tennessee last year. I 'almost' bought it a month later, but decided against it because of frequent transmission issues with the 200's ZF unit. Its easy to fall in love with the car you drive for a spring break trip. I ended up buying a 2015 Nissan Altima instead and I'm really pleased so far, though I would have loved to get my hands on a Mazda 6 if there was one at a similar price.
By the way, which university are you studying at?
I'm doing my PhD at Iowa State btw!
Congrats on your acquisition studentonwheels. Altima is a great car too. Although I thought a Mazda is more fun ever so slightly. I am just about to complete my Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. My love for cars should be explaining my interest in mechanical engineering! I hope you are enjoying your course at Iowa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikhil0405 View Post
Nice travelogue saishiva. Hope you enjoyed Colorado and the marathon drive. I lived in Fort Collins, CO for a few years and it is one of the most beautiful towns that I have seen.
Most of the US car rentals are well maintained. Though not as popular as Toyota and Honda, Mazda makes good cars. But most Indians in the US too go with the herd mentality and refuse to look at anything that is not a Toyota or Honda.
I loved Colorado the most in this entire trip. I agree with your statement of the car rentals maintaining their cars. I've had umpteen rentals till date and none of the car rentals disappointed me although the cars themselves sometimes lacked the oomph. The cars were all well kept.

Mazda's cars like the 3, 6, the minivans, all of them are a darling in the eyes of car critics. I still fail to understand why the general population hasn't opened their arms to Mazda. I hope Mazdas get the love they deserve in the near future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amolbh View Post
Nice travelogue! 5740 miles!!



I'd be doing two short trips of 4 days each, renting from Enterprise. I read about the USAA membership as well, on Frugalhack.me. The writer said he had some issues with the process.

Did you have any issues with getting the young renter fee waived? Is there anything else I need to be aware of?

Also, I have a Discover credit card which covers rental cars. Would you recommend an additional insurance?
Hello Amolbh,
I didn't have any issue getting the young renter's fee waived off. The only question I was asked was my USAA membership number which I had stored on my phone. I smacked myself on the back of my head for not having used this trick earlier. It works like a charm, atleast in Philly. I haven't tried renting cars in other cities with USAA. Soon I am going on a trip to Houston where I'll be trying this out. I hope it works the same way there too.

I am not an expert with how the insurance system works in the US with credit cards. I too have a Discover Card but I wanted an added layer of safety cushion, atleast in my head, which made me purchase car rental insurance from "insuremyrentalcar.com". The process was fairly simple and most of all, it gave me peace of mind.

I hope this helps with your trip. Have fun.
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