View Full Version : Help...trying to figure out the overall cost of driving to FLorida

07-30-2010, 10:39 AM
So...it's 1000 miles to Florida and I want to save the cost of flying by driving there. I'm trying to figure out what the overall cost would be. I'd need to rent a 15 passenger van, and I'm trying to figure how much to budget for gas to get to WDW and back. Also the gas for everyday driving to the parks while we're there. Anyone able to give some rough estimates?

07-30-2010, 10:51 AM
First price the cost to rent the van. Good chance neither your personal auto policy nor your credit card will cover rental of that vehicle class. Check, and if necessary add the cost of insurance/damage waiver to the cost. You think your rate includes unlimited miles? Make sure there isn't a restriction regarding what states you're allowed to drive.

Gas--Check the mileage with something like mapquest. Make sure your 1000 mile figure isn't "as the crow flies". Assume you'll be driving 2300 miles total and your van will get 12mpg. That means you'll be using 191 gallons. Make the math easy, assume 200 gallons. Assume gas is $3/gallon you cost will be around $600.

You can get average gas prices on the AAA website. You'll probably be paying less then $3/gallon.

Are you driving from the NE? Include the money for tolls.

07-30-2010, 10:55 AM
Here's a link to a gas cost calculator that I have used in the past:


07-30-2010, 11:23 AM
don't forget to budget in meals

07-30-2010, 12:24 PM
You might also want to budget in medical care for your back after you get home. ;) The average 15-passenger van (assuming that you can even find one available for a long-distance trip; that's getting harder to do) has very poor suspension; rental models are mostly meant for special-event shuttle duty. You'll be bouncing hard all the way.

Also consider parking, tolls, and overnight accomodations along the way. It will take you the better part of two full days to drive each way (you really don't want to take a van that size up to really high speed, because it will become very hard to handle if you're not accustomed to driving one; the rollover risk is VERY high. Plan on going no more than 65 mph at cruise, and closer to 60 mph would probably be more comfortable.) Consider that it may mean add'l time off work, if you normally wouldn't take a trip of that length.

07-30-2010, 12:50 PM
Wow...thanks for all the really helpful advice. I just used the fuel cost calculator, that gives me a great idea of what gas alone will cost me, but I'm going to assume gas is around $3 like pp said, to provide a little extra cushion in my budget just in case.

Of course I had forgotten about tolls. I have no idea what the average toll is...

I was really hoping to drive all the way through, no stops ....but know w/ the info about 15 passenger vans, I don't know how realistic that would be. Maybe if both drivers switched every 3-4 hours.

07-30-2010, 01:22 PM
Not sure where you are starting from but we just drove to WDW from Ohio taking 77S to 95S and we paid $6 each way on the WV turnpike. You had to pay $2 3 times. We had a mini van. The highest we paid for gas was $2.84 but budgeting $3/gallon is a good idea. Just a piece of advice, watch your speed. A lot of police were out in all states.

07-30-2010, 01:23 PM
The ride will be rough and the seats won't be that comfortable. Switching drivers won't help if the passenger not driving isn't able to sleep.

It's going to take 2 full days. PP is correct, driving fast is not an option. It's very unlikely the second driver will be able to get enough sleep to safely drive.

This is all academic if you're not able to rent a 15 passenger van at the right price.

07-30-2010, 06:52 PM
I could be wrong, but i don't think they even rent 15 pass vans anymore because they roll over too easily.