If you live in Pensacola, Florida and are visiting any of those attractions below, it is about an 800 mile round trip. Therefore, if your car is 7 years old adding miles at this point is not going to depreciate it too much.
I figure 10 cents per mile. Maintenance and repair at a lower estimate level can cost 6 cents per mile, so that is about a cost of 16 cent/mile. The mileage depreciation for an 800-mile trip is about $128. A rental can cost about $30 a day so any trip shorter than 4 days makes more sense to get a rental car.
If you are taking 4-day trip to your local attractions like: Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida: Is only 453 miles from Pensacola, Florida, which is only 7 hours and 3 minutes one way trip to visit the new Fantasyland expansion. The expansion presents more Disney characters and stories, like seven dwarfs mine train.
The Universal Orlando Resort, 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL: Is only 450 miles and 7 hours away. There, you can experience all the new thrills and magical experiences with the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
You also have the option of choosing a car that has a better MPG than the vehicle you currently own, and enjoy additional savings. Choosing a vehicle you normally cannot afford may not be a savings, but can be beneficial by increasing your pleasure on your vacation. Another aspect no one is mentioning is the wear and tear inside the vehicle. Your car can go from having an excellent interior condition and the trip might turn it into a good or even poor interior condition, which also can depreciate the value of the vehicle.
Most people that have a vehicle 7 years or older may not even consider driving their vehicle on a long trip due to breakdowns. Nevertheless, you still need to consider if your vehicle breaks down, you will need to find a towing company, and someone to service it and that may deplete your vacation funds, leaving you to reduce the activities you and your family may do. As well, it may prolong your travel plans, leaving you to miss work another added expenses. An out of town break-down in your own car could make the rental car fees look downright cheap.
So considering all these points, renting a car will not only save you money, but it can give you additional happiness and less stress on your next vacation.