Why rent a car? There may be cheaper options that allow you to travel in style


When Terica Haynes landed in Mexico, she hopped a rental car – and she hopped a cab, too. Haynes, who works as a professional travel planner, did the math and decided the limo was the cheapest option to take her and her friends from the airport to their resort.

She calculated the cost of insurance, Filling the fuel tank Not to mention the inconvenience of queuing at the rental car counter, the resort’s parking fee. In short, it was not difficult to justify a limousine for his 2018 trip.

Most travel professionals agree that we are in the middle of a rapid advance in the summer of 2021 Car rental apocalypse A kind of. Car rental prices are skyrocketing and some of the most popular tourist destinations sell out on busy weekends.

In this era of COVID-19 travel, limo rentals are not only easy to justify, but can actually be cheaper than car rentals and taxis. In 2021, there are plenty of examples where renting a limousine is a wise move.

What is happening

There are several factors in the current car rental shortage. Many travelers are still hesitant to fly, so Travel by car It’s hot this year. Some car rental companies have adjusted their offerings to reflect the low travel rates of 2020, but trips have resumed earlier than expected.

Finding a rental car in 2021 can be more difficult than finding toilet paper in 2020, leading to a global semiconductor shortage that is holding back auto manufacturing.

Plan ahead to get a deal

Finding a limousine deal isn’t difficult, especially in tourism-dependent cities still recovering from COVID-19 shock.

Unlike ridesharing services, where prices can fluctuate at any time, you can easily find limo deals at your destination before you arrive. Special deals on airport transfers and other promotions may be offered, so book ahead to find a reasonable price. Additionally, you may be able to negotiate rates by contacting the company directly.

For example, in Las Vegas, one can find stretch limousines for around $ 65 an hour. Luxury sedans cost around $ 45 an hour and can be rented even cheaper. It’s not much more than around $ 45 to $ 50 to call Uber.
+ 3.20%

From the airport to downtown Las Vegas. It’s also cheaper than around $ 50 to $ 65 to use Uber Premier, a luxury car service.

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Even if you just go to the Strip, carpooling from the airport to somewhere in the middle of the Strip, like Caesars Palace, can cost over $ 30 on a short trip, unlike the hour you get. with a limousine rental. .. Also, if you can find a rental car in Las Vegas, be prepared to pay $ 200 or more just for weekend rentals.

And it’s not just for Las Vegas. Cities with a lot of tourists offer limousine options which are likely to be competitively priced.

Benefits of limousine and car or taxi rental

Even though the price is higher than that of a rental car or a taxi, there are many advantages to having a limo over a VIP.

You can make several stops

Paying for individual taxis to travel between tourist destinations is not only expensive, but also the inconvenience of having to call a cab every time. The limousine will drop you off and wait for you when you are ready to depart.

This was the case for real estate entrepreneur Matthias Magnason. He lives just outside of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and has visited his family from Europe. The group of six wanted to see all the attractions in one night, including Lombard Street and Chinatown. Also, I wanted to spend the night at the famous Fairmont hotel at the top of Nobu Hill.

“Saturday night fares and the availability of taxis, Uber rides and ferries were not fun options,” he said. “By comparing prices, time and flexibility, it quickly became clear that it was worth booking a limo. “

Along the way, they can also foam up, which you probably can’t do with a taxi.

“A flat rate, vehicles arriving on time, multiple stops, a luxury experience and six people from out of town impressed, it was worth it,” he says.

You can load travel items using a limousine

You can also use a limousine to make a more convenient stop while stopping at a tourist spot.

This largely influenced Haynes’ decision to hire a limousine for a trip to Mexico, which was slated to allow him to organize events for the luxury travel agency Dynamite Travel. Upon landing, she needed to obtain supplies, adornments, and drinks. Considering the number of stops required, limousines were generally cheaper than renting a taxi which charges a pay-per-use rate based on time and distance in addition to the base fare.

Even if you’re not hosting an event, it’s a good idea to renew your sunscreen and toothpaste. Unable to pack carry-on baggage Instead of paying exorbitant prices in a hotel convenience store. Additionally, you may consider saving money by stopping by a grocery store to prepare light meals, alcohol, and easy-to-prepare meals (room service cereal is expensive). If you are staying in a condo or rental house, you absolutely must stock up on food and drink.

It doesn’t make sense to see limousines hitting grocery stores every day.

You can also have a built-in tour guide

For Karen Allington, entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of the Miss Black USA pageant, the limousine was a lifeline on just one trip to Italy.

“My driver not only took me where I wanted to eat, but also acted as my guide and personal assistant,” she said. “He took me to the best cafe and found Italian coffee. I didn’t speak Italian and I had a bag so I negotiated with the seller.

Who should consider a limousine?

For individuals or small groups who need a car for an extended period on most days of their trip, a rental car may be wise. However, there are some situations where a limousine makes sense.

Big group

Limousines also saved money, since Haynes had a small inventory with her on her trip to Mexico. Large groups need to rent large vans and SUVs or divide people into several sedans and taxis. Fitting everyone into one limousine not only cuts costs, but also reduces confusion caused by fragmented groups.

Visitors to cities where it is easy to walk or have great public transport

“In Las Vegas, New York or most of the big cities, you really don’t need a rental car unless you plan to explore out of town more,” HotelPlanner said. .com, president of a hotel reservation website. Blues Rosenberg said. For groups.

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In many large cities, hotel parking fees are well over $ 50 per night, so it’s probably not worth renting a car. In Las Vegas, you will notice that you are walking along the Strip. It’s part of the fun. And in New York City, you might find the subway faster anyway.

Travelers staying at the resort

If you are staying at a resort, you may not be using your car very often. Many large resorts are designed so you don’t have to leave – they have all the pools, dining, entertainment, and activities you want to experience on-site while on vacation. Even if you wish to leave the resort, the hotel can provide a shuttle service to major attractions. Alternatively, the concierge can help you book a tour that includes transportation.

And there is an unexpected benefit. Haines said he didn’t have a car and noticed he walked more than usual while on vacation in Mexico. Without a car, you might take more steps than usual, and your health will appreciate it.

If you have trouble finding a rental car

If you don’t have to rely on a car for most of your trip, it may be a good idea to skip the rental car and go all in a limo. In some cases the cost will be cleaning. Elsewhere you can go out first.

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Make sure you factor in all the costs associated with renting a car. Base rent, gasoline, parking and tolls in some towns.

“Compare prices and include shipping costs in all your travel costs,” says Rosenberg. “Look for a hotel with free round-trip shuttle service to the airport, downtown, and popular local destinations. This is the best way to save money.

And because of the occasional outing around town, limo rental can be both the most attractive and the cheapest way to get there.

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SallyFrench writes to NerdWallet. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @SAFmedia.

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