Why rent a car? There may be a cheaper option that lets you travel in style

When Terika Haynes landed in Mexico, she skipped the rental automobile — and she skipped the taxi, also. Haynes, who performs as a professional vacation planner, did the math and determined that a limo was the least expensive option to get her and her pals from the airport to their resort.

She calculated the price tag of insurance coverage, refilling the gas tank and resort parking costs, not to mention the inconvenience of having to stand in line at the rental car counter. In limited, it was not tough to justify a limo for her 2018 journey.

Quickly-ahead to summer time 2021, when most journey experts agree we’re in the midst of a rental automobile apocalypse of sorts. Rental vehicle rates are soaring, and some of the most well-liked vacationer destinations are sold out of rental autos on occupied weekends.

In this era of COVID-19 journey, limo rentals may possibly not just be much easier to justify — they may in fact be much less expensive than auto rentals and taxis. In 2021, there are many occasions in which renting a limo is the wise move.

What’s been going on

Several elements are contributing to the recent rental vehicle lack. Due to the fact many vacationers are nonetheless hesitant to soar on a airplane, road trips are warm this year. Some rental vehicle organizations modified their supply to replicate the minimal 2020 travel rates — but travel has resumed more rapidly than some expected.

Throw in a worldwide semiconductor shortage which is slowing automobile manufacturing, and obtaining a rental car in 2021 may possibly be more difficult than acquiring rest room paper in 2020.

Agenda in progress to safe a deal

Particularly in tourism-dependent towns that are still recovering from the shock of COVID-19, it is not hard to obtain a deal on a limo.

Not like rideshare expert services, wherever charges can fluctuate at any minute, you can quickly look for for limo promotions at your spot right before arriving. Airport transportation specials or other promos might be made available, so you can frequently obtain a sensible amount if you reserve in progress. What’s much more, you might be ready to negotiate the level by contacting the enterprise instantly.

For illustration, in Las Vegas, stretch limos can be observed for about $65 an hour. Luxury sedans can be rented for even much less, at just about $45 an hour. Which is not substantially far more than the approximately $45-$50 it would charge to hail an Uber
from the airport to downtown Las Vegas. And it is less costly than the approximately $50-$65 it expenditures to use Uber Premier, which is the car’s luxurious services.

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Even if you are just heading to the Strip, a rideshare from the airport to a mid-Strip place, like Caesars Palace, can be upwards of $30 for the short trip, as opposed to the complete hour you get with limo rentals. And if you can come across a rental motor vehicle in Las Vegas, be organized to fork out $200 — or even much more — just for a weekend rental.

And this is not unique to Las Vegas. Vacationer-weighty towns give numerous limo choices that are very likely to be competitively priced.

The rewards of a limo vs. rental automobiles or taxis

Even if the cost tag is more than a rental motor vehicle or a taxi, there are additional rewards to having a limo beyond experience like a VIP.

You will be in a position to make multiple stops

Having to pay for individual cabs to get you between vacationer locations is not just expensive but also involves the inconvenience of possessing to hail a cab each individual time. A limo will fall you off and be waiting for you when you are completely ready to move on.

That was the case for real estate entrepreneur Mattias Magnusson. He was dwelling just outside of San Francisco, on the other facet of Golden Gate Bridge, and experienced relatives visiting from Europe. The team of six needed to hit all the tourist places — like Lombard Road and Chinatown — in a single night, plus they needed to expend a night time at the popular Fairmont Lodge at the best of Nob Hill.

“Saturday evening costs and availability for taxis, Uber rides and ferries did not make for a fun choice,” he stated. “When we as opposed charges, time and versatility, it before long turned noticeable that reserving a limo was likely to be worth our while.”

Along the way, they could also break out bubbly — anything you most likely simply cannot do in a taxi.

“With just one set fare, a vehicle that turned up on time, various stops, a luxurious practical experience and 6 out-of-towners that ended up much more than impressed, it was really worth every single dime,” he suggests.

You can use your limo to load up on excursion supplies

And even though you may well cease at tourist destinations, you might also uncover by yourself applying your limo to make a lot more useful stops.

That played into Haynes’ determination to hire a limo for her Mexico vacation, which was planned generally so she could host an party for her luxurious travel company, Dynamite Vacation. Upon landing, she needed to select up materials, decorations and refreshments. Specified the selection of stops wanted for errands, a limo was much less expensive than choosing a cab, which normally rates a base fare, additionally a metered fee centered on time and length.

Even if you are not putting on an event, you may possibly want to replenish the sunscreen and toothpaste that you couldn’t pack in your carry-on rather than pay back inflated rates at the hotel convenience market place. Further, you may well take into account saving cash by halting at the grocery retailer to load up on snacks, alcoholic beverages and effortless-to-make foods ( place company cereal is high priced). If you are remaining at a apartment or rental property, you are going to certainly require to inventory up on foodstuff and drinks.

It is not every day you see a limo pulling up to a grocery store, but it can make sense.

You can also have a developed-in tour tutorial

For Karen Arrington, who performs as an entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of the Pass up Black Usa pageant, a limo was a lifesaver for the duration of a single vacation to Italy.

“Not only did my driver choose me anywhere I needed to dine, he served as my own tour guidebook and assistant,” she stated. “He took me to the ideal espresso outlets to find Italian coffee, negotiated with suppliers for me mainly because I do not communicate Italian and carried my luggage.”

Who need to take into consideration limos?

For an personal or modest team that desires a motor vehicle for lengthy periods on most days of the excursion, a rental car or truck may well be wiser. But there are situations in which a limo helps make feeling.

Big teams

Specified that Haynes had a smaller posse with her on her Mexico trip, a limo also proved to be a funds saver. Greater groups will likely have to have to hire a substantial van or SUV, or split persons up into various sedans or taxis. Consolidating anyone into 1 stretch limo might not only cut costs but also slash down on chaos with fragmented groups.

Visitors to cities that are walkable or provide extensive general public transit

“You really really do not require a rental automobile in Las Vegas, New York Town or most big metropolitan areas until you strategy to investigate outside the town extra extensively,” suggests Bruce Rosenberg, president of HotelPlanner.com, a web site that specializes in resort bookings for teams.

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With hotel parking fees well higher than $50 nightly in numerous key cities, it is most likely not worth dealing with your personal rental motor vehicle. In Las Vegas, you’ll probably uncover your self walking up and down the Strip, which is portion of the pleasurable. And in New York Metropolis, you could discover the subway is a lot quicker anyway.

Vacationers remaining at resorts

If you’re keeping at a vacation resort, you possible won’t use a car or truck significantly, if at all. Several massive resorts are developed so you never ever require to go away — they have all the swimming pools, dining places, entertainment and things to do you want to knowledge on your holiday vacation onsite. Even if you want to leave the vacation resort, it’s probably your lodge presents a shuttle provider to the massive vacationer places. Or the concierge can most likely assist you in reserving excursions, like transportation.

And there is a person unintended reward: Haynes said she identified herself walking additional than a normal working day for the duration of her Mexico holiday considering that she did not have a auto. With no a automobile, you may well get more ways in than you are applied to and your health and fitness will take pleasure in it.

If you are acquiring difficulties discovering a rental automobile

If you don’t require to rely on a motor vehicle for the the vast majority of your excursion, it might make feeling to skip the rental automobile and go all out on a limo. In some situations, the value will be a clean in others, you could possibly even appear out forward.

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Be confident to element in all the fees related with renting a motor vehicle: the foundation rental total, gas, parking costs and even tolls in some metropolitan areas.

“Price assess and incorporate your transportation costs into the all-charge of your trip,” Rosenberg suggests “Look for accommodations that have a no cost shuttle provider to and from the airport, downtown and popular community places. Which is the finest way to conserve revenue.”

And for that occasional jaunt out on the town, a limo rental may be equally the most glamorous — and the most inexpensive — way to make it happen.

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Sally French writes for NerdWallet. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @SAFmedia.