Welcome to Las Vegas: A city of gluttony, fun … and more than a few traffic jams. Despite the fact that it seems everyone in Sin City is getting around by car, don’t automatically assume that you need to as well.
If you are staying in one of the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, and you only plan to visit other places on the Strip or in downtown Las Vegas, then it will be easier to get around by foot, bus, monorail or taxi. Traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard and I-15, the interstate that runs parallel to the Strip, often seems to be at a standstill, and the time you spend waiting for the monorail or walking may actually get you where you need to be faster.
It’s also worth noting that parking at most of the hotels in Las Vegas is free. However, finding a spot to park during a concert, convention or other special event can be particularly time consuming and difficult.
Before you write off a rental car altogether, though, you should know that there are instances when such a car would come in handy. For example, if you’re staying at an off-Strip hotel, you might find that a car is needed to reach the highlights of the city. There is a bus service that runs from downtown to Las Vegas Boulevard, but if you choose to stay in one of the Station Casino hotels or somewhere other than downtown or the Strip, then a rental car will allow you to get where you need to go easily.
You might also want to rent a car so that you can take day trips from Las Vegas, or so you can easily get around to other sites in the city that aren’t as easily reached by foot or public transportation. Visitors to Las Vegas might be interested in spending some time at Red Rock Canyon (about a 20-minute drive from the Strip) or the Hoover Dam, which is located on the Arizona border near Lake Mead National Recreation Area. There are also several national parks near Las Vegas, including the Grand Canyon, which require access to a car.
If you’d like to visit some of these sites, but you are also planning on spending a fair amount of time on the Strip, you might consider renting a car for only a day or two. Use your rental car to its fullest extent during the time you have it and then return it so you don’t bother paying for something just sitting in the parking garage.
How much does a rental car in Las Vegas cost? Competition in Las Vegas is fierce, and if you compare prices online, you can probably find a relatively good deal. You might even find severely discounted last minute deals, just so companies can move any vehicles sitting in the lot.
Compact and economy cars usually run between $20.00 and $30.00 per day, and prices go up from there. Luxury cars and convertibles start about $80.00 per day and can run up to about $200.00 per day.
Photo credit: Flat-Black 66