Categories
United Kingdom

Aberdeen

Europe > United Kingdom > Aberdeen

See: Why hire a car in Aberdeen ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

The Granite city sits in a geographically remote corner of the UK, but once you get there, can you get around easily using public transport? Or is a hire car all but essential? What are the main Aberdeen car hire options? There are many reasons to rent a car in Aberdeen, but the city and its surroundings can also still be explored using local public transport options, even if your journey choices will be a lot less flexible.

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Aberdeen car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Aberdeen is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Aberdeen? 

Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Aberdeen between the peak and the off peak season?

2/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 6/10

Non car score:2/10

Balance: 9

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

Our advice hasn't changed since Carornocar.com first launched.

 

Why? Visiting Aberdeen using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Aberdeen ?


Reasons why you should hire a car in Aberdeen

  • Remoteness — although you will have no problem getting around the city itself, public transport routes starts to thin out massively once beyond the central city area.
  • Limited train routes — Aberdeen is right at the end of the East Coast route from London via Edinburgh. There are also regular Scotrail trains from Edinburgh on this route, together with frequent service to Glasgow via Perth and Sterling. The only other train service is a limited frequency (one train every two hours) route to Inverness. Even Inverness by comparison is a rail hub, with routes fanning out on each of the major compass points.
  • Backed into a corner – the simple reality is that Aberdeen sits in a corner, and only has one railway line running through it. Of course, the roads are also constrained by this geography, but you can at least drive in your own time. This is a key reason why Aberdeen car hire is strongly advised as the better option.
  • Limited attractions — there are relatively few points of interest in Aberdeen itself, whereas the surrounding countryside offers plenty of places to visit.
  • Scottish castles – including the famous Balmoral Castle. Without a car, these places are difficult to get to.

Why not? Visiting Aberdeen without a car

Why don't you need a car in Aberdeen ?


Visiting Aberdeen without a car

There are very few reasons not to hire a car for a visit to Aberdeen, unless you’re making a very brief stay in the city itself, and aren’t planning on venturing very far beyond city limits.

  • Balmoral by bus: Hardy public transport users can go by bus to Balmoral Castle, which is just next to the village of Crathie on the A93. Allow around 3 hours, up to 8 buses each way per day. You will have to change at least twice outside the summer season.
  • Orkney and Shetland — Aberdeen offers both onward flights and ferry services to the Orkney and Shetland Islands. You can take a hire car onto the ferry services, but is much cheaper to go as a foot passenger.
  • Scenic coastal rail route — the train route from Edinburgh up to Aberdeen has a number of particularly scenic stretches, especially as it hugs the coast for much of the route. Flying into Aberdeen and out through Edinburgh would be one way to enjoy this route, although the availability of flights there is generally much better than it is to Aberdeen anyway. Another option is just to pick return flights to Edinburgh and take the train in both directions. If you are flying in and out of Aberdeen, then this train route is still worth exploring at least down to Stonehaven, where it goes inland.
  • Start at Dyce: A very quick shuttle bus (or taxi) is available from Aberdeen Airport to nearby Dyce station, from where most trains heading south start. Dyce is also the best place to board trains heading to Inverness. This avoids going into Aberdeen city centre and back out again. However, your journey options are still limited to the route heading west to Inverness, and the coastal route heading south beyond Aberdeen.

[james]

Largely due to it’s geographical location, Aberdeen has some of the worst access by public transport of any major UK city. I think there’s far more to see in and around Inverness anyway, so I’ve only ever passed through Aberdeen a few times. You can still manage using trains and buses, but your options are much more limited.

[jamesend]

Ratings: How does Aberdeen compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Aberdeen? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Aberdeen, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Aberdeen? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Aberdeen (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Aberdeen? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Aberdeen airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Aberdeen car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 7

2019 - 8

2021 - 9

Average score - 8

Notes:

 

So should you hire a car in Aberdeen? As Scottish cities go, when it comes to train networks, Aberdeen is certainly the weakest link, so to get to other places you would almost certainly end up needing to go by bus. This is not our view of travel enjoyment — buses should be there to supplement train journeys, not as a preferred method of transport in their own right. There are also no truly “world class” scenic railway routes heading out of Aberdeen, whereas there are out of Inverness or Glasgow, and to a lesser extent, Edinburgh.

For this reason, Aberdeen gets our strongest verdict of all Scottish cities that a car is necessary to get the best out of your trip.

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Aberdeen ?

[ScenR city=”Aberdeen”]

Is it worth renting a car in Aberdeen just for part of my stay?

Not really – Aberdeen makes a great base for exploring the Highlands, but there are only limited points of interest within the city itself. Unless your plan is to get around the Highlands entirely by bus and train (in which case, make your connection at Dyce and don’t go into the city centre), then you really should hire a car in Aberdeen for the whole duration of your stay.

Is it worth renting a car in Aberdeen even for backpackers, students and other travellers who are on an extremely tight budget?

Probably not – based on price alone, you will get better value travelling by train and coach, especially if you book well in advance. It’s also easy enough to arrange coach or minibus tours of the Highlands or of the Isle of Skye from Inverness, and even if none of these options will give you the same flexibility as renting a car, they will almost certainly still be better value.

Should I hire a car in Aberdeen if I am planning on staying in the city / downtown?

Yes – even if you are staying right in the centre of Aberdeen, you will want to go out of the city, and in particular you want to go and visit the Cairngorms National Park. You really should hire a car for this.

Bear in mind that reaching places like, for example, Aviemore is usually going to mean going through Inverness and making a change, so it will be quicker to drive. Hotels right in the city centre are unlikely to provide free parking, but Aberdeen is sufficiently compact that you should be able to find a hotel with free parking around the edge of the city centre that is within easy walking distance, or short bus ride from the centre.

For example, the Village Hotel group are one chain who are known to provide free parking on all of their sites, and they have a location on the western side of the city. In total, about half of all hotels in Aberdeen will have free parking for guests.

I usually try to avoid driving if I can – so should I hire a car in Aberdeen?

No – we would rate Aberdeen is the most car focused major travel destination in the UK, but you will still find far more options for onward travel by bus and train then you will in many other places in Europe. If you are visiting Aberdeen from North America, then you will probably find that the choice of public transport (or transit) in Aberdeen is actually quite good, and you will also find a much wider range of onward connections via Inverness.

I am a train enthusiast – do I still need to hire a car in Aberdeen?

Absolutely not – you may well have already taken the train up to Aberdeen via Edinburgh, a route which takes you across the world famous Forth Bridge as well as the rebuilt Tay Bridge. Further to the west, you have a choice of three of the most spectacular train rides anywhere in the world; the most impressive one being the Kyle line from Inverness. Heading south from Inverness, you also have the Highland mainline which can take you back towards Perth, whereas the West Highland mainline can be joined at Fort William by taking a coach connection from Inverness. However, if you only plan to take one or two train trips, then you should still hire a car in Aberdeen, and then just use park-and-ride at local stations. Other than in the centres of Aberdeen or Inverness, you should be able to park for free at most stations in the Highlands and 0Aberdeenshire[1].

I am mainly interested in history and architecture and urban/cultural attractions – should I hire a car in Aberdeen?

Probably – Aberdeen is a wealthy city, and this means that it has an impressive range of cultural attractions relative to its size, but the real star here is still the scenery, so as per the general advice above, you’re probably will still want to rent a car. If you’ve tried looking up the bus schedules to get to Balmoral Castle (you will have to change twice, eventually back on to the same bus, due to shift restrictions), then you will agree that you really do need to get a car in Aberdeen if you want to see any castles other than those in the city centres!

How many people would we need in the car before a rental becomes better value than using transit?

If there are two or more of you travelling together, you are probably going to find that it’s worth hiring a car in Aberdeen. The only real exception would be for much younger travellers who may have difficulty obtaining a rental car package without paying a substantial supplement. Generally, for solo travellers, it is going to make more sense to travel around by scheduled bus, tour bus or train, but renting a car might still be more convenient.

We are senior citizens, should we rent a car in Aberdeen?

There are no particular reasons why senior citizens shouldn’t hire a car in Aberdeen, at least up until the age limits imposed by the rental companies, usually around 70 to 75.

However, UK residents who have a Senior Railcard will be able to get one third off all train travel, and this will apply in Scotland as it does in England and Wales, even though English concessionary bus passes are not valid here. Travelling by train from Aberdeen is also usually quite stress free – the lines in this part of Scotland are nothing like as busy as they are in the central belt, and reliability is usually quite good, but service patterns are often very irregular, especially if you want to travel over to Inverness and then try and find a connection from there.

Do I need a rental car if I am flying into Aberdeen airport but staying in another destination outside Aberdeen?

Probably, yes. Even if you are staying in another town which has a good bus service, or which is on the main railway line, you will then still be quite restricted in terms of where else you can visit from there.

If I’m planning on touring around, is this best done in a rental car?

Generally, yes – the Scottish Highlands and Islands are naturally very popular with touring motorists, but getting a rental car isn’t the only way of moving around. Travelling by train and bus, you can still see places like the spectacular done robing Castle further up the east coast, you can continue deep into sky by bus, and combine this with a train trip on the Kyle line if you want, and there are usually buses integrating at both ends of the island ferry routes.

The roads in the Highlands tend to be very winding, with many smaller roads often using passing places, and some drivers will find this quite stressful. If you travel around the Scottish islands by car ferry, you get to benefit from the “Road equivalent pricing” fair capping (see above), but many car rental companies will still require you to take out daily ferry insurance, and this can be an unwelcome extra expense.

Should we try to visit Aberdeen without a car because that’s better for the environment?

It’s difficult to make the environmental case for train travel on very rural Scottish routes, which often have very low passenger occupancy rates, so fuel consumption per person would be much higher than on busier routes further south.

It’s not unreasonable to point out that none of these Highland lines would be built today if a so-called “business case” had to be made based on current usage, yet the trunk routes between Aberdeen and Inverness and the Central Belt still have an important role to play in terms of providing an alternative to the heavily congested main highways (A9/A90). There are no electrified lines north of Falkirk, so all of the mainline trains you take will be using diesel.

Should I hire car in Aberdeen to start a road trip?

Absolutely – we’ve included a suggestion for a sample Scottish Road trip which could start in either Edinburgh or Glasgow and then taking in the West Coast and the Isle of Skye. This route would certainly pass through Inverness, and it would be easy enough to include Aberdeen in this loop. You may also find a better combination of flight and car hire deals in Aberdeen if you are making a comparison with Inverness. If you are planning on taking a road trip which includes more places to the south, then generally speaking, the best Scottish car rental deals are in Edinburgh or Glasgow. This is also where you will find a much wider choice of inward flight, including direct long haul flights from the USA and Canada. However, by starting your road trip from Aberdeen, you do at least have direct access to the Cairngorms.

Should I rent a car in Aberdeen and return it somewhere else?

Advice on One Way Rentals from Aberdeen

Maybe, especially if you have a driving route in mind which starts in Aberdeen and then ends up in another major Scottish city, in particular in Edinburgh or Glasgow. However, I would usually expect this to be cheaper if you do it the other way round, since the one-way fee is often determined on a mileage basis, whereas the actual rental fee is going to be more competitive further south. On the other hand, depending on your flight or train options, it might be worth hiring a car in Aberdeen and then dropping it off in Inverness. Any one-way rental fee could be better value than having a long drive back to where you started (but that is still only going to be about 2 hours, so not really long by North American standards!).

Should I rent an RV / camper / caravan in Aberdeen, instead of a car?

Yes, touring with a camper is very popular in the Scottish Highlands, especially with the recent promotion of the NC500 coastal touring route. Many visitors with campervans simply bring their own vehicles over from the Continent, but there are also several places which will provide campervan rentals in Aberdeen.

Fuel prices?

Needless to say, if you are visiting from North America, then you will find that fuel prices in the UK are significantly higher here, and you should also be warned that prices tend to rise further still as you head north or west from Inverness. However the cost of fuel should be balanced against the cost of staying in hotels or bed and breakfasts – something that can be extremely difficult during the July and August peak season. Remember as well that even roads classified as “A” roads (i.e. trunk roads) can still be single-track in some places, including on some recommended scenic drives (like the NC500). Always observe local etiquette and signs which advise any slower vehicle to pull over and allow faster drivers to pass. In some cases, the roads will not be suitable for a large camper van.

Should I hire a car from Aberdeen Airport, or from the city centre?

Generally, in the UK, you will get a better deal from on-airport car hire. This is because airports tend to have much bigger parking lots, as land is cheaper than in the city centre. You should not expect to pay an extra airport facility fee like you do at some airports in the USA.

If you do rent a car in the centre of Aberdeen, you do at least have the advantage that the major hotels, railway station and the port are all close to each other, so there are a few car hire options within this area. However, some rental offices are further out, and some may be at the airport, so make sure you specifically request “Aberdeen STATION”.

I’m moving to Aberdeen – do I need a car to live here?

Commuting in Aberdeen is very different to being a tourist. The city is compact enough that you can get to most places using a combination of bus and walking. This is not a very cycle friendly city, and you will need a car in Aberdeen if you need to commute to any of the major office locations around the edge of the city – this is an oil town after all!

[1] Technically the City of Aberdeen is separate to Aberdeenshire.

Categories
UAE

Abu Dhabi

Asia > United Arab Emirates > Abu Dhabi

See: Why hire a car in Abu Dhabi ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Compared to its larger and glitzier brother Dubai, Abu Dhabi is substantially more compact.

Nowhere in the downtown area is more than a short bus or taxi ride away from anywhere else, but you will still be using motorised transport more than walking. There is also still a fair amount of sprawl in Abu Dhabi, so you may be staying somewhere a bit outside the centre.

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Abu Dhabi car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Abu Dhabi is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Abu Dhabi? 

Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Abu Dhabi between the peak and the off peak season?

3/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 4/10

Non car score:2/10

Balance: 8

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Whereas Dubai has invested heavily in rail-based transport, there is no such service in Abu Dhabi, and proposals to develop such a network are on hold. You’ll have a choice of waiting outside in the dusty heat for a bus or taking the much more commonplace option of a taxi.  Then there’s the natural question that if you are spending let’s say one week in Abu Dhabi, will you also want to visit Dubai? Will you want to travel elsewhere within the UAE, and possibly even on to Oman? Abu Dhabi car hire certainly isn’t for everyone, but it might still be an option for your visit.

It certainly is perfectly possible to travel between Abu Dhabi and Dubai by bus, and plenty of people do so. Abu Dhabi is also not lacking in its own huge range of architectural gems. Visitors can either use state-backed scheduled bus services, or they can take guided tours.

For trips into the desert, then 4×4 vehicles tend to be more popular, although the practice of “dune bashing” has been heavily criticised for its environmental damage.

Why? Visiting Abu Dhabi using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Abu Dhabi ?


Reasons why you need a car in Abu Dhabi

  • Fuel is cheap!
  • Public transport in the city is poor – no metro, no rapid bus network, only taxis and conventional buses.
  • Plans for an Abu Dhabi metro are currently on hold. Dspite the rapid growth of the city, including huge expansion of the airport, there are still no confirmed plans for mass rapid transit in the city.
  • Coaches to other cities in the UAE only offer limited service. They are an excellent option for getting to Dubai or Al Ain, but less so for anywhere else.
  • A car provides more flexible access across the whole city.
  • A hire car is useful for day trips to Dubai.
  • Car rental in Abu Dhabi is generally good value when compared with other destinations in the Gulf region. Expect to pay a little bit more than in Dubai, as it’s not quite so competitive here.

Why not? Visiting Abu Dhabi without a car

Why don't you need a car in Abu Dhabi ?


Visiting Abu Dhabi without a car

  • The roads in the UAE are amongst the least safe in the world. It might be better to leave the driving to somebody local.
  • Abu Dhabi is actually very compact. You can get by using buses or walking, especially once you are outside the midday heat.
  • Some parts of Abu Dhabi are well shaded with trees, whereas there are also many other places which are refreshed by the sea breeze. Abu Dhabi is hot by any standard, but there are still ways to enjoy the city on foot without being completely overwhelmed.
  • Plenty of activities based around the waterfront, car not needed.
  • Vist the Mangrove National Park – this is in a very central location, and easy to reach by bus or taxi. You can also go kayaking here.
  • Car fanatics can have lots of fun at the Yas Circuit – but you can easily get there by bus or taxi.

You don’t need a car to visit the main points of interest in Abu Dhabi.[/caption]

Ratings: How does Abu Dhabi compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Abu Dhabi? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Abu Dhabi, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Abu Dhabi? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Abu Dhabi (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Abu Dhabi? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Abu Dhabi airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Abu Dhabi car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 4

2019 - 7

2021 - 8

Average score - 7

Notes:

 

Any Abu Dhabi car hire advice also has to come with the significant caveat that the roads in the United Arab Emirates have some of the worst accident figures of any country that publishes this data. However, given the sheer volume of tourists and expats, these figures tend to look even worse than they actually are. On balance, there is certainly no need to get a hire car if you are literally just stopping over in Abu Dhabi, but for a longer trip then car rental starts to become something as well worth considering.

[james]

Anyone with an interest in technology might well want to take a look at the futuristic Masdar City near Abu Dhabi International airport. Masdar is designed to have much more in common with traditional Middle Eastern cities, with steep sided streets having additional natural climate control systems to make them inherently walkable.

Masdar does also have its own bus terminal. If all of Abu Dhabi was built like Masdar, then our verdict would be very different, but sadly it is not – Masdar is the experiment, not the reality, and it’s only really worth visiting if you have an interest in the architecture or the technology.

[jamesend]

Do I need a car in Abu Dhabi?  Verdict – yes (may be useful for longer visits, especially for getting out of the city).

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Abu Dhabi ?

Categories
Mexico

Acapulco

North America > Mexico > Acapulco

See: Why hire a car in Acapulco ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Whether or not you want to actually go loco down in Acapulco, this is not a part of the world that is served by trains in any shape or form. Acapulco has little to offer in terms of cycling facilities or walking trails, so to get around, you are going to need to use motorised road transport of some form.

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Acapulco car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Acapulco is in car rental price band: 5/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Acapulco? 

Sometimes. Economy rental prices are average by global standards.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Acapulco between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 3/10

Non car score:3/10

Balance: 3

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

  • Acapulco is a relatively densely packed city, constrained by hillsides to the east and the coast to the west, and all of the major resorts are actually relatively close to each other. There’s a perfectly adequate bus service serving Acapulco, and taxis are plentiful and relatively cheap. There are also plenty of activities based around the beach and waterfront environment, so driving isn’t really necessary.

Why? Visiting Acapulco using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Acapulco ?


Why do you need to rent a car in Acapulco?

  • Public transport is poor outside of the city.
  • No trains or trams of any kind – not within the city, and not to other cities.

Venturing inland from Acapulco

  • Acapulco is a good starting point for Mexican West Coast road trip.
  • For visitors who want to start exploring further afield and who want to take a road trip inland, then a hire car becomes a lot more useful.
  • Scheduled coach services are available, but they are primarily aimed at providing intercity service between major urban areas, rather than for touring.

Why not? Visiting Acapulco without a car

Why don't you need a car in Acapulco ?


  • For all the beach and resort stuff, a hire car is never really going to come into the equation – it’s much better just to stick to buses, walking and taxis.
  • Plenty to do within the city, especially around the beaches.
  • No real need for a hire car if doing planned excursions.

Ratings: How does Acapulco compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Acapulco? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Acapulco, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Acapulco? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Acapulco (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Acapulco? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Acapulco airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Acapulco car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 2

2019 - 4

2021 - 3

Average score - 3

Notes:

 

Do you need a car in Acapulco? On balance, our Acapulco car hire advice is that there isn’t really any need to get a rental car here. Acapulco is the type of destination where there’s a lot more going on within the city than there is around it. If you do choose to hire a car in Acapulco, you might prefer to focus on a single day rental. You should pick up and return your car in resort, rather than at the airport. Acapulco car hire tends to be reasonably comparable in value to other coastal resort destinations in Mexico.

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Acapulco ?

Categories
Ghana

Accra

Africa > Ghana > Accra

See: Why hire a car in Accra ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Generally,  Accra car hire advice leans towards not doing so. The Ghanaian capital is not a destination where you will find any of the major car hire companies. Therefore, most visitors will just stick to using local shuttle bus and taxi services.

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Accra car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Accra is in car rental price band: 9/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Accra? 

Absolutely not. Car rental is extremely expensive and best avoided.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Accra between the peak and the off peak season?

0/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 1/10

Non car score:3/10

Balance: 2

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

Our advice has remained broadly the same since we first looked at the city. Improved rail services make little difference to visitors.

 

Many of the major resorts in Accra are along the coastline to the east of the city centre. Resort transfers aren’t particularly fast or convenient, but the resorts along Teshie Rd are reasonably well connected with Kotoka International Airport. The airport is to the northeast of the city centre, and to the north of the major resorts.

There are a number of excursions into rainforest parks. Other natural features which are well worth seeing are generally done by minibus tour. These will all take you well into the Ghanaian interior.

Public transport in Accra

Following decades of almost non-existent service, the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA) is now overseeing a major investment in track infrastructure. In addition, there is now major technical and financial input from China. It seems like future years will see the restart of inter-city services within Ghana. For the time being, trains are only really useful for suburban services within Accra.

Accra does have an extensive public bus system, including one high profile bus rapid transit route. However, these services are aimed more at local users than at tourists. Furthermore, there is no dedicated airport bus. If you are staying at a hotel within Accra, then local bus services should at least be able to provide useful links to and from the city centre.

Why? Visiting Accra using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Accra ?


  • A hire car, or hired car with driver, is always going to allow you to see each destination at your own pace.
  • Wheels will be needed to visit Ghana’s spectacular national parks (see below).
  • Public transport is poor.
  • Rail services in Ghana are currently being redeveloped, but at the moment, they are of little use to tourists.

Why not? Visiting Accra without a car

Why don't you need a car in Accra ?


  • Most visitors will take some kind of organised tour, rather than self-drive hire.
  • Roads relatively unsafe, and not well developed beyond a small number of trunk highways.
  • Very limited car hire services available.

Accra car hire verdict

Not really worth looking at trying to hire a car here – few options available.

Ratings: How does Accra compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Accra? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Accra, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Accra? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Accra (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Accra? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Accra airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Accra car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 2

2019 - 3

2021 - 2

Average score - 2

Notes:

 

Ghana Holidays and Accra car hire?

Is it worth hiring a car in Accra? Ghana has a total of 21 protected park areas, including no less than 7 national parks. This makes the country ideal for exploring as part of a tour package, and a wide range of options are available, often including flight packages from the UK or elsewhere. The main interest of Carornocar is whether or not there is any reason to hire a car for independent or small group travel within a destination. Based on the relative lack of road infrastructure in Ghana, and the remoteness of the national parks relative to the city of Accra itself, our Accra car hire advice still remains a firm “no”. However, this doesn’t mean we don’t think you should move around outside the city, far from it! Ghana.

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Accra ?

 

Categories
India

Agra

Asia > India > Agra

See: Why hire a car in Agra ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Agra car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Agra is in car rental price band: 0/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Agra? 

No. No online bookable car hire.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Agra between the peak and the off peak season?

0/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 1/10

Non car score:4/10

Balance: 1

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

Our advice has remained the same since we first looked at the city.

 

The city of Agra is undoubtedly most famous for being the location of the Taj Mahal, one of the world’s most iconic and heavily photographed tourist destinations. Needless to say, this is a place which is perfectly well served by train, bus and other local transport services.

Whether you arrive into Agra by train, by plane or by bus, there are numerous local transport options for onward transfer in order to visit the Taj Mahal. The main railway station is situated adjacent to the famous Agra Fort, and from here, the Taj Mahal complex is just over 1km / less than a mile away.

Beyond Agra

It would be a shame to come this far, and to only have time for the Taj Mahal itself, and perhaps a brief glance at Agra Fort. There is still a great deal to see nearby, but regardless of how long you have here, and what else you manage to visit, a hire car is unlikely to be much help:

  • Fatehpur Sikri – situated around 45 minutes away from Agra by road, or just over one hour by train is the stunning but haunting abandoned for complex of Fatehpur Sikri.
  • Bharatpur – situated on the busy tourist route between Agra and Jaipur is the historic palace of Lohagrarh, itself surrounded by it’s own walled fort set within a moat. Bharatpur is also the gateway to the Keoladeo National Park, known for its incredible variety of migratory birds. The park gate is right on the edge of Bharatpur, a city which is compact and easy enough to walk around, although you may prefer to take a minibus or taxi to the park.

Either way, a hire car here just really isn’t going to be a huge amount of use.

Why? Visiting Agra using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Agra ?


  • Very few reasons to rent a hire car in Agra!

Why not? Visiting Agra without a car

Why don't you need a car in Agra ?


  • All of the main attractions are a short distance from public transport.
  • Buses and taxis are widely available and cheap.
  • Trains will take you right to the Agra Fort.
  • Taj Mahal is close to Agra Fort railway stations.
  • Excursions beyond Agra by rail.
  • Poor state of local roads.
  • Very limited car hire availability.

Ratings: How does Agra compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Agra? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Agra, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Agra? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Agra (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Agra? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Agra airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Agra car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 1

2019 - 1

2021 - 1

Average score - 1

Notes:

 

Do I need a car in Agra? The car hire market in India is not widely developed, and only a few of the major international players are represented here.

Therefore, there is little reason to recommend hiring a car in Agra.

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Agra ?

Categories
Spain

Alicante

Europe > Spain > Alicante

See: Why hire a car in Alicante ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Generally, we would say that a hire car is a good idea if you are flying into Alicante and then heading for one of the various coastal resorts in the area. Additionally, we would say that it’s more the case here than it is in any other destination in mainland Spain.

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Alicante car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Alicante is in car rental price band: 1/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Alicante? 

Yes. Amongst cheapest in world during off-season, still good value year round.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Alicante between the peak and the off peak season?

8/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 6/10

Non car score:2/10

Balance: 7

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Why? Visiting Alicante using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Alicante ?


Do you need a car in Alicante? Here are a few reasons why:

  • We would advise getting a rental car in Alicante for all of the obvious reasons you would expect here. Alicante car hire is cheap, the roads are of a good standard, and with a rental car, you will have a huge amount more flexibility.
  • In terms of specific places to visit when you hire a car in Alicante, this is mainly a matter of exploring coastal scenery and beaches in either direction from the city. Also,  a car can also be useful for exploring inland, and particularly for heading to attractive local towns like Teruel. (See also Valencia – you can do some of this by train).
  • There have been some improvements in the tram network around the city of Alicante in recent years, but there’s still nothing stretching out as far as the airport. Most of the more recent holiday resort development has been very much based around serving tourists who either have their own hire cars, or who are more likely to use and taxis and resort shuttles.

Why not? Visiting Alicante without a car

Why don't you need a car in Alicante ?


The one place where you really will find that public transport is more than adequate is in the city of Alicante itself.

Alicante city & resorts without a car

  • With the tram work network having expanded massively in recent years, you should have no problem getting around using either this system or the local buses. However, there is a sharp decline in service standards the moment you get outside the city.
  • Historic Alicante is also easy enough to walk around.
  • Various bike hire options are ideal for gentle cycling along the beach.
  • Since you will often be walking in narrower medieval streets, there’s always plenty of shade – but be warned that much of the old town is hilly.
  • Alicante is popular with road cyclists, but there aren’t so many off road trails, and designated cycle paths are limited to a few areas around the waterfront.
  • There are a few urban cycling routes in Alicante.
  • Most of the central area in Alicante is also either pedestrianised, or on streets which are closed off for through traffic.
  • Within major resorts like Benidorm, you will find adequate local bus services, including tourist buses.
  • Most major resorts have a huge range of activities within easy walking distances of the main hotels.
  • Local buses and suburban trains are also more than adequate for reaching some of the nearby coastal towns.

Beyond Alicante without a car

  • To reach Benidorm from the airport, you can take an hourly coach service, bookable online from ALSA – https://www.alsa.com/en/web/bus/home.
  • The same company also offer direct buses from Alicante to Murcia via the airport. In both cases, the airport transfer will take about an hour.
  • The local trains might not take you to anywhere particularly useful. However, you can certainly fly into Alicante and then continue on by express train to other parts of Spain.
  • If you are looking for a fast link to Madrid or Barcelona, or if you want to take a day trip to Valencia (see those pages for further details).
  • Alternatively, you can also travel onwards from Alicante to any of the Balearic Islands by ferry.

Integration

A key factor to consider when trying to get around Alicante without a car is whether or not public transport services are well integrated with each other.

Generally, in Alicante, this really isn’t the case, although with a bit of research, you’ll find your way around easily enough.

  • The centre of transport in Alicante is the main station, which will be labelled “Terminal” or “Estacion Intermodal”. This station has been expanded to cater for new fast AVE services to Madrid, taking around 2 1/2 hours.
  • Local mainline train services will all use the Terminal station.
  • However, the train to Benidorm (change there for Denia) is operated as part of the tram system. By all means take it to enjoy the ride, but the bus is much quicker!
  • Trams currently terminate in an underground station at Luceros, which is around 300m walk from the main station. There is a plan to extend this to the main station, but this project is currently on hold due to budget constraints.
  • There’s a bus station at Avenue Loring. Again, this isn’t quite at the railway station, so allow time for a short walk.
  • The old railway station next to the bus station is now an impressive arts space and tourist centre. However, you won’t find any trains here, so don’t fall into this  trap!
  • You’ll see the Alicante-Murcia mainline just behind the car rental lots at the airport. The nearest station is at Torrelano, about 2.5km / 30 minutes walk away. Generally, buses will be quicker for getting from the airport to Murcia, but if you want to take the train, budget for a short taxi ride.

Verdict

Do you need a car in Alicante?

  • Unless you are planning on spending most of your time in the city of Alicante itself, then everything in this region lends itself towards getting a hire car.
  • Because so much of the tourism here is centred on resorts like Benidorm, rather than on the city proper. If you want to do anything other than shuttle to and from the beach, then an Alicante hire car is going to make sense.

Ratings: How does Alicante compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Alicante? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Alicante, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Alicante? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Alicante (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Alicante? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Alicante airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Alicante car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 7

2019 - 8

2021 - 7

Average score - 7

Notes:

 

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Alicante ?

Categories
Jordan

Amman

Asia > Jordan > Amman

See: Why hire a car in Amman ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

The Jordanian capital is an incredibly compact city, where the historic core is richly connected and inherently walkable.

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Amman car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Amman is in car rental price band: 7/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Amman? 

No. Car rental is expensive by global standards.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Amman between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 3/10

Non car score:4/10

Balance: 4

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

There are few reasons to want to drive anywhere immediately outside of the city, because all of the major attractions in Amman are very central. The compact nature of the old citadel makes driving impractical, with many of the narrow streets only being open to one way traffic.

It is much easier to walk, or at least trust the navigation to local taxi drivers.

Visitors arriving at Queen Alia International airport outside Amman can also make relatively easy road transfers into the city centre, whether by taxi, scheduled bus or private transfers. The airport was purpose built in the early 1980s to cater for growing air traffic. You will find it some 20 miles (30km) from the city centre. A new terminal, designed by Foster & Partners, opened in 2012.

You may well notice the railway to Aqaba crossing the airport access road, but for the time being, this line is not open to passenger traffic. Rail transport in Jordan is very limited, with the one passenger service currently still open being the line running through Zarqa and Mafraq. This line has historically continued through to Damascus in Syria – please check locally for any operational updates.

Beyond Amman

  • Petra – The ancient city of Petra, which is by far and away the most famous tourist attraction in Jordan is nowhere near Amman, but some 3 to 4 hours’ drive south of the city. Petra is much nearer to the resort of Aqaba. There is still little reason to want to drive down to Petra in a hire car. It is much easier to either fly directly to Aqaba in the first place, or to transfer to Petra by bus or coach.
  • Wadi Rum – used as a backdrop for numerous films, from Lawrence of Arabia to various Sci-Fi epics as a stand-in for Mars, Wadi Rum is a further 110 km south of Petra. Allow around 2 hours’ drive from Petra, or 5 hours from Amman.
  • Aqaba – the red sea resort city of Aqaba sits due west of Wadi Rum, or around 125 km / 80 miles by car south of Petra.

When combined with the Dana Biosphere Reserve, which sits to the north of Petra on the route down from Amman, you may start to see a potential road trip unfolding. Whether you see this working its way into a one week car hire excursion is another matter though. You may well still find that this route can be done using organised tours. Scheduled bus services are an easy enough option between Amman and the three main places above – Dana reserve less so.

Why? Visiting Amman using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Amman ?


  • Head south on your own terms – a natural road trip would include Dana Biosphere, Petra, Wadi Rum and Aqaba.
  • Limited rail services – trains of no real use for tourists.

Why? Visiting Amman using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Amman ?


  • Easier to rely on packaged trips.
  • Destinations like Petra involve spending large amounts of time in enclosed car free areas, a car only useful to get there in first place.
  • In many situations, it will be easier to get where you want to go by bus, as this avoids the hassles of renting and driving.
  • Jordan has a very poor road safety record.

Ratings: How does Amman compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Amman? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Amman, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Amman? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Amman (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Amman? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Amman airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Amman car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 4

2019 - 4

2021 - 4

Average score - 4

Notes:

 

Given the inhospitable nature of the Jordanian landscape, and given that many of the tourist experiences outside Amman itself will be well packaged regardless, we see little reason to look at getting a car here. It’s worth looking at if you really crave for the independence a car will give you, despite all the hassles. Relatively speaking, Jordan is a moderately safe place, but that’s easy if you take that comparison against Jordan’s immediate neighbours!

Car hire and car driving is still a risk wherever you go. You may well be able to find a decent Amman car hire deal directly from Queen Alia Airport, and you may indeed want to head straight on a road trip of the south, missing out Amman altogether and going straight for Petra and the barren delights of Wadi Rum. If you do this, I think that would be a shame, as you’d be missing out on the many points of interest in Jordan’s ancient historic capital.

Highways in Jordan are generally modern and well laid out, especially between the cities. Sadly, there is no working rail service that will be of any use to visitors to Amman.

Do you need a car in Amman?  Ultimately, our Amman car hire verdict remains a “no”, but it’s certainly one of our softer recommendations. If you are already coming here with getting a hire car in mind, then a bus of some kind is going to be your only other real option, unless you want to hire a private car with driver. Once you are thinking about doing that, then a standard rental car starts to look like a much better option.

Verdict – no (soft).

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Categories
India

Amritsar

Asia > India > Amritsar

See: Why hire a car in Amritsar ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Amritsar car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Amritsar is in car rental price band: 0/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Amritsar? 

No. No online bookable car hire.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Amritsar between the peak and the off peak season?

0/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 1/10

Non car score:3/10

Balance: 1

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

Our advice has remained broadly the same since we first looked at the city.

 

Why? Visiting Amritsar using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Amritsar ?


Why not? Visiting Amritsar without a car

Why don't you need a car in Amritsar ?


Ratings: How does Amritsar compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Amritsar? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Amritsar, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Amritsar? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Amritsar (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Amritsar? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Amritsar airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Amritsar car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 1

2019 - 2

2021 - 1

Average score - 1

Notes:

 

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Amritsar ?

As with other cities in India, the local car hire market is not well developed. It’s obvious to suggest that the core focus of any visit to Amritsar is going to have the Golden Temple as a highlight, but any excursions from the city are still more likely to be by private tour minibus or coach, rather than in your own self drive car.

Categories
Netherlands

Amsterdam

Europe > Netherlands > Amsterdam

See: Why hire a car in Amsterdam ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Amsterdam city centre has a reputation as a cyclists’ paradise and a driver’s nightmare. Is that still the case for the area around the city, and for the rest of the Netherlands? Is Amsterdam car hire ever really an option?

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Amsterdam car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Amsterdam is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Amsterdam? 

Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Amsterdam between the peak and the off peak season?

6/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 6/10

Non car score:10/10

Balance: 6

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Amsterdam is also world-famous as a party city, with its infamous red light district and coffee shops. We presume that you already know this, so we won’t waste much time simply regurgitating the obvious: For a short stay in the centre of Amsterdam, there is absolutely no point whatsoever in even considering hiring a car.

So, when we look at Amsterdam car hire, we’re looking at a longer trip. This might be using Amsterdam as a base or a start point for exploring not just the local area, but the significant hinterland beyond.

Do you need a car in Amsterdam? Reasons why you might!

In and around Amsterdam

  • Good roads: Whilst it is true that many more journeys in the Netherlands are made by bike than they are in the UK or the USA, the quality of the roads is still very high. Because public transport is also of a very high standard, there is less congestion. This means there is more space on the roads for those people who do want to drive.
  • The Netherlands also has three times as many miles of motorway per capita as the UK does, so it is easy to get around by any means.
  • Low congestion – it’s actually a great myth to say you “can’t” or “shouldn’t” drive in Amsterdam, especially if you are staying in a suburban location and travelling around the country. Because it has such a well developed cycling and public transport network, Amsterdam is actually one of the least congested major cities in Europe. You will find the same situation in other Dutch cities too. The emphasis is always on encouraging alternatives, and restricting “through” traffic in town centres.
  • Cost of trains: We (in the UK or the USA) might look to the Netherlands as having a high standard of public transport, but the trains are still relatively pricey on a per mile basis. There are no off-peak or advance purchase discounts for visitors. Bring over a family, and a hire car easily works out as better value than going by train.

Why? Visiting Amsterdam using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Amsterdam ?


Driving beyond the Amsterdam area

  • Get out: This isn’t just about the city centre of Amsterdam — Schiphol airport is a gateway for a vast hinterland beyond Amsterdam itself. There are so many flight routes operating here that aren’t available at many of the other nearby airports, or even at major neighbouring cities like Brussels or Dusseldorf.
  • Architecture: Architecture buffs will find that the Netherlands is full of all kinds of interesting historic and modern buildings. These are sometimes in small towns or in the suburbs — even bland industrial units in the Netherlands can often be meticulously put together. The best way to conduct a self-guided architectural tour is to have the flexibility of a car. Of particular note are the unique self built houses in the new city of Almere, the cube houses in Rotterdam. You could also follow the Dudok trail in Hilversum. It’s also worth diverting to look at the three bridges designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava in Hoofddorp, near Schiphol Airport.
  • Engineering Polders: The Netherlands has an impressive system of holding back the sea, a feat regarded by many engineers as one of the most impressive pieces of civil engineering in the 20th century. You will find a car useful to drive across Ijsselmeer using the N302 or the A7 Afsluitdijk. Even though this is a motorway crossing, a slow (and cycling) lane is still available – if you can tolerate the wind!
  • Rivers & Islands: To explore the many mouths of the Rhine or the relatively deserted islands of the Waddenzee, a car is essential.
  • Dutch landscapes: A hire car is best to appreciate the typical Dutch springtime landscape of tulips, canals and windmills – but a bike will do as well.

Why not? Visiting Amsterdam without a car

Why don't you need a car in Amsterdam ?


 

Amsterdam area without a car

  • Obvious isn’t it? Cities in Netherlands are tightly packed — easy to get between, and even easier to get around.
  • Bike it: Cycle hire facilities are widely available at Amsterdam Centraal and most major NS railway stations, no pre-booking required.
  • Canals: Amsterdam is a city of canals, surely the best way of getting around is to take a boat trip?
  • Public transport is excellent, who needs to even consider a rental car?

Ratings: How does Amsterdam compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Amsterdam? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Amsterdam, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Amsterdam? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Amsterdam (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Amsterdam? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Amsterdam airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Amsterdam car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 3

2019 - 3

2021 - 6

Average score - 5

Notes:

 

Categories
USA

Anchorage

North America > United States > Anchorage

See: Why hire a car in Anchorage ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Anchorage car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Anchorage is in car rental price band: 8/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Anchorage? 

No. Car rental is very expensive by global standards.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Anchorage between the peak and the off peak season?

2/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 7/10

Non car score:9/10

Balance: 3

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

Under constant review. Although there are loads of non-car options, driving still often seems like the natural choice in Anchorage.

 

Anchorage has been one of the great surprises in doing research for Carornocar. The natural starting point is that Alaska is a vast open state with such spectacular scenery that the only way to do it justice is by car.

Further research shows that although there is no question about the scenery, but that the best way to get around is anything but by car!

Instead, because the area around Anchorage offers such a rich variety of excursions that include hiking, biking, bus shuttles, train journeys with panoramic coaches, and of course cruise ships and ferries, getting a rental car should actually be a long way down the priority list for anyone who wants to see Alaska at its best.

Why? Visiting Anchorage using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Anchorage ?


  • For all the obvious reasons – public transport is limited in terms of both routes and frequency.
  • A rental car will allow you to drive on the limited number of road routes which are available from Anchorage at your own pace, and to stop whenever you want.

Ratings: How does Anchorage compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Anchorage? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Anchorage, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Anchorage? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Anchorage (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Anchorage? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Anchorage airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Anchorage car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 7

2019 - 4

2021 - 3

Average score - 4

Notes:

 

As far as any question about getting a rental car goes, anchorage and indeed Alaska in general really is a destination of the most ultimate of extremes!

Firstly, you have the extreme geography – Alaska is one of the most northerly destinations with any notable levels of tourist traffic, and this comes with extreme terrain and extreme weather, although the southern parts of the main Alaskan landmass can actually be surprisingly pleasant in summer.

Then you have the prices that come with this remote and rugged terrain – due to a combination of the high costs involved with making rental cars available and the higher cost of the kind of SUV or equivalent vehicle you might expect to rent, Anchorage is one of the most expensive major car hire destinations in the world, and if you instead choose to continue onwards to any other possible rental location in the state, then you can expect to pay even more! Yet any other transport option you look at for covering any kind of distance is going to be extremely expensive to, whether that’s one of the very few available scheduled coach services, the Alaska Railroad or ferry services via the Alaska Marine Highway.

But the real extreme factor when considering whether or not to rent a car in Anchorage, or indeed when trying to work out how to get around by any means is the sheer lack of roads in this part of the world. Even if you are looking at travelling by train instead, then there is really only one major rail route which runs through Anchorage, and the Alaska Railroad roughly parallels the highway anyway between see Ward/Whittier and Fairbanks – although in places the 2 corridors can be several miles apart.

So what does all this mean when it comes to actually making a choice about whether or not it’s worth renting a car in Anchorage, or whether there are enough ways to get around without a hire car?

First things first, given the extremely high daily cost of car rental in Anchorage, you might also be considering getting hold of a hire car for a part of your stay, and then using other transport options for the rest of it. Even if there are some service fees which are fixed regardless of the length of rental, this might well still be an option worth exploring, especially if your intention is to stay in and around Anchorage, rather than to try and do any kind of road trip, for which options are extremely limited anyway.

Why not? Visiting Anchorage without a car

Why don't you need a car in Anchorage ?


Alaska without a car

First impressions

You might well notice that directly in front of the main terminal at Ted Stevens International airport in Anchorage, there’s quite a new looking railway station, and it would be logical to presume that this might provide some kind of shuttle linked to the downtown area, but sadly this isn’t the case. Anchorage  is one of the few airports in the world to have an active railway station which doesn’t provide such a shuttle service. Instead, the airport is the local terminus for some of the services on the Alaska Railroad, including trains which head from Anchorage to the cruise port in Whittier, thus providing a very useful connection if you are simply here to head straight on to a cruise package.

However the more impressive route on the Alaska Railroad is the one which heads inland from Anchorage up towards Fairbanks, although this full journey actually takes over 12 hours, given that the trains have to negotiate so many sharp bends.

It’s also possible to take the train part of the way towards Fairbanks and to hook up with a coach service on the way back, but the corridor used by the Alaska Railroad is also about as far as any long distance you cana kindly let me you are road transport gets in this state.

Within the city of Anchorage itself and the small communities which are immediately around it, then you will also have the choice of regular urban bus services, together with local cabs, including Uber.

But Alaska really is one part of the world where any decision about what to see and how to see it really isn’t just about road versus rail or hire car versus bus or taxi, because there are 2 other major considerations – firstly the idea of getting somewhere by private air charter, or simply chartering a small plane for the day to see various different places (also known as flight seeing), and secondly because you don’t have to be a cruise ship passenger to enjoy some of Alaska’s stunning coastal scenery by boat, because there is also the option of the Alaska Marine Highway together with a couple of small local ferry services.

Given that there are so many air taxi services in this part of the world, this might well be an option which shouldn’t immediately be discounted on cost grounds!

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Anchorage ?