About Car or no Car

Carornocar – the basic idea

The idea of Carornocar stemmed from running a flight finding website where we were looking at the best routes between different cities, and which airlines operated them.

A natural question after looking at the flight was “how do I continue onwards to where I want to stay, and how do I then get around”.

Introducing the “Carometer”

[Car + Barometer = Car’o’meterTM]

  • The “CarometerTM” (car + barometer) is a simple measure to give an idea of whether a rental car might be a good idea from one city to the next.
  • The Carometer can be influenced by a range of different factors, and not just by cost alone (the cost is the easy bit, and there are plenty of tools already for that).

General research methods

The site started just by including places which had been visited by the site author. These still account for around half of all the destinations featured on the website.

Whether a destination has been visited or not, the following tools were used to determine the Carometer scale for each city:

  • Car rental price and other costs (as per above). These are nearly always available online, except for some very niche destinations, where sample quotes were used.
  • Maps of the available road network, rail systems and other public transport.
  • Streetview and related images to look at places of interest and what else to see on the way.
  • Road safety records (usually at the national level).

Overall drive rating

  • 5 cost scores + 5 quality scores = total score.

Cheapest rates per day/week peak/off peak

  • Car rental prices have been research using a variety of different search portals.
  • Searches are usually conducted in GB Pounds (£) and then converted to Euros and Dollars.
  • Usually, search engines which offer multiple currency searches are used.
  • The typical sample week is Wednesday to Wednesday, pick up / drop off at the same time.
  • Sample one day rental prices are usually taken in the middle of the week.
  • Where mentioned, comparisons are also made between airport and city centre locations.
  • Unless stated, return is always to the same place as pick up.
  • Full to full fuel contract is the standard search (again, unless mentioned).
  • The search always starts with the cheapest available car.
  • All prices are quoted to the nearest 5 £/€/$.
  • We aren’t a price comparison site or special offers / coupon app. Our aim is to give an idea about whether or not to look for a hire car in the first place.
  • Therefore, we make no offers of car rental prices, we are simply providing a guide price.
  • We do not take into account any kind of loyalty or reward points. The aim is a simple comparison between renting and not renting, not to offer the best deal on the rental itself (as there are plenty of tips elsewhere for that).
  • If we can save you money by telling you not to rent a car you don’t need, that’s what we’ll do!

Why tell people NOT to rent a car?

Isn’t the idea of any travel website to make money from advertising the products it features?

Yes, but if Carornocar only gave a “yes” answer for every destination, then there would be no point in doing this project!

The whole point of setting up this site is to provide a barometer, based on comparisons between different destinations around the world.

This can only happen when the “Carometer” is neutral. That’s why HALF the destinations have a “hire a car” recommendation, and the other half don’t.

Free parking score

Public transport

Public transport ratings are based on a combination of measurable scores (ie cost, size of network, service frequency etc), together with a quality judgement on factors like the range of scenic routes and so on.

Walking and Cycling

For the highest “active” travel scores, visitors need to feel safe when walking and cycling anywhere, and they also need to have access to hire facilities and good integration with public transport.

The very highest scores can only go to places with well developed cycling networks, since these places are also extremely safe for walking. These are typically destinations in the Netherlands and Denmark. Other countries with high scoring cities include Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany and Switzerland.

Need v worth & should!

There are typically three questions which people ask before arriving at Carornocar.com:

  1. Do I “need” a car in {city}?
  2. Is it “worth” hiring a car in {city}?
  3. “Should” I rent a car in {city}?

Ultimately, these are all variations on the same theme, but the Carometer scale gives a slightly different answer, based on:

  1. Need = more of a focus on public transport and whether or not it is possible to get by without a car.
  2. Worth = looks at the cost of renting a car, and compares that with public transport.
  3. Should = weighs up the first two, and also considers quality issues like access to the most scenic routes and so on.

What does everyone else do?

Based on the research we have done so far, this is an estimate of how many people actually rent a car in each destination.

We’ve also included the number of annual visitors to each city. As a general rule, more visitors = more car hire options, but it usually also means better public transport.