Budapest

By | 16th January 2018

Should you hire a car in Budapest?

Do you need a car in Budapest > Should you rent a car in Budapest Hungary > Budapest ( BUD )

Do you need a car in Budapest? Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

When Carornocar first started looking at Budapest, our natural inclination was to suggest that this is an obvious destination where no car is needed at all. This is perhaps most easily influenced by the fact that after London, Budapest has the oldest underground network in the world, and in modern Budapest, public transport still comprehensively serves the city and its suburbs well.

We would also go further and point out that it’s very easy to combine a visit to Budapest with two other central European capitals which are both within a two-hour journey of the Hungarian capital, namely the Slovakian capital Bratislava and the Austrian capital Vienna. Both of these cities also have excellent public transport, so it would be easy to travel in some sort of triangle between them, or even to find low-cost airline flights into Budapest and then to travel onwards from one of the other cities.

However, it would be a shame only to focus on these obvious nearby large cities where public transport is widely available, just as it wouldn’t be doing the wider area justice if we just advised sticking to the city of Budapest itself, using local public transport, and not venturing out at all.

The first place that’s well worth visiting and in easy reach of Budapest is Lake Balaton, which has a huge range of outdoor activities. Beyond this, there are also any number of scenic areas at the eastern edge of the Alps are within easy reach of Budapest.

Why should you rent a car in Budapest?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Budapest?

Budapest Car hire summary


Overall drive rating

70%

 

Cheapest rate for one week

€150

 #174/300

 

How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?

 

 €110

51/300

 

Free parking score

Total 759 - of which 31 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

4%

#296/300

 
  • Many great places to visit within a day’s driving from Budapest – a hire car provides a great deal of flexibility, including for cross-border car rental.
  • Hungary is about much more than just Budapest – and a hire car is useful for smaller, more rural towns and villages.
  • Budapest car hire makes sense for driving around Lake Balaton and beyond.

Why not? Visiting Budapest without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Budapest public transport quick facts

Train score

 

70%

Water travel score

90%

Overall public transport score

30%

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

(walking + cycling)

60%

  • Public transport in Budapest is excellent – one of the world’s oldest metro systems.
  • Public transport is great value.
  • Trains in Hungary cover the country well – Hungarians use rail services more than any other EU citizens.

James says - a few trip notes:


Plitvice Detour

One particular destination which is around a 4 hour drive from Budapest is the absolutely stunning Plitvice lakes national park in neighbouring Croatia. Plitvice may be slightly closer to the Croatian capital Zagreb, and independent travellers might well prefer to get there by taking organised bus tours from either Zagreb or the coastal city of Zadar. However, Plitvice is still an easy day trip from Budapest, and it’s so impressive that we’d highly recommend getting a hire car in Budapest just to go and see it (check terms and conditions about driving out of Hungary). This might be something you’d prefer to do as a day rental from downtown Budapest, but some visitors might prefer to have a hire car for their whole trip and then to see other scenic areas at the same time.

A hire car still has the advantage of flexibility, and for a group travelling together, it tends to work out is better value than train fares. In terms of convenience, there are good motorway links between Budapest and neighbouring Austria and Slovenia, and these might well work out better than messing around with fractured train connections, depending on whether you are staying in suburban or central Budapest.


Ratings

Car rental in - Budapest Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Budapest?

Based on comparison with transit, walking and cycling.
 

Is it worth hiring a car in Budapest?

Based on value for money
 

Should you rent a car in Budapest?

Weighing up the above, if you are asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?
 

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Budapest if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

For families?

 

Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Budapest if we are staying in a central area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the city/resort?

Or in a rural area?

 

What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Budapest if I prefer not to drive?

If I am easy either way?

If I prefer to drive?


 

Verdict

Final score:

2

Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments
 

Should I rent a car in Budapest? In summary, our car hire advice for Budapest is that there is certainly no need to get one, and non-driving visitors will get around here absolutely fine. However, even if you just get a Budapest hire car for one day, the opportunity to visit Plitvice lakes is one that should really never be missed, and for this reason alone our verdict is a yes.

Would you hire a car in Budapest?

Have you driven in Budapest? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Budapest?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:
 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *