Chicago

By | 16th January 2018

Should you rent a car in Chicago?

Do you need a car in Chicago > Should you rent a car in Chicago USA > Chicago ( ORD )

Do you need a car in Chicago? Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

[coming]

Why should you rent a car in Chicago?

What are the main reasons for hiring a car here? Do you just want to drive locally? Do you want to go further afield, or should you even look at taking a road trip? 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 Chicago?

Chicago Car hire summary


Overall drive rating

Based on a weighted score across all cost and quality factors. [Full notes - drive rating]

70%

 

Cheapest rate for one week

Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]

€160

 #192/300

 

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

Based on cheapest deal during the summer holiday season. (Unless otherwise noted) [full notes - seasonal variations]

 €290

200/300

 

Free parking score

Total 940 - of which 479 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

51%

#120/300

 

Should you rent a car in Chicago?

  • Great Lakes — To get around the city of Chicago itself, there really is no reason to get a hire car, unless you want to behave like Ferris Bueller. To enjoy scenic areas around the Great Lakes or inland, then as with anywhere, a hire car will give you much more flexibility.
  • Base — Chicago is arguably still America’s main transportation hub — although Atlanta airport has taken the singular title of world’s busiest airport from Chicago O Hare, Chicago also has a secondary airport at Midway and sits at the centre of the Amtrak passenger rail network. So there’s a much wider choice of flights to Chicago from Europe in particular, and also from Asia. This naturally makes Chicago a good place to pick up a hire car and use as a base or a starting point for a road trip into other states.
  • Route 66 — Chicago is the start of the famous Route 66 which traverses some of the United States’ most dramatic scenery as it heads through the Rockies and Canyon lands into California. Note that if you are looking at picking up a hire car in Chicago and dropping it off somewhere else, it is worth checking each hire company’s policy on one-way rentals first as these can vary dramatically from one car hire provider to the next, and sometimes you can be stung with additional fees at the car hire desk if you do not double check the small print beforehand.
 

Why not? Visiting Chicago without a car

 
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Chicago public transport quick facts

Train score

 

80%

Water travel score

80%

Overall public transport score

90%

 

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Chicago. 

90%

  • Architecture – The Windy city has so much to offer aficionados of architecture, crime capers and pizza, and it also offers plenty of easy options are getting around courtesy of the CTA transit system.
  • El – When it comes to elevated trains (Els), Chicago really is the pioneer. Whereas New York’s elevated subway lines and steamy heating ducts might have featured as a backdrop in more films, they are generally only used in the less glamorous suburbs. In Chicago, the “loop” travels around the downtown district giving stunning views of some of the city’s most famous skyscrapers.
  • Cycling city – Chicago has invested millions of dollars in new cycle lanes, making it one of the most bike friendly cities in the USA. There are now nearly 600 Divvy bike share stations across the city.
  • The 606 – this new walking and cycling trail runs east-west for 2.7 miles in the northwest of the city. Divvy bike hire is available near each of the five entrances.

Ratings

Car rental in - Chicago Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Chicago?

  • Based on comparison with transit and walking/cycling?
 

Is it worth hiring a car in Chicago?

  • Based on value for money?
 

Should you rent a car in Chicago?

Weighing up the above questions, if you are here for the first time AND asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?
 

Who is travelling?

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

What about for 2 people travelling together?

What about for families?

 

Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Chicago if we are staying in the city centre / main resort area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the urban area?

What if we are staying in a rural area?

 

What is your attitude towards driving?

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

What if we are easy either way?

What if I prefer to drive?


 

Verdict

What is our final score for Chicago on the Carornocar scale?

1

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

Should you rent a car in Chicago? Verdict: no

Would you hire a car in Chicago?

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

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