Houston

By | 16th January 2018

Do you need a car in Houston?
Do you need a car in Houston > Should you rent a car in Houston USA > Houston ( IAH )

Do you need a car in Houston? Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

What can we really say about Houston, one of the most car-dependent cities on earth? This is a place where nearly 95% of all journeys in the city are taken by car, and anybody who has the option of driving will drive.

Why should you rent a car in Houston?

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 Houston?

Houston Car hire summary


Overall drive rating

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

20%

 

Cheapest rate for one week

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

€170

 #202/300

 

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]

 €260

178/300

 

Free parking score

Total 739 - of which 599 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

81%

#13/300

 

So it almost goes without saying that a rental car in Houston is an absolute must, and that’s really almost all there is to it!

  • Public transport in Houston is terrible, so you have little choice.
  • The token light rail network is unlikely to take you where you want to go.
  • IT’s virtually impossible to transfer to or from the port of Galveston by public transport.
 

Why not? Visiting Houston without a car

 
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Houston public transport quick facts

Train score

 

10%

Water travel score

00%

Overall public transport score

00%

 

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

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

00%

However, we never want to dismiss a city entirely and say that there is no way to get around without a car, even if you would normally hire one anyway.

So for a start, Houston does have a network of public transport bus routes, including scheduled bus services from both the main Houston Intercontinental International airport as well as the smaller Houston Hobby airport. There is also a token light rail service in Houston. However, this is really largely aimed at commuters, and it doesn’t serve either airport.

  • Taxis are always an option. Ff you have to spend your entire visit using them, this isn’t exactly something we’d refer to as a “no car” option, when it just means somebody else is doing the driving!
  • Trying to get around Houston and the area that surrounds it without a car is by no means impossible. This really will depend on where it is you are trying to get to.
  • You can also transfer by bus towards the state capital San Antonio or towards easy-going Austin, both in around 2 to 3 hours. However, bus services to the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex typically take 5 to 6 hours. There are naturally plenty of short hop flights within Texas, including between Houston and Dallas.

Ratings

Car rental in - Houston Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Houston?

  • Based on comparison with transit and walking/cycling?
 

Is it worth hiring a car in Houston?

  • Based on value for money?
 

Should you rent a car in Houston?

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 Houston 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 Houston 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 Houston 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 Houston on the Carornocar scale?

9

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

Visiting Houston without a car simply isn’t much fun. This great Texan oil city was always built around the car first. Even if Houston’s vast freeways move like treacle at times, they are still the only real way to get around. To appreciate a true feeling of the size and flavours of big open Texas, then you will have to head to the north-west towards the state’s border with New Mexico. This is often easier to do from Dallas.

Therefore, our Houston car advice is very strongly that this is the sort of city where a hire car isn’t just advisory, it’s all but essential.

Would you hire a car in Houston?

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

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