Niagara Falls

By | 16th January 2018

Should you rent a car in Niagara Falls?

Do you need a car in Niagara Falls > Should you rent a car in Niagara Falls USA > Niagara Falls ( BUF )

Do you need a car in Niagara Falls? Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Buffalo is the obvious gateway to the Niagara Falls. Depending on your starting point, you might be flying into Buffalo Niagara International airport, or you might also be travelling by train, in which case regional services within New York state will terminate at the downtown Buffalo Market station, whereas longer distance Amtrak through services between Chicago and New York sometimes just call at Buffalo Depew. Cross-border train services between New York and Toronto also call at Niagara Falls, where there is a station on both sides.

However you arrive in Buffalo, there are various different bus or taxi services available for onward transfers to Niagara Falls, and the falls themselves are easy enough to walk around, not to mention the dramatic boat trips which can be taken above and below the falls. We just don’t recommend travelling between the top and the bottom of the falls in a barrel!

Niagara Falls is certainly one of those destinations that everyone will want to tick off their bucket list, but in terms of car hire advice, Buffalo is a very strong no.

When it comes to travel beyond Niagara Falls, more likely than not, this will involve going through nearby Toronto, for which we have a separate car hire advice page. The other natural journey continuation is onwards to New York, which can be done by train or bus, but it’s the best part of a day either way. Another option is simply to fly onward using Buffalo airport.

Why should you rent a car in Niagara Falls?

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 Niagara Falls?

Niagara Falls Car hire summary

Overall drive rating

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



Cheapest rate for one week

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




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]




Free parking score

Total 99 - of which 82 have free parking. [full notes - parking]




Car rental facilities are available at various points around Buffalo, including at the airport and within easy range of both stations.

  • A rental car may still be useful for driving to rural areas within New York State.

Why not? Visiting Niagara Falls without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Niagara Falls public transport quick facts

Train score



Water travel score


Overall public transport score



Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Niagara Falls. 


  • No need at all for a hire car for anything related to Niagara Falls.
  • If you are crossing between the USA and Canada at this point, having a rental car is a burden you don’t really need. Many car rental companies simply won’t allow it.
  • Buffalo has numerous onward options, including rail services to Toronto and New York.

Verdict – no.


Car rental in - Niagara Falls Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Niagara Falls?

  • Based on comparison with transit and walking/cycling?

Is it worth hiring a car in Niagara Falls?

  • Based on value for money?

Should you rent a car in Niagara Falls?

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 Niagara Falls 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 Niagara Falls 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 Niagara Falls if I prefer not to drive?

What if we are easy either way?

What if I prefer to drive?



What is our final score for Niagara Falls on the Carornocar scale?


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

Would you hire a car in Niagara Falls?

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

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