Aberdeen

Should I hire a car in Aberdeen? The Granite city sits in a geographically remote corner of the UK, but once you get there, can you get around easily using public transport? Or is a hire car all but essential? What are the main Aberdeen car hire options? There are many reasons to rent a car in Aberdeen, but the city and its surroundings can also still be explored using local public transport options, even if your journey choices will be a lot less flexible:

Do you need to rent a car in Aberdeen - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.

Why should you rent a car in Aberdeen?


Aberdeen rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Aberdeen.

How much will a week's car hire in Aberdeen?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Aberdeen. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Aberdeen.

Off peak£97$126107 €
Peak£122$159134 €
Peak 4 door+£132$172145 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Aberdeen

  • Remoteness — although you will have no problem getting around the city itself, public transport routes starts to thin out massively once beyond the central city area.
  • Limited train routes — Aberdeen is right at the end of the East Coast route from London via Edinburgh. The only other train service is a limited frequency (one train every two hours) route to Inverness. Whereas even Inverness by comparison is a rail hub, with routes fanning out on each of the major compass points, Aberdeen really isn’t a great base for exploration by train.
  • Backed into a corner – the simple reality is that Aberdeen sits in a corner, and only has one railway line running through it. Of course, the roads are also constrained by this geography, but you can at least drive in your own time, and not wait hours for a train. This is a key reason why Aberdeen car hire is strongly advised as the better option.
  • Limited attractions — there are relatively few points of interest in Aberdeen itself, whereas the surrounding countryside offers plenty of places to visit, including the famous Balmoral Castle. Without a car, these places are difficult to get to.

Free Aberdeen hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Aberdeen having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Aberdeen here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
1166153As with any city of this size - expect problems in the centre, but not in country around it.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Aberdeen without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments

There are very few reasons not to hire a car for a visit to Aberdeen, unless you’re making a very brief stay in the city itself, and aren’t planning on venturing very far beyond city limits.

  • Balmoral by bus: Hardy public transport users can go by bus to Balmoral Castle, which is just next to the village of Crathie on the A93. Allow around 2 hours, upto 8 buses each way per day.
  • Orkney and Shetland — Aberdeen offers both onward flights and ferry services to the Orkney and Shetland Islands. You can take a hire car onto the ferry services, but is much cheaper to go as a foot passenger, and take advantage of local bus services, where you are also likely to pick up a good deal of local knowledge from fellow passengers.
  • Scenic coastal rail route — the train route from Edinburgh up to Aberdeen has a number of particularly scenic stretches, especially as it hugs the coast for much of the route. Flying into Aberdeen and out through Edinburgh would be one way to enjoy this route, although the availability of flights there is generally much better than it is to Aberdeen anyway. Another option is just to pick return flights to Edinburgh and take the train in both directions. If you are flying in and out of Aberdeen, then this train route is still worth exploring at least down to Stonehaven, where it goes inland.
  • Start at Dyce: A very quick shuttle bus (or taxi) is available from Aberdeen Airport to nearby Dyce station, from where most trains heading south start. Dyce is also the best place to board trains heading to Inverness, as this avoids going into Aberdeen city centre and back out again. However, your journey options are still limited to the route heading west to Inverness, and the coastal route heading south beyond Aberdeen.

Verdict

So should you hire a car in Aberdeen? As Scottish cities go, when it comes to train networks, Aberdeen is certainly the weakest link, so to get to other places you would almost certainly end up needing to go by bus. This is not our view of travel enjoyment — buses should be there to supplement train journeys, not as a preferred method of transport in their own right. There are also no truly “world class” scenic railway routes heading out of Aberdeen, whereas there are out of Inverness or Glasgow, and to a lesser extent, Edinburgh.

For this reason, Aberdeen gets our strongest verdict of all Scottish cities that a car is necessary to get the best out of your trip.

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Aberdeen Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Aberdeen?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Aberdeen?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Aberdeen and additional online research. If you have your own Aberdeen car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Aberdeen, please share them below. Aberdeen was last visited by Carornocar in

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

Abu Dhabi

Do I need to hire a car in Abu Dhabi? Compared to its larger and glitzier brother Dubai, Abu Dhabi is substantially more compact, such that nowhere in the downtown area is more than a short bus or taxi ride away from anywhere else, but you will still be using motorised transport more than walking.

Do you need to rent a car in Abu Dhabi - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


Abu Dhabi car hire advice

Whereas Dubai has invested heavily in rail-based transport, there is no such service in Abu Dhabi, so it’s a choice of waiting outside in the dusty heat for a bus or taking the much more commonplace option of a taxi. Then there’s the natural question that if you are spending let’s say one week in Abu Dhabi, will you also want to visit Dubai, and will you want to travel elsewhere within the UAE, and possibly even on to Oman? Abu Dhabi car hire certainly isn’t for everyone, but it might still be an option for your visit.

It certainly is perfectly possible to travel between Abu Dhabi and Dubai by bus, and plenty of people do so, but Abu Dhabi is also not lacking in its own huge range of architectural gems.

On that note, anyone with an interest in technology might well want to take a look at the futuristic Masdar City near Abu Dhabi International airport. Masdar is designed to have much more in common with traditional Middle Eastern cities, with steep street sides streets having additional natural climate control systems to make them inherently walkable. Masdar does also have its own bus terminal. If all of Abu Dhabi was built like Masdar, then our verdict would be very different, but sadly it is not – Masdar is the experiment, not the reality, and it’s only really worth visiting if you have an interest in the architecture or the technology.

For trips into the desert, then 4×4 vehicles tend to be more popular, although the practice of “dune bashing” has been heavily criticised for its environmental damage.

Any Abu Dhabi car hire advice also has to come with the significant caveat that the roads in the United Arab Emirates have some of the worst accident figures of any country that publishes this data. However, given the sheer volume of tourists and expats, these figures tend to look even worse than they actually are. On balance, there is certainly no need to get a hire car if you are literally just stopping over in Abu Dhabi, but for a longer trip then car rental starts to become something as well worth considering.

Why should you rent a car in Abu Dhabi?


Abu Dhabi rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Abu Dhabi.

How much will a week's car hire in Abu Dhabi?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Abu Dhabi. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Abu Dhabi.

Off peak£72$9479 €
Peak£82$10790 €
Peak 4 door+£72$9479 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Abu Dhabi

  • Public transport is poor – no metro, only taxis and buses.
  • A car provides more flexible access across the whole city.
  • Hire car useful for day trips to Dubai.

Free Abu Dhabi hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Abu Dhabi having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Abu Dhabi here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
1648652Large parking garages can be found next to the major malls.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Abu Dhabi without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • Roads amongst the most unsafe in the world – might be better to leave the driving to somebody local.
  • Abu Dhabi is actually very compact – and you can get by using buses or walking ,especially outside midday heat.
  • Plenty of activities based around the water front, car not needed.
  • Car fanatics may well have more fun at the Yas Circuit.

Verdict – yes (may be useful for longer visits, especially for getting out of the city).

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Abu Dhabi Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Abu Dhabi?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
94Abu DhabiAUHUAE325
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Abu Dhabi?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Abu Dhabi and additional online research. If you have your own Abu Dhabi car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Abu Dhabi, please share them below. Abu Dhabi was last visited by Carornocar in

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

Acapulco

Do I need to rent a car in Acapulco?

Do you need to rent a car in Acapulco - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


Whether or not you want to actually go loco down in Acapulco, this is not a part of the world that is served by trains in any shape or form, nor does Acapulco have much to offer in terms of cycling facilities or walking trails, so to get around, you are going to need to use motorised road transport of some form.

Yet on the other hand, Acapulco is a relatively densely packed city, constrained by hillsides to the east and the coast to the west, and all of the major resorts are actually relatively close to each other. There’s a perfectly adequate bus service serving Acapulco, and taxis are plentiful and relatively cheap. There are also plenty of activities based around the beach and waterfront environment, so driving isn’t really necessary.

For visitors who want to start exploring further afield and who want to take a road trip inland, then a hire car becomes a lot more useful. Scheduled coach services are available, but they are primarily aimed at providing intercity service between major urban areas, rather than for touring.

Needless to say, given the reputation has as a party city, if you are coming here to “go Loco”, that’s absolutely nothing to do with trains, as there aren’t any! For all the beach and resort stuff, a hire car is never really going to come into the equation – it’s much better just to stick to walking and taxis.

Why should you rent a car in Acapulco?


Acapulco rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Acapulco.

How much will a week's car hire in Acapulco?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Acapulco. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Acapulco.

Off peak£86$11295 €
Peak£96$125106 €
Peak 4 door+£86$11295 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Acapulco

  • Public transport is poor outside of the city.
  • No trains of any kind.
  • Starting point for Mexican West Coast road trip.

Free Acapulco hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Acapulco having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Acapulco here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
1215445Parking is most expensive in central areas, not so bad in the suburbs.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Acapulco without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • Plenty to do within the city, especially around the beaches.
  • No real need for a hire car if doing planned excursions.
  • Going loco down in Acapulco – enjoy the party, no need for a car!

Acapulco car hire verdict

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Acapulco Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Acapulco?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

On balance, our Acapulco car hire advice is that there isn’t really any need to get a rental car here, and Acapulco is the type of destination where there’s a lot more going on within the city than there is around it. If you do choose to hire a car in Acapulco, you might prefer to focus on a single day rental, picking up and returning the car in resort, rather than at the airport, although both options are widely available with various different providers. Acapulco car hire tends to be reasonably comparable in value to other coastal resort destinations in Mexico.

This is only a very brief summary of car hire advice in Acapulco, and we would very much welcome feedback from visitors. Please use the comments form below for feedback and your own suggestions on Acapulco car hire.

Have you driven in Acapulco?

We have not yet had the privilege of visiting Acapulco, so this advice is based on online research, including looking at road maps, transit systems, street views, forums, Acapulco car hire costs and so on. If you have your own Acapulco car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Acapulco, please share them below.

Accra

Is it worth getting a hire car in Accra? Generally,  Accra car hire advice leans towards not doing so. The Ghanaian capital is not a destination which is served by any of the major car hire companies, so most visitors will just stick to using local shuttle bus and taxi services.

Do you need to rent a car in Accra - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


Most of the major resorts in Accra are along the coastline to the east of the city centre. Resort transfers aren’t particularly fast or convenient, but the resorts along Teshie Rd are reasonably well connected with Kotoka International Airport, which sits to the northeast of the city centre, and to the north of the major resorts.

There are a number of excursions into rain forest parks and other natural features which are well worth doing, and which are generally done by minibus tour. These will all take you well into the Ghanaian interior. It is unlikely that Accra car hire will have much appeal for tourist trips.

Public transport in Accra

Following decades of almost non-existent service, the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA) is now overseeing a major investment in track infrastructure, with major technical and financial input from China. It looks like future years will see the restart of inter-city services within Ghana, but for the time being, trains are only really useful for suburban services within Accra.

Accra does have an extensive public bus system, including one high profile bus rapid transit route. However, these services are aimed more at local users than at providing efficient transfers between resorts, or to and from the airport. If you are staying at a hotel within Accra, then local bus services should be able to provide useful links to and from the city centre.

Why should you rent a car in Accra?


Accra rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Accra.

How much will a week's car hire in Accra?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Accra. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Accra.

Off peak£287$373316 €
Peak£287$373316 €
Peak 4 door+No cars**N/AN/A

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Accra

  • A hire car, or hired car with driver, is always going to allow you to see each destination at your own pace.
  • Wheels will be needed to visit Ghana’s spectacular national parks (see below).
  • Public transport is poor.
  • Rail services in Ghana are currently being redeveloped, but at the moment, they are of little use to tourists.

Free Accra hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Accra having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Accra here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
19417490An amazing number of hotels will offer free parking, but it's still a nightmare place to drive in.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Accra without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • Most visitors will take some kind of organised tour, rather than self-drive hire.
  • Roads relatively unsafe, and not well developed beyond a small number of trunk highways.
  • Very limited car hire services available.

Accra car hire verdict

Not really worth looking at trying to hire a car here – few options available.

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Accra Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Accra?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Ghana Holidays and Accra car hire?

Ghana has a total of 21 protected park areas, including no less than 7 national parks. This makes the country ideal for exploring as part of a tour package, and a wide range of options are available, often including flight packages from the UK or elsewhere. The main interest of Carornocar is whether or not there is any reason to hire a car for independent or small group travel within a destination. Based on the relative lack of road infrastructure in Ghana, and the remoteness of the national parks relative to the city of Accra itself, our Accra car hire advice still remains a firm “no”. However, this doesn’t mean we don’t think you should move around outside the city, far from it! Ghana.

Have you driven in Accra?

We have not yet had the privilege of visiting Accra, so this advice is based on online research, including looking at road maps, transit systems, street views, forums, Accra car hire costs and so on. If you have your own Accra car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Accra, please share them below.

Agra

Do you need to rent a car in Agra - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.

Should I hire a car in Agra? The city of Agra is undoubtedly most famous for being the location of the Taj Mahal, one of the world’s most iconic and heavily photographed tourist destinations, and a place which is perfectly well served by train, bus and other local transport services.

Needless to say, whether you arrive into Agra by train, by plane or by bus, there are numerous local transport options for onward transfer in order to visit the Taj Mahal. The main railway station is situated adjacent to the famous Agra Fort, and from here, the Taj Mahal complex is just over 1km / less than a mile away.

Beyond Agra

It would be a shame to come this far, and to only have time for the Taj Mahal itself, and perhaps a brief glance at Agra Fort. There is still a great deal to see nearby, but regardless of how long you have here, and what else you manage to visit, a hire car is unlikely to be much help:

  • Fatehpur Sikri – situated around 45 minutes away from Agra by road, or just over one hour by train is the stunning but haunting abandoned for complex of Fatehpur Sikri.
  • Bharatpur – situated on the busy tourist route between Agra and Jaipur is the historic palace of Lohagrarh, itself surrounded by it’s own walled fort set within a moat. Bharatpur is also the gateway to the Keoladeo National Park, known for its incredible variety of migratory birds. The park gate is right on the edge of Bharatpur, a city which is compact and easy enough to walk around, although you may prefer to take a minibus or taxi to the park.

Either way, a hire car here just really isn’t going to be a huge amount of use.

Why should you rent a car in Agra?


Agra rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Agra.

How much will a week's car hire in Agra?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Agra. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Agra.

Off peakNo quotes*N/AN/A
PeakN/AN/AN/A
Peak 4 door+N/AN/AN/A

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Agra

  • Very few reasons to rent a hire car in Agra!

Free Agra hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Agra having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Agra here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
1138172Parking is usually a problem in any Indian cities. If you do hire a car, make it a small one.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Agra without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • All of the main attractions are a short distance from public transport.
  • Buses and taxis are widely available and cheap.
  • Trains will take you right to the Agra Fort.
  • Taj Mahal is close to Agra Fort railway stations.
  • Excursions beyond Agra by rail.
  • Poor state of local roads.
  • Very limited car hire availability.

Agra car hire verdict

The car hire market in India is not widely developed, and only a few of the major international players are represented here.

Therefore, there is little reason to recommend hiring a car in Agra.

Verdict – NO

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Agra Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Agra?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
97Agra (Taj Mahal)AGRIndia417
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Agra?

We have not yet had the privilege of visiting Agra, so this advice is based on online research, including looking at road maps, transit systems, street views, forums, Agra car hire costs and so on. If you have your own Agra car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Agra, please share them below.

Alicante

Do I need to hire a car in Alicante?

Do you need to rent a car in Alicante - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


Alicante, together with Malaga on the Costa Del Sol and Faro in Portugal‘s Algarve is one of the cheapest places in the world to hire a car. Do I need to hire a car in Alicante? Or more like – is there really any reason not to get one?

Why should you rent a car in Alicante?


Alicante rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Alicante.

How much will a week's car hire in Alicante?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Alicante. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Alicante.

Off peak£28$3631 €
Peak£77$10085 €
Peak 4 door+£91$118100 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Alicante

  • Cheap car hire — car hire in Alicante is about as cheap as it gets, making public transport very unattractive, except for the solo or non-driving traveller.
  • Poor public transport — even when compared to Malaga, which is connected to the AVE high-speed train network, and which is the gateway to several great inland Andalusian cities, public transport in Alicante is poor. Whereas Malaga airport has train links to many nearby resorts, Alicante offers no such facility, nor does it offer a direct train link to Valencia.

Free Alicante hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Alicante having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Alicante here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
195644022Parking is most expensive in central areas, not so bad in the suburbs.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Alicante without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • Resort transfers — plenty of easy resort transfers are available from Alicante airport to all of the nearby holiday resort locations.
  • Coastal tram — Alicante does at least offer one novelty, a tram which runs along the coastline, but this is not enough to tempt anyone away from their car.
  • Note — this advice is for picking up a hire car in conjunction with flight into Alicante airport. The advice would be similar for Murcia, although the transport networks around Valencia, where we do not recommend getting a hire car, are vastly different.

So the answer to the question of “Do I need to hire a car in Alicante” is a fairly resounding yes.

Coming Soon!

This page is about to be updated. The destination has been researched, and a new page drafted. It is currently being edited, due for uploading in late August 2017.

I hope the star ratings and verdict give you something to start with.

Since the research has been done anyway, feel free to leave comments or ask any questions.

At the moment, around 230 of the 300 destinations on this site have a full car hire review and "do I need a car" guide.

 

James A.

July 2017.

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Alicante Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Alicante?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
22AlicanteALCSpain392
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Alicante?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Alicante and additional online research. If you have your own Alicante car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Alicante, please share them below. Alicante was last visited by Carornocar in

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

Amman

Do I need a car in Amman? The Jordanian capital is an incredibly compact city, where the historic core is richly connected and inherently walkable.

Do you need to rent a car in Amman - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


There are few reasons to want to drive anywhere immediately outside of the city, because all of the major attractions in Amman are very central. The compact nature of the old citadel makes driving impractical, with many of the narrow streets only being open to one way traffic.

It is much easier to walk, or at least trust the navigation to local taxi drivers.

Amman car hire advice

Visitors arriving at Queen Alia International airport outside Amman can also make relatively easy road transfers into the city centre, whether by taxi, scheduled bus or private transfers. The airport, which was purpose built in the early 1980s to cater for growing air traffic, is some 20 miles (30km) from the city centre. A new terminal, designed by Foster & Partners, opened in 2012. You may well notice the railway to Aqaba crossing the airport access road, but for the time being, this line is not open to passenger traffic. Rail transport in Jordan is very limited, with the one passenger service currently still open being the line running through Zarqa and Mafraq. This line has historically continued through to Damascus in Syria – please check locally for any operational updates.

Beyond Amman

  • Petra – The ancient city of Petra, which is by far and away the most famous tourist attraction in Jordan is nowhere near Amman, but some 3 to 4 hours’ drive south of the city, and much nearer to the resort of Aqaba. There is still little reason to want to drive down to Petra in a hire car – it is much easier to either fly directly to Aqaba in the first place, or to transfer to Petra by bus or coach.
  • Wadi Rum – used as a backdrop for numerous films, from Lawrence of Arabia to various Sci-Fi epics as a stand-in for Mars, Wadi Rum is a further 110 km south of Petra – around 2 hours’ drive.
  • Aqaba – the red sea resort city of Aqaba sits due west of Wadi Rum, or around 125 km / 80 miles by car south of Petra.

When combined with the Dana Biosphere Reserve, which sits to the north of Petra on the route down from Amman, you may start to see a potential road trip unfolding. Whether you see this working its way into a one week car hire excursion is another matter though. You may well still find that this route can be done using organised tours, whereas scheduled bus services are an easy enough option between Amman and the three main places above – Dana reserve less so.

Why should you rent a car in Amman?


Amman rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Amman.

How much will a week's car hire in Amman?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Amman. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Amman.

Off peak£143$186157 €
Peak£266$346293 €
Peak 4 door+£355$462391 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Amman

  • Head south on your own terms – a natural road trip would include Dana Biosphere, Petra, Wadi Rum and Aqaba.
  • Limited rail services – trains of no real use for tourists.
  • Relatively safe driving conditions, especially compared to other countries in Middle East.

Free Amman hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Amman having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Amman here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
16911467Generally parking won't be too much of a problem here.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Amman without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • Easier to rely on packaged trips.
  • Destinations like Petra involve spending large amounts of time in enclosed car free areas, a car only useful to get there in first place.

Amman car hire verdict

Given the inhospitable nature of the Jordanian landscape, and given that many of the tourist experiences outside Amman itself will be well packaged regardless, we see little reason to look at getting a car here. It’s worth looking at if you really crave for the independence a car will give you, despite all the hassles. Relatively speaking, Jordan is an incredibly safe place, but that’s easy if you take that relative comparison against Jordan’s immediate neighbours!

Car hire and car driving is still a risk wherever you go. You may well be able to find a decent Amman car hire deal directly from Queen Alia Airport, and you may indeed want to head straight on a road trip of the south, missing out Amman altogether and going straight for Petra and the barren delights of Wadi Rum. If you do this, I think that would be a shame, as you’d be missing out on the many points of interest in Jordan’s ancient historic capital.

Highways in Jordan are generally modern and well laid out, especially between the cities. Sadly, there is no working rail service that will be of any use to visitors to Amman.

Ultimately, our Amman car hire verdict remains a “no”, but it’s certainly one of our softer recommendations. If you are already coming here with getting a hire car in mind, then a bus of some kind is going to be your only other real option, unless you want to hire a private car with driver. Once you are thinking about doing that, then a standard rental car starts to look like a much better option.

Verdict – no (soft).

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Amman Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Amman?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Amman?

We have not yet had the privilege of visiting Amman, so this advice is based on online research, including looking at road maps, transit systems, street views, forums, Amman car hire costs and so on. If you have your own Amman car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Amman, please share them below.

Amritsar

Do you need to rent a car in Amritsar - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.

Should I hire a car in Amritsar? As with other cities in India, the local car hire market is not well developed. It’s obvious to suggest that the core focus of any visit to Amritsar is going to have the Golden Temple as a highlight, but any excursions from the city are still more likely to be by private tour minibus or coach, rather than in your own self drive car.

Any consideration of the best places to see outside the city of Amritsar itself have to consider some of the geographical realities of the area. Situated right in the northwest tip of India, Amritsar sits less than 15km / 10 miles from the border with Pakistan, and the suburbs of the city of Lahore run right up to this border. However, due to the ongoing political conflict between India and Pakistan, these two cities might as well be worlds apart.

Why should you rent a car in Amritsar?


Amritsar rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Amritsar.

How much will a week's car hire in Amritsar?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Amritsar. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Amritsar.

Off peakNo quotes*N/AN/A
PeakN/AN/AN/A
Peak 4 door+N/AN/AN/A

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Amritsar

  • The main reason to look at Amritsar car hire would be to head towards the Himalayas, possibly heading through the former summer capital of Shimla and then beyond. A car is going to be very useful as you get further into the mountains.

Free Amritsar hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Amritsar having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Amritsar here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
785064Parking is usually a problem in any Indian cities. If you do hire a car, make it a small one.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Amritsar without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • For anything and everything relating to the centre of Amritsar itself – there is no need for a hire car to visit the Golden Temple, Gobind Garh Fort, or for the Jallianwala Bagh Monument, site of the Massacre in 1919.
  • If you do plan to head towards the Himalayas, be prepared to slow down a bit if you want to do this by public transport. A train from Amritsar Junction will take you as far as Kalka in about 6 hours. From here the fun starts as you climb slowly towards Shimla on one of India’s World Heritage mountain lines. The whole journey takes around 4 1/2 hours, so from city to city you’d need to allow around 11 hours – compared to about 5 to drive it. This makes the train excursion one for the rail fans, but this is one of the great train journeys not just of India, but of anywhere in the world, so it shouldn’t be missed if you get the chance!
  • The Amritsar walking trail is an important part of the city’s heritage.

Summary

A hire car is something to look in to for heading into the Himalayas, rather than just the city itself. Although Amritsar is a major gateway into India from a number of major European cities, you can also fly to Shimla, or perhaps to Chandigarh as the starting point for heading towards the Himalayas – although due to its mountain location and very short runway, Shimla only has air service from Delhi.

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Amritsar Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Amritsar?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Amritsar?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Amritsar and additional online research. If you have your own Amritsar car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Amritsar, please share them below. Amritsar was last visited by Carornocar in

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

 

 

 

Amsterdam

Do you need to hire a car in Amsterdam? Amsterdam city centre has a reputation as a cyclists’ paradise and a driver’s nightmare, but is that still the case for the area around the city, and for the rest of the Netherlands? Is Amsterdam car hire ever really an option?

Amsterdam is also world-famous as a party city, with its infamous red light district and coffee shops. We presume that you already know this, so there is no point in us simply regurgitating the obvious, and that is that for a short stay in the centre of Amsterdam, there is absolutely no point whatsoever in even considering hiring a car.

Do you need to rent a car in Amsterdam - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


So, when we look at Amsterdam car hire, we’re looking at a slightly longer trip, and using Amsterdam as a base or a start point for exploring not just the local area, but the significant hinterland beyond.

Why should you rent a car in Amsterdam?


Amsterdam rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Amsterdam.

How much will a week's car hire in Amsterdam?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Amsterdam. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Amsterdam.

Off peak£89$11698 €
Peak£146$190161 €
Peak 4 door+£146$190161 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Amsterdam

  1. Get out: This isn’t just about the city centre of Amsterdam — Schiphol airport is a gateway for a vast hinterland beyond Amsterdam itself, as there are so many flight routes operating here that aren’t available at many of the other nearby airports, or even at major neighbouring cities like Brussels or Dusseldorf.
  2. Good roads: Whilst it is true that many more journeys in the Netherlands are made by bike than they are in the UK or the USA, the quality of the roads is still very high. Because public transport is also of a very high standard, there is less congestion, and therefore more space on the roads for those people who do want to drive. The Netherlands also has three times as many miles of motorway per capita as the UK does, so it is easy to get around by any means.
  3. Cost of trains: We (in the UK or the USA) might look to the Netherlands as having a high standard of public transport, but the trains are still relatively pricey on a per mile basis, and there are no off-peak or advance purchase discounts. Bring over a family, and a hire car easily works out as better value than going by train.
  4. Architecture: Architecture buffs will find that the Netherlands is full of all kinds of interesting historic and modern buildings. These are sometimes in small towns or in the suburbs — even bland industrial units in the Netherlands can often be meticulously put together. The best way to conduct a self-guided architectural tour is to have the flexibility of a car. Of particular note are the unique self built houses in the new city of Almere, the cube houses in Rotterdam, the Dudok trail in Hilversum and the three bridges designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava in Hoofddorp, near Schiphol Airport. However, the places above are in urban locations, so they are relatively near a station – and Hilversum in particular is a nightmare to drive around for the uninitiated.
  5. Engineering Polders: The Netherlands has an impressive system of holding back the sea, a feat regarded by many engineers as one of the most impressive pieces of civil engineering in the 20th century. You will find a car useful to drive across Ijsselmeer using the N302 or the A7 Afsluitdijk — although even though this is a motorway crossing, a slow (and cycling) lane is still available – if you can tolerate the wind!
  6. Rivers & Islands: To explore the many mouths of the Rhine or the relatively deserted islands of the Waddenzee, a car is essential.
  7. Dutch landscapes: A hire car is best to appreciate the typical Dutch springtime landscape of tulips, canals and windmills – but a bike will do as well.

Free Amsterdam hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Amsterdam having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Amsterdam here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
739517It really isn't worth the effort in central Amsterdam - but in the south of the city, you'll have few problems.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Amsterdam without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  1. Obvious isn’t it? Cities in Netherlands are tightly packed — easy to get between, and even easier to get around. Public transport is excellent, who needs to even consider a rental car?
  2. Nationwide Travelcard: To use the public transport network, users can purchase an OV-Chipkaart, which is similar to the Oystercard system on London Transport, except that it works nationwide. The cost is €7.50 for a pay as you go card.
  3. High Speed Trains: The FYRA train takes you direct from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Rotterdam in just 27 minutes, whilst Thalys provides rapid connections to Antwerp and Brussels. Heading in the other direction, regular fast German ICE train services provide links to Duisburg, Düsseldorf” href=”http://www.carornocar.com/dusseldorf/”>Dusseldorf, Cologne and beyond. Note that the dedicated FYRA trains have been cancelled due to endless technical problems, and a traditional locomotive hauled service currently operates, taking a minute or two longer. FYRA is still fast because it makes very few stops.
  4. Bike it: Cycle hire facilities are widely available at Amsterdam Centraal and most major NS railway stations, no pre-booking required. For more information about the cycling culture in Amsterdam (it really is a passion, not just a mode of transport), visit Amsterdamize.
  5. Canals: Amsterdam is a city of canals, surely the best way of getting around is to take a boat trip?
  6. Cost: Amsterdam car hire is quite expensive – with a guide price from £130 per week – almost three times as much as car hire in Malaga – and Dutch fuel isn’t cheap either.

A typical Amsterdam canal scene

Verdict: When or where do you need to hire a car in Amsterdam? For longer stays with more flexibility for travelling between Dutch cities and enjoying the Dutch landscape, a hire car is certainly useful, but by no means essential.

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Amsterdam Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Amsterdam?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
42AmsterdamAMSNetherlands621
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Amsterdam?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Amsterdam and additional online research. If you have your own Amsterdam car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Amsterdam, please share them below. Amsterdam was last visited by Carornocar in

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

Anchorage

Should I rent a car in Anchorage? Anchorage has been one of the great surprises in doing research for Car or no Car. The natural starting point is that Alaska is a vast open state with such spectacular scenery that the only way to do it justice is by car – why even think about a yes or no question?

Further research shows that although there is indeed no question about the scenery, the best way to get around might just be anything but by car!

Do you need to rent a car in Anchorage - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.

Why should you rent a car in Anchorage?


Anchorage rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Anchorage.

How much will a week's car hire in Anchorage?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Anchorage. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Anchorage.

Off peak£400$520440 €
Peak£656$853722 €
Peak 4 door+£656$853722 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Anchorage

  • For all the obvious reasons – freedom to explore the great Alaskan landscape at your own pace!

Free Anchorage hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Anchorage having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Anchorage here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
1529663Generally parking won't be too much of a problem here.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Anchorage without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments

Instead, because the area around Anchorage offers such a rich variety of excursions that include hiking, biking, bus shuttles, train journeys with panoramic coach, and of course cruise ships and ferries, getting a rental car should actually be a long way down the priority list for anyone who wants to see Alaska at its best.

So before jumping straight into looking at Anchorage car hire deals, you **may** also want to consider:

  • Alaskan ferries (and of course cruises, but they take all the fun out of it!).
  • Alaska by rail – largely for sightseeing, as services tend to operate on a daily basis, so they aren’t that good for hiking excursions.
  • Hiking – especially in Denali National Park. Consider bus/coach options, as a rental car will just be parked at the trail head.
  • Cycling – yes, Alaska is great for biking in the summer months!

If you are here for skiing, then you will no doubt find that resort transfers are available direct from Ted Stevens airport without needing to get a rental car just for this purpose.

 

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Anchorage Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Anchorage?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Anchorage?

We have not yet had the privilege of visiting Anchorage, so this advice is based on online research, including looking at road maps, transit systems, street views, forums, Anchorage car hire costs and so on. If you have your own Anchorage car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Anchorage, please share them below.

Andorra La Vella

Do I need a car in Andorra?

Andorra car hire thoughts – trying to offer any sort of car hire advice in Andorra is always going to be something of an oxymoron. There is no gateway airport or even a railway station where you might hire a car from. However, Andorra remains one of the most popular ski destinations in Europe. Because Carornocar includes car advice on all of the world’s top 100 destinations (by international visitor arrivals), we’re happy to give a comment, albeit a brief one.

The author visited Andorra in 2008 on a day trip from staying in accommodation near Perpignan, and noted the long queues of traffic, a lot of which was just there to fill up on cheap petrol!

Do you need to rent a car in Andorra - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


Getting to Andorra

Given that there is no airport in Andorra and that there is no railway running through the principality, it would be natural to suggest that the best way of getting to and around Andorra would be in a hire car, but then the obvious question is – where would you hire this car from?

The closest major arrival airports to Andorra are Barcelona  and Toulouse. We’ve already provided extensive car hire advice for both of those cities on their respective pages, including comments on getting to Andorra. Naturally, there are also regular scheduled coach services from both of these cities and their respective airports, and these coach services also include transfers to all the major ski resorts.

The principality of Andorra really does just have one main road running through it, with a long overdue bypass of the town of Andorra la Vella town itself having recently opened its first phase. Hiring a car in Andorra still perfectly possible, with the main global rental agencies all been represented in Andorra la Vella, but the question still remains – why?

Why should you rent a car in Andorra?


Andorra rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Andorra.

How much will a week's car hire in Andorra?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Andorra. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Andorra.

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Andorra

  • The only reason to hire a car in Andorra might be to access ski slopes, but since local shuttle services are already available, and because nowhere in Andorra is particularly far from anywhere else, a hire car really makes little sense, unless you want one for accessing hill walking locations in the off-season (although limited bus services are still available).
  • Sometimes a hire car makes sense for starting a road trip in one location and then dropping the car off elsewhere, but Andorra really isn’t the sort of place for this either, because hire companies will not be keen on renting out a car with Andorra plates that isn’t returned back within the principality.
  • Rail services are poorly connected to Andorra, despite being very close to the border with France.

Free Andorra hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Andorra having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Andorra here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Andorra without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • You have to get here first – so if you aren’t already arriving in a hire car, there isn’t much point in hiring one once you get to Andorra.
  • The local roads are crowded, and there are very few of them – so it’s best to rely on local buses.
  • During the ski seasons, resort transfers are available direct from airports such as Barcelona (International) or Toulouse.
  • There are scheduled coaches available year round.
  • Buses still adequate for reaching the starts of hiking trails.
  • Local car hire options are limited and expensive.
  • Amazing rail journeys on offer through the Pyrenees – even through local bus connections are poor.

For an alternative means of onward travel beyond Andorra that doesn’t involve lengthy coach journeys, then there are some amazing train options nearby, but they take some planning:

Andorra by Train

The closest station to Andorra is known quite literally as “near to Andorra” station, at L’Hospitalet. From here, you can get a direct train to Toulouse in just under 2 1/2 hours. It’s easy enough, and it’s a nice scenic route through the Pyrenees. Look slightly to the south, and you will see the curious Latour (Latour-de-Carol-Enveitg in full) station, which is actually the meeting point of three different lines, all with different gauges.

So far, so good? For the rail buff, this looks interesting, but if you actually want to go somewhere, prepare to think again. There are around 6 (weekday, winter) trains running from L’Hospitalet to Latour, taking just under half an hour. From here, prepare to get stuck. Yes, you have the option of the beautiful yellow train, running towards Perpignan, and the extension of the Barcelona suburban system that takes around 3 hours to reach the Catalan capital, but don’t expect any kind of joined up thinking.

Details

Also, note that if you are used to using international timetable services like Bahn.com, they don’t seem to cover the Barcelona (R3) line, nor does Renfe’s own website produce a timetable, or a link to one. An old copy of the timetable showed around 4 trains per day running all the way out to Latour.

Either way, heading into or out of Andorra by train is one for the purists, not the regular tourists. Its certainly not the sort of easy excursion that you might combine with a day off from skiing, something that’s always easy to do in Austria or Switzerland, if you so wish. Then again, if you have the patience, then the line to Barcelona also connects with the wonderful Nuria Valley rack line – and this time, the train is reaching places no other means can, so it’s well worth a look.

Andorra car hire verdict

Verdict – no (very limited local car hire offering). If Andorra had its own airport, then our verdict might be much more balanced, but we’re only offering advice on the basis that you have already go here by train or bus, or are planning on doing just that from Barcelona or Toulouse. If you are considering getting a hire car in Barcelona or Toulouse and then driving here, then that might make a bit more sense, but it would still be worth checking the direct coach transfers first.

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Andorra Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Andorra?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Andorra?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Andorra and additional online research. If you have your own Andorra car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Andorra, please share them below. Andorra was last visited by Carornocar in

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

Antalya

Should I rent a car in Antalya? The decision on whether or not to hire a car in Antalya will be largely based on where you are staying, and then to a lesser extent on what places you are planning to visit during your holiday. For starters, Antalya is one of Turkey‘s largest cities, with a population of over 1 million people, and the city has a perfectly reasonable urban rail network. Antalya is also one of the region’s most historic cities, and it’s a great place to stay in its own right. Any holiday based around staying within the city is unlikely to need to have a hire car included with it.

Do you need to rent a car in Antalya - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


Visitors arriving into Antalya have a reasonable choice of onward public transport options, once they reach the city centre. If you are travelling around Turkey by train and arriving in Antalya, then car hire options are also widely available in the city centre, although they do not tend to be particularly good value when compared with Antalya airport car hire.

Why should you rent a car in Antalya?


Antalya rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Antalya.

How much will a week's car hire in Antalya?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Antalya. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Antalya.

Off peak£89$11698 €
Peak£138$179152 €
Peak 4 door+£140$182154 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Antalya

Antalya is a destination with a large number of purpose-built holiday resort properties, including many resort villas as well as large chain hotels. Whilst the hotels tend to be more self-contained with numerous different amenities on site, rental villas tend to be more geared up towards self catering and driving around to get to places.

If your holiday is geared more around beach and waterfront activities, then a hire car in Antalya is unlikely to be much use, but you might still want to consider a one or two day rental from within your resort.

There’s a good choice of national and regional parks to visit when going inland. The more adventurous will certainly want to visit the amazing cave dwellings of Cappadocia, focused around the town of Goreme. Of course, it’s perfectly possible to visit Cappadocia without a hire car, and the most iconic way to see this region is to take a hot air balloon trip. Whether by tour bus or by rental car, Cappadocia is going to be around 5 to 6 hours drive from most resorts around the Antalya region. To get the best out of Cappadocia, we would certainly recommend staying overnight, making sure you have your camera ready both for sunset and for the sunrise the next morning.

Free Antalya hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Antalya having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Antalya here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
1706115968Parking is a huge problem in the city, but much less so once you drive out along the coast.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Antalya without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • Public transport in the city of Antalya is of a good standard.
  • To visit Cappadocia, this can be done using an organised tour.
  • If you are planning just on staying in resort and visiting nearby beaches, taxis and local buses are sufficient.

Summary

In summary, Antalya is certainly the sort of destination where you will have no problem at all enjoying a holiday without needing to get a hire car, but our advice is that on balance, it’s probably still a good idea. If you are staying in the city centre where parking is a problem, then just hiring a car for a couple of days for an excursion up towards Cappadocia might be a safer bet, but otherwise, if your resort includes parking, then a full week’s hire is unlikely to cost much more than a shorter period, unless you are adding on a load of extras which are charged on a daily rate.

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Antalya Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Antalya?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
18AntalyaAYTTurkey1127
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Antalya?

We have not yet had the privilege of visiting Antalya, so this advice is based on online research, including looking at road maps, transit systems, street views, forums, Antalya car hire costs and so on. If you have your own Antalya car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Antalya, please share them below.

Antigua

Should I hire a car in Antigua? Antigua car hire options – Antigua might be relatively small, but the temptation to visit all those 365 beaches, without crawling around at the pace of one per day means that a hire car will certainly be useful.

Do you need to rent a car in Antigua - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


We assume you haven’t got all year, so once you have dealt with the nuisance of having to pay for a local driving licence, you will be able to start exploring.

Why should you rent a car in Antigua?


Antigua rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Antigua.

How much will a week's car hire in Antigua?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Antigua. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Antigua.

Off peak£253$329278 €
Peak£253$329278 €
Peak 4 door+No cars**N/AN/A

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Antigua

  • Antigua markets itself as having 365 beaches, one for every day of the year. Although some of these are in the neighbouring island of Barbuda, the vast majority are on the island of Antigua, and you will certainly need a car if you want to move around and enjoy as many of these beaches as possible. This reason alone is the main reason why we suggest getting a hire car, even if we seem to have listed more reasons not to get one below! However, Antigua car hire comes with a number of caveats, regardless.
  • Fig-tree Drive – is one of those must see picture-postcard locations – except it isn’t just one single spot, so a car will let you enjoy it at your pace.
  • Hassle-free: Walking around St John’s is usually trouble-free, but it is best to avoid all the touts by the cruise terminal in Heritage Quay. If you have already sorted out a hire car, you won’t be bothered by constant offers of taxis and tours around the island.Antigua has seen some horrendous crime incidents in recent years. But a car can be both protection and vulnerability.
  • Fuel costs: Although Antigua car hire costs are expensive, the small size of the island means you are unlikely to spend much on fuel.

Free Antigua hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Antigua having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Antigua here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
1218974Generally parking won't be too much of a problem here.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Antigua without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • Expense – Antigua car hire is extremely expensive, owing to local regulations and relative lack of competition. Of the ten initial destinations we looked at, Antigua was the most expensive, at £203 for a week, although very few things in the Caribbean are cheap. This is still more than five times the cost of a week’s car hire in Malaga.
  • Roads: The quality of roads in Antigua is generally quite poor – lots of bumps and potholes.
  • Transport provided: Most resorts will offer excursions to a range of different beaches, and transfers to and from the airport should also be provided.
  • The island is small, and the airport is central both to the capital St Johns and the main resort hotels. Getting a few taxis will still be much cheaper than using a hire car.
  • Rum: Antigua means plenty of rum – and rum punch does not mix with driving.
  • Shirley Heights: Perhaps the most famous weekly event on Antigua is the Sunday party at Shirley Heights, above English Harbour. A car will take you there and back, but then again so will a taxi, or any number of bus options, provided by the hotel, or flagged down locally. All of these other options are much more lively!
  • Car hire options on the island of Barbuda are even more limited, and not available through the main agencies. See Caribbean online for details.
  • Bikes: Instead of taking out an expensive hire car, why not rent a bike — many hotels provide this, and cycling in early morning or late afternoon can be extremely refreshing.
  • Fly instead: You can hire a car anywhere, but trips to Antigua tend to be that little bit special. Why not fly to one of the neighbouring islands instead? An island hopping trip on a light aircraft is one of the most exciting things to do in the Caribbean. Regular excursion flights operate to the neighbouring island of Barbuda, but you can also take helicopter tours around the volcano in Montserrat and experience the true power of nature.
  • No ferry: Unlike St Kitts and Nevis, there are no ferries between Antigua and Barbuda, so a car is only good on the one island.
  • Local buses: Although most tourists use their own transport or go on organised tours, local buses on Antigua are an enjoyable way of seeing the island as locals see it. Buses fan out throughout the island from the capital St John’s, and they usually leave when they are full.
  • Beach access: Antigua may boast having 365 beaches, but it doesn’t have that many roads. A car doesn’t bring quite as much flexibility as it should.

Local licence

Local regulations mean that you will have to fork out US$20 to purchase a temporary local driving licence for your stay on the island. This is an unnecessary extra cost and hassle, which isn’t applicable in most countries. It makes it prohibitive to hire a car to drive around the island for just a day or two. This extra cost is on top of the US$28 (EC$ 70) you will still need to keep ready for departure tax on the way home – and they say low cost airlines rip people off!

Verdict

As with anywhere, a hire car will bring flexibility, and Antigua has so many stunning beaches that it is better to have one than not. The extortionate cost of Antigua car hire would be a reason for us to advise against renting one, but a holiday (or vacation) in Antigua is an expensive outlay, whether you are flying in from Europe or North America (even more so for long suffering Australia and New Zealand cricket fans!). So given all these costs, should I hire a car in Antigua? With the price of hotels and flights to Antigua already high, a rental car is one cost which can be cut, but we think it is still better to have one to explore the island, especially if you are visiting on a special once-in-a-lifetime trip.

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Antigua Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Antigua?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Antigua?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Antigua and additional online research. If you have your own Antigua car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Antigua, please share them below. Antigua was last visited by Carornocar in

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

 

Antwerp (draft)

Do you need to rent a car in Antwerp - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


Do I need a hire car when visiting Antwerp?

 

Why should you rent a car in Antwerp?


Antwerp rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Antwerp.

How much will a week's car hire in Antwerp?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Antwerp. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Antwerp.

Off peak£109$142120 €
Peak£130$169143 €
Peak 4 door+£118$153130 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Antwerp

Free Antwerp hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Antwerp having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Antwerp here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
1493221Parking is most expensive in central areas, not so bad in the suburbs.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Antwerp without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments

  • Advice to follow

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Antwerp Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Antwerp?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Antwerp?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Antwerp and additional online research. If you have your own Antwerp car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Antwerp, please share them below. Antwerp was last visited by Carornocar in

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

Astana

Do I need a car in Astana?

Do you need to rent a car in Astana - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


Coming Soon!

This page is about to be updated. The destination has been researched, and a new page drafted. It is currently being edited, due for uploading in late August 2017.

I hope the star ratings and verdict give you something to start with.

Since the research has been done anyway, feel free to leave comments or ask any questions.

At the moment, around 230 of the 300 destinations on this site have a full car hire review and "do I need a car" guide.

 

James A.

July 2017.

  • To follow.

Why should you rent a car in Astana?


Astana rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Astana.

How much will a week's car hire in Astana?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Astana. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Astana.

Off peak£271$352298 €
Peak£288$374317 €
Peak 4 door+£304$395334 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Astana

  • To follow.

Free Astana hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Astana having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Astana here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
544380Expect to find plenty of spaces in large new developments, but not always free.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Astana without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • To follow.

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Astana Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Astana?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Astana?

We have not yet had the privilege of visiting Astana, so this advice is based on online research, including looking at road maps, transit systems, street views, forums, Astana car hire costs and so on. If you have your own Astana car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Astana, please share them below.

Athens

Should you rent a car in Athens? Athens might have famously tried to reduce its horrendous traffic problems by only allowing either order or even number plated cars to drive on any given day of the week, and the city also invested heavily in a metro system in the run-up to the 2004 Olympic Games. So is this somewhere that you even need to consider getting a hire car?

Do you need to rent a car in Athens - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


This Athens car hire guide looks at whether or not to get a car either for a short break or for a slightly longer holiday involving travelling around between different places. For visitors from elsewhere in Europe, it can be just as easy to fly to one of the Greek islands and then to either stay locally or island hop without needing to get a car. Travellers from further afield will almost certainly head through or to Athens International airport.

Why should you rent a car in Athens?


Athens rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Athens.

How much will a week's car hire in Athens?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Athens. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Athens.

Off peak£76$9984 €
Peak£285$371314 €
Peak 4 door+£297$386327 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Athens

  1. Meteora – the stunning monasteries of the Meteora region should be the highlight of any trip to Greece, and if you need a preview, just watch the closing scenes of the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only. Naturally, given how these monasteries perched high on top of rocky promontories, this is a place to go hiking to take advantage of the rudimentary lift systems that operate in some of the monasteries.Yet there is still the small question of getting to Meteora. The train ride from Athens to Kalambaka goes through some pretty impressive scenery and over one or two great bridges, but there are only three trains each day, and only one of these is direct. So for even a brief excursion to Meteora by train, you will probably have to spend two nights there, whereas you could visit this area as part of a long day excursion in a hire car.
  2. Island hopping – hopping between the different Greek islands in a hire car is always going to give you that little bit more flexibility than travelling as a foot passenger, although this flexibility does come at a cost.
    At the end of the day, the decision whether or not to pick up a hire car in Athens might boil down to which islands you want to visit – for an island the size of Crete, a hire car is extremely useful, but most visitors to this island would fly direct into Heraklion or Chania.
    For medium-sized islands like Zakinthos (Zante) or Lesbos, then a hire car can be a benefit, whereas for the smaller islands like Santorini, you may well find that a hire car is more trouble than it is worth.Note that despite the need for ferry connections, it can be possible to get one way car rental deals between Athens and other Greek islands – budget for around £100 on top of the hire cost for one week.
  3. Rattling railways – Greece could never really claim to be one of Europe’s great Railway destinations, given that the population is relatively sparse and the terrain is unforgiving, yet even on those lines that do remain open following budget cuts, service is slow and sporadic. Unless you are someone who loves train travel, sticking to the roads is  going to be the easiest option.
  4. Central what? If you are going to travel from Athens by train, bear in mind that not all surface train services run through the main Athens station (often called Larissa station after its original name, and the name of the adjacent metro station).
    There’s no direct metro connection from the airport to here either.Surface trains from the airport will take you to the new Athens Archarnes Railway Centre (SKA), which is being billed as a new “central” station, although it is out in the suburbs and has no metro station.
    Trains from the airport continue from here towards Kiato on the Peloponnese peninuslar, but the line goes nowhere near central Athens.

Peloponnese

  1. Peloponnese – there are lots of great driving opportunities around the Peloponnese peninsula, including the Corinth canal and the engineering marvel of the Rio-Antirio bridge to complement the natural splendours.
    I’d like to say that this is also a great area to explore by train, but sadly, the narrow gauge Peloponnese railways have fallen victim to Greek austerity cuts. There is little chance of them being reopened any time soon. You can at least take the train as far as Kiato, but from there you’d have to go to Patra and beyond by bus.
  2. Corinth canal – if there’s one particular piece of engineering which demonstrates Greek maritime prowess it must surely be the Corinth canal. Perhaps not as famous as its sticky Panamanian brother, nor anything like as timesaving, the Corinth canal still looks far more impressive than any other as it has been cut into its own deep but narrow canyon. This has been done without the need for any locks. Although there are hourly trains, and plenty of coach tours from Athens which will give you a view of the canal, visiting this location in a hire car will let you see things in your own time.  You can also use the canal is the starting point for a driving tour around the Peloponnese.
  3. Rio Antirio bridge – this should be the highlight of any tour around the Peloponnese, or possibly of a circuit including the Peloponnese and Delphi on the other side. You can walk or cycle across the bridge and you can also get buses to and from Patra, but the most obvious way to appreciate it is still to drive.

Free Athens hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Athens having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Athens here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
63513221Parking is most expensive in central areas, not so bad in the suburbs.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Athens without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  1. Odd and even Number plate rules – in 1982, Athens introduced a restriction banning cars from the city centre according to whether their number plates were odd or even. Since then, the number of cars in the city has grown fourfold. The legislation has had little effect, especially as some houses have got round the legislation by owning two cars, one with an odd and another with an even plate.
    If you rent a hire car in Athens, you will be exempt from the restrictions for 40 days, which should be more than enough to explore the city and the local area. Yet driving on congested Athens city centre is still a nightmare. You still have to find somewhere to park. As with any major city, we would always advise walking or using public transport to visit all the major sites within Athens.
  2. Athens Metro – in the run-up to the 2004 Olympics, Athens invested heavily in an underground system, and this itself was halted many times due to archaeological digs along the route. This has resulted in many displays in the major city centre stations, making this sleek and modern transport network a destination in its own right as well is a way of getting around.
    The underground network is also supplemented by a network of local trains and buses. This includes the historic train link down to the port of Piraeus, where a lot of budget accommodation is available.
    There is no obvious centre of the metro network, with a number of stations being on two lines. The natural social and cultural centre is the area around Syntagma Square, and its metro station is on lines 2 and 3. This is also where many urban bus routes congregate, and where the tram route from the coast terminates.
  3. Ancient treasures – need we go say any more? Athens is one of the most historic cities in the world and beyond the indelible impression the Parthenon is going to leave you from its perch at the top of the Acropolis, there are plenty of other places waiting to be explored well within the city boundaries and easy to reach on foot.
    Further afield, there are plenty of places which can be visited on historical tours, or on day excursions by scheduled bus.
  4. Delphi is certainly well worth a visit, and once you get there, you will be walking around the main points of interest anyway, so there isn’t a huge time advantage in having a hire car. However, a group of people sharing a car might be better value. Allow around 3 hours each way by bus.
  5. Island hopping – a hire car might give you a little bit more flexibility when you arrive on each island, but it is a deadweigh just sitting on the ferry, and a very expensive deadweight at that.
    Why fork out for the cost of a hire car and then for the cost of ferry passage on top, when you can just travel as a foot passenger on the ferry and use local buses for getting around each island? Even if you have to shell out for a few taxis, they are unlikely to break the bank on any of the smaller islands.

Conclusion – anyone simply thinking about taking a city break in Athens is very unlikely to even consider getting a hire car, but after a few days Athens can start to become quite overbearing on the novice visitor. So whether you get a hire car or not, there’s a good chance you’ll want to get out of the city, and unfortunately, public transport in Greece leaves a great deal to be desired. Should you rent a car in Athens, and then use it for a trip outside the city? This is really going to depend on where you are most interested in visiting from the long list of places mentioned above. Is it worth hiring a car in  Athens just to use within the city – no, never, that bit should be clear enough! But you really don’t have to get far out of the city for public transport to become worth it.

For a country with such a rugged coastline and so many ancient treasures, there’s a good chance you’ll be happy to take things at a slower pace anyway. Yet getting a hire car in Athens is still going to take away a lot of the hassles of planning and executing a holiday when you are dealing with so many different transport companies, all of which operate from their own separate hubs in their own different ways. Public transport integration in Athens is very poor – whether you are trying to change from bus to metro, to get to the Peloponnese by train, or simply if you are trying to find the right berth for your onward sea connection in Piraeus, nothing is particularly well connected.

So even though a hire car in Athens remains strictly optional, if you are already considering getting one, then you will probably find it beneficial.

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Athens Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Athens?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
49AthensATHGreece432
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Useful Athens travel links:

Have you driven in Athens?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Athens and additional online research. If you have your own Athens car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Athens, please share them below. Athens was last visited by Carornocar in

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

Atlanta

Do you need to rent a car in Atlanta - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


Coming Soon!

This page is about to be updated. The destination has been researched, and a new page drafted. It is currently being edited, due for uploading in late August 2017.

I hope the star ratings and verdict give you something to start with.

Since the research has been done anyway, feel free to leave comments or ask any questions.

At the moment, around 230 of the 300 destinations on this site have a full car hire review and "do I need a car" guide.

 

James A.

July 2017.

Why should you rent a car in Atlanta?


Atlanta rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Atlanta.

How much will a week's car hire in Atlanta?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Atlanta. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Atlanta.

Off peak£179$233197 €
Peak£230$299253 €
Peak 4 door+£230$299253 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Atlanta

  • Fly drive — Atlanta is the busiest airport in the world, and whilst the vast majority of these flights, domestic routes within the USA is still a gateway city with connections to many airports in Europe. This makes Atlanta an obvious point for picking up a rental car and going on a road trip.
  • Poor public transport — although Atlanta does at least have a Metro, including a link to the airport, it only has two lines, so the range of connections offered is poor.

Free Atlanta hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Atlanta having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Atlanta here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
47931165Generally parking won't be too much of a problem here.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Atlanta without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • There are few reasons not to hire a car in Atlanta, unless you only wish to visit a very limited range of places in the city centre, such as the King Memorial and the Coca-Cola experience.

This article will be expanded in due course. In the meantime, if you have any questions about car rental in Atlanta, please ask them below:

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Atlanta Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Atlanta?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in ?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting and additional online research. If you have your own car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in , please share them below. was last visited by Carornocar in 2004

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

Auckland

Should I rent a car in Auckland? Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and it’s the natural starting point for onward travel around both North and South island, regardless of how you are thinking about getting around. So what is our Auckland car hire advice – do you need to get a rental car here, or can you get around without one?

Do you need to rent a car in Auckland - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.

First and foremost, it’s worth pointing out that the Auckland metropolitan region as a population of well over 1 million people, and that there is perfectly adequate public transport, including extensive commuter rail, for getting in and out of the city on a day-to-day basis. However, we don’t really think Auckland is a sort of city where tourists visit in order to spend all their time within the urban area, and in fact, the most spectacular places to visit in the greater Auckland area are all well outside the city.

There are also some amazing islands which are easily reached by ferry from Auckland, including Motutapu and Rangitoto Islands, which are linked to each other by a small bridge (no cars allowed). Nearby Waiheke Island, which includes the Whakanewha Regional Park, can be reached by car ferry, but there are also buses on the island.

North v South?

Another key point to consider is that although Auckland is the main international gateway to New Zealand, much of the  most impressive sightseeing is actually on South Island. Travelling south from Auckland by coach or by train is perfectly possible, but services are relatively infrequent, and a ferry journey is needed to cross between the islands (itself taking around 3-4 hours). To reach a destination like Queenstown, and then to carry on to the spectacular Milford Sound, it’s much easier to take an internal flight first – including the ferry it’s essentially a full day’s (24 hours) worth of driving. Queenstown is also the centre of Peter Jackson’s filming world.

See also out Dunedin car hire advice page for the southern part of South Island.

Why should you rent a car in Auckland?


Auckland rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Auckland.

How much will a week's car hire in Auckland?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Auckland. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Auckland.

Off peak£68$8875 €
Peak£110$143121 €
Peak 4 door+£68$8875 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Auckland

  • Natural starting point for a New Zealand road trip.
  • Largest choice of inbound flights + car hire options in New Zealand.
  • Amazing countryside near city, easy day excursions by car.

Free Auckland hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Auckland having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Auckland here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
46123050Parking is most expensive in central areas, not so bad in the suburbs.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Auckland without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • Numerous adventure activities available within and around the city – these usually include transport.
  • Offshore islands often easier to reach by ferry as a foot passenger.
  • May be better to use local public transport in Auckland – then looking at hiring a car to visit South Island.
  • Epic rail adventures also available heading down to Wellington and then onto South Island by ferry.

Auckland car hire summary

So, should Iyou really rent a car in Auckland? We suggest that there are still more than enough scenic locations which are well worth visiting, both in terms of impressive coastal scenery and lush inland national parks. A hire car is useful for these destinations, but still not essential. If you are basing yourself in Auckland for a few days and don’t particularly feel like getting a rental car, then there are still plenty of options for doing scenic bus tours or heading out by train or of course ferry.

Verdict – no.

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Auckland Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Auckland?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Auckland?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Auckland and additional online research. If you have your own Auckland car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Auckland, please share them below. Auckland was last visited by Carornocar in

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

Avignon

Do I need to hire a car in Avignon?  Avignon might be famous for a bridge that is only half there, and as being the former papal seat. The historic city itself, as with many other European historic cities, is naturally very compact and walkable.

Do you need to rent a car in Avignon - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


In terms of travelling beyond Avignon, then it really depends on how you got here in the first place, and where else you would be most interested in seeing.

For starters, Avignon does have its own small International airport, but it’s generally only used by regional jets and turboprops, with larger aircraft tending to use the relatively nearby Marseille Provence International airport (MRS). Other alternative arrival points in the area include Nimes (FNI) to the west, and then to the south-east Toulon (TLN) and even the French Riviera city of Nice (NCE), which has inbound flights from most major cities in Europe.

The most popular way to reach Avignon from elsewhere in France is to use the city’s ultramodern TGV station, which is situated on the outskirts of Avignon. Avignon TGV also has direct rail services from London, and connections (especially via Paris or Lille) from numerous other cities in northern Europe,

Whether you arrive by plane or by train, easy bus or taxi transfers are available into the centre of Avignon itself.

Why should you rent a car in Avignon?


Avignon rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Avignon.

How much will a week's car hire in Avignon?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Avignon. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Avignon.

Off peak£166$216183 €
Peak£166$216183 €
Peak 4 door+No cars**N/AN/A

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Avignon

  • For continuing onwards, a hire car is likely to be much more useful. For example, if you wanted to visit the city of Marseille, you could do this perfectly easy by using the TGV, but you be much more likely to go direct to Marseille in the first place, since it has a much wider choice of flights.
  • Heading deep into Provence by public transport is all but a nonstarter – buses are few and far between, and you may well need to go down to Aix first. For a really scenic rail journey deep into Provence, it is much better to start your French holiday in Nice and take the slow train to Digne, although you can connect to Digne by bus from Avignon, and then head home via Nice, or consider a city tour loop back to Avignon that includes various coastal spots along the French Riviera.

Free Avignon hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Avignon having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Avignon here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
1526241Expect a few problems right in the centre of Avignon, and in very busy Provence villages, but generally ok.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Avignon without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • You do not need to hire a car in Avignon if you are just staying in and around the city itself.
  • You can also take a bus from Avignon to the world-famous Pont Du Gard, but services are generally slow and infrequent, so a hire car is much better.

Summary

So on balance, just because Avignon has a TGV station doesn’t mean this is a part of the world where trains are going to be all that useful for getting around. Any of the more local services use a separate station closer to the city centre, but the two locations are only linked by bus, not by interconnecting trains.

So, do I need to hire a car in Avignon?  For all of these reasons, our Avignon car hire advice is that this is very much a place where a hire car is going to be extremely useful, and where getting around without one is going to require a lot of planning and organisation, unless you really do just want to stick to the city itself, in which case a car will just be a hindrance.

Verdict – yes.

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Avignon Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Avignon?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Avignon?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Avignon and additional online research. If you have your own Avignon car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Avignon, please share them below. Avignon was last visited by Carornocar in 2008

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

Bagan

Do I need a car in Bagan? Bagan is an historic and compact city where all of the major sites are a short and easy walk from each other. The most iconic way to see Bagan in all of its glory would be to take a hot air balloon tour, for which the city is very well known. So are there any Bagan car hire options which are worth considering?

Do you need to rent a car in Bagan - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


Bagan is around a 3 hour drive to the west of Mandalay, but the city also has its own small regional airport, so many visitors will arrive by air.

Why should you rent a car in Bagan?


Bagan rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Bagan.

How much will a week's car hire in Bagan?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Bagan. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Bagan.

Off peakNo quotes*N/AN/A
PeakN/AN/AN/A
Peak 4 door+N/AN/AN/A

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Bagan

  • Few reasons to rent a car here. Very limited Bagan car hire options, no major rental firms have offices in Bagan.

Free Bagan hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Bagan having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Bagan here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
634876Generally parking won't be too much of a problem here.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Bagan without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • All the major sites are a short walk from each other.
  • The best way to see Bagan is from above – hot air balloon tours are widely available.
  • Other local tours can be arranged by private minibus, so there is little reason to hire a car here.

Verdict – no

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Bagan Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Bagan?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Bahrain

Do I need to hire a car in Bahrain? Hiring a car in any of the Gulf states is never for the fainthearted. Although the roads in this part of the world tend to be on the wider side of life, and many of them are brand spanking new, this region is also notorious for its astonishingly high accident rate, and naturally this puts off many visitors from wanting to drive at all.

Do you need to rent a car in Bahrain - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


Why should you rent a car in Bahrain?


Bahrain rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Bahrain.

How much will a week's car hire in Bahrain?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Bahrain. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Bahrain.

Off peak£93$121102 €
Peak£93$121102 €
Peak 4 door+No cars**N/AN/A

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Bahrain

  • Generally, we don’t advise any particularly strong reasons for wanting to hire a car in Bahrain.

Free Bahrain hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Bahrain having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Bahrain here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
14611982Most hotels will offer free parking, but it's still a compact city, so not much point in hiring a car.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Bahrain without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments

In some other Gulf cities, it’s easier just to bite the bullet and get a rental car anyway, because trusting your faith in local taxi drivers might not be that much better either. However, in Manama we really don’t think there’s any need to get a hire car at all, because tiny Bahrain is also one most densely populated countries on the planet, and there really are very few places to drive to, unless you want to venture across the King Faisal Causeway into neighbouring Saudi Arabia, which is another matter altogether (and not easily done without going through a long visa process)!

For transfers to and from the main hotels in Manama, local buses and taxis are more than sufficient, and the same applies to travelling within the city.

Therefore our Manama/Bahrain car advice is a strong no.

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Bahrain Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Bahrain?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
25BahrainBAHBahrain638
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Bahrain?

We have not yet had the privilege of visiting Bahrain, so this advice is based on online research, including looking at road maps, transit systems, street views, forums, Bahrain car hire costs and so on. If you have your own Bahrain car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Bahrain, please share them below.

Bali – Denpasar

Do you need a car in Bali?

Do you need to rent a car in Bali - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


The natural starting point for a beautiful island like Bali is that this is the sort of place where you might well just want to kick off your shoes and relax in and around your resort for a week, indulging in as little movement as possible. There are certainly no shortage of absolutely stunning luxury resorts in Bali which offer the full pampering service, with no expense spared!

However, if you are looking for a car in the first place, then the purpose of this advice is to consider whether or not a hire car is the best way to get around, not to say you should just go back to your resort and do nothing!

Yet it’s also worth saying that Denpasar itself has become increasingly commercialised, and that the romantic charm is completely lost amongst the tacky shopping malls and congested 6 lane highways that people think they are coming to Bali to get away from. But there is also no substantial form of organised public transport in Bali, outside urban buses in Denpasar, and a small number of scheduled buses shuttling between the other major cities on the island.

You might well be able to take an organised tour around some of the more impressive temple sites, but the ultimate question is – is this really the best way to see the island?

On balance, a hire car here might be quite a good idea.

Why should you rent a car in Bali?


Bali rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Bali.

How much will a week's car hire in Bali?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Bali. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Bali.

Off peak£251$326276 €
Peak£262$341288 €
Peak 4 door+£251$326276 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Bali

  • Explore the island in full, at your own pace.
  • A hire car is very useful to get well outside the city of Denpasar.
  • Denpasar is very commercialised, but public transport is still relatively poor.

Free Bali hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Bali having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Bali here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
3492263776Parking can be a problem in smaller villages and in major centres.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Bali without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • Many places can still be reached using local buses.
  • Denpasar is congested and strangled by 6 lane highways – driving is not particularly pleasant until you get well beyond the city.
  • To reach really “unspoilt” places, you may prefer to keep them that way and stay on foot!

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Bali Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Bali?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
84Bali (Denpasar)DPSIndonesia428
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Baltimore

Do I need a car in Baltimore? Note that this Baltimore car hire advice is aimed primarily at visitors arriving at Baltimore-Washington airport (BWI). It also may be useful for visitors arriving into downtown Baltimore by train. For visitors arriving into BWI, but planning primarily to visit Washington DC, please see our Washington DC car hire advice page.

Do you need to rent a car in Baltimore - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


The city of Baltimore has undergone a substantial urban renaissance in recent years. Many attractive new developments have been built in the harbour front area and also in the adjacent downtown. This part of Baltimore is all inherently walkable. Many local bus services are available. Baltimore also has a reasonable light rail system. This also which extends out as far as BWI airport.

Visitors wanting to combine a visit to Baltimore with a visit to Wasington DC can also travel easily between the two cities by train. This can be courtesy of either the express Amtrak service or the more regional MARC commuter trains. This section of the line also has a station near BWI airport with a corresponding shuttle bus link. Visitors to Baltimore can also easily continue what the Northeast corridor route to make day trips to Philadelphia or New York City.

Altogether, getting a hire car in Baltimore is certainly something that’s far from necessary. This is especially so if your plan is to incorporate Baltimore as part of a wider itinerary along America’s north-eastern seaboard.

This is a combination of cities that is particularly popular with visitors from Europe.

Multi-city Itineraries

For the first time visitor from Europe to America’s Atlantic coast, then an open jaw routing that involves arriving in New York and then departing from Washington DC or vice versa is a natural choice.  Baltimore is sometimes overlooked on this sort of itinerary, which can be a great shame.

Gettysburg car rental suggestions

Is it worth using Baltimore car hire to get to Gettysburg?

When it comes to US history, the American Civil War site of Gettysburg, where Abraham Lincoln gave his famous address, is surely as essential a part of any visit to this part of the country as any of the locations within Washington DC itself?

The closest sizeable city to Gettysburg is the Pennsylvanian state capital Harrisburg. However, Baltimore is the closest major international gateway. It makes sense to pick up a rental car in Baltimore to go and visit Gettysburg. Gettysburg is also particularly difficult to get to by any sort of scheduled bus services. Even from Washington DC, packaged coach tours are few and far between.

Additionally, getting a rental car in Baltimore might also be useful for exploring some of the other scenic areas which lie to the west. These include the Shenandoah National Park. Many of these areas can also be visited from Washington. Further advice is provided on that page as well.

 

Why should you rent a car in Baltimore?


Baltimore rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Baltimore.

How much will a week's car hire in Baltimore?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Baltimore. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Baltimore.

Off peak£155$202171 €
Peak£222$289244 €
Peak 4 door+£222$289244 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Baltimore

  • Take a driving tour to Gettysburg.
  • In Baltimore, car hire still makes a great deal of sense, as the city is still dominated by large freeways. This atill makes driving the default option.
  • A hire car is useful for heading to most places to the south of Baltimore and beyond Washington DC. Please see Washington page for more details.
  • A Baltimore rental car is useful for the Delmarva Peninsula.

Free Baltimore hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Baltimore having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Baltimore here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
21813863Generally parking won't be too much of a problem here.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Baltimore without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • Public transit in Baltimore is of a reasonable standard, including heavy rail (MARC commuter) and light rail options.
  • Baltimore makes an easy base for reaching Washington DC or Philadelphia by rail.
  • Baltimore car hire options would be poor value for a smaller group, especially if just staying relatively locally.

So, do you need a car in Baltimore? On balance, we wouldn’t expect anyone to be considering hiring a car in Baltimore if they were only planning on staying within the city limits. For getting outside the city, a rental car is almost certainly going to be useful.

Verdict – yes

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Baltimore Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Baltimore?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Baltimore?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Baltimore and additional online research. If you have your own Baltimore car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Baltimore, please share them below. Baltimore was last visited by Carornocar in 2000

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

Bangkok

Is it worth renting a car in Bangkok?

James says - a travel note!

Bangkok is the second most visited city in the world, in terms of international arrivals, sitting behind just Hong Kong. Even if it’s very easy to visit the Thai capital without a car, the sheer number of tourists who come here, combined with the natgural desire to explore jungles and coastlines beyond the city make the question of whether or not it’s worth renting a car in Bangkok a good one to consider.

Since the cost of both fuel and car hire costs are determined primarily by nternational factors, there’s certainly no reason to rent a car in Bangkok if you are mainly looking at the cost of travel. Even if you are a group of friends who can fill a car, it will almost certainly still be cheaper to get out of the city by bus, and also to explore any islands as a foot ferry passenger.

Needless to say, Bangkok has a terrible reputation for both traffic and pollution, but any advice on renting a car in Bangkok is going to be much more about driving out of the city, than staying within it. However, if you are planning on renting a car at the airport and then maybe staying a couple of nights in the city before driving elsehwere, then it might be useful to know that around 60% of hotels in Bangkok will offer free parking. This is always going to be mopre likely in suburban hotels than it will be in the centre

Do you need to rent a car in Bangkok - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


Bangkok car hire advice – would you even consider getting a rental car in the Thai capital?

 

Our Bangkok car hire guide will start by stating the obvious – Bangkok is a huge congested metropolis which has also recently invested heavily in rail-based mass transport, yet all of the most popular attractions are a relatively short distance from each other.

To give an idea of its size, it’s worth noting that Bangkok also holds the distinction of being the world’s most populous city when considered as a multiple of the next largest city in that country (in this case, Chang Mai), yet most of this size is based on endless development beyond the central core where the main tourist sites are located.

Why should you rent a car in Bangkok?


Bangkok rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Bangkok.

How much will a week's car hire in Bangkok?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Bangkok. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Bangkok.

Off peak£93$121102 €
Peak£95$124105 €
Peak 4 door+£109$142120 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Bangkok

Anyone planning a visit to Thailand which starts with a long haul flight into Bangkok is almost certainly going to be looking at where else to visit outside the capital. This then begs the obvious question – even if you might well want to avoid driving in Bangkok like the plague, is it worth getting a rental car and then driving down to some of the more famous coastal resorts such as Krabi, Phuket or Koh Samui.  All of these destinations are essentially a good day’s driving from Bangkok, so you might prefer just to take a bus and let someone else do the driving. Alternatively, they are both just a short flight away from Bangkok. Please see our Phuket and Koh Samui car advice pages the further suggestions about whether or not it’s worth driving in these destinations when you get there.

Free Bangkok hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Bangkok having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Bangkok here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
2382137058Parking is a huge problem in the city, but much less so once you drive out along the coast.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Bangkok without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments

Another popular excursion from Bangkok is to visit the Burma railway and to see the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai at Kanchanaburi. Naturally, this is an excursion that is most appropriate to do by train, but in reality, many people do by tour bus. Yet there is still little point in hiring a car to go in this direction, as the main points of interest are all easily reached on foot.

If you’ve only got a few days in Bangkok and just want to take a short coastal break away from the city, then the best place to do this Pattaya, which can easily be reached by bus or train.

Getting a hire car in Bangkok might make sense if you want to start exploring further inland, and especially if you want to visit some of the national parks heading towards Chiang Mai. However, on balance, Bangkok is the sort of place where the great majority of visitors will be better off without one.

Car Rental Basic Costs

How renting a car in Bangkok compares with other top 10 global car hire destinations

Basic car hire and drving costs

CITYFREE PARKING %FUEL ($.c/l)WEEK HIRE ($)
Bangkok6060150

Basic costs in 10 of the world's busiest car hire destinations.



  • What percentage of hotels have free parking?

  • How much is fuel per litre (US cents, July 2017)?

  • What is a typical starting price to hire a car for a week with no extras, but with a return full fuel policy?


Car hire prices are based on searching a price comparison in July 2017 for a hire period of one week in November 2017. Price based on a return full fuel policy. If no return-full policy is available, the approximate cost of half a tank of fuel at local prices is added.


All figures are rounded for easy browsing, and to relfect that there will be fluctuations from one day to the next.


See full criteria - about Carornocar

Is it worth renting a car in Bangkok? Verdict – no

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Bangkok Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Bangkok?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
11BangkokBKKThailand1916
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Bangkok?

We have not yet had the privilege of visiting Bangkok, so this advice is based on online research, including looking at road maps, transit systems, street views, forums, Bangkok car hire costs and so on. If you have your own Bangkok car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Bangkok, please share them below.

Barbados

Do I need to rent a car in Barbados?  Many people compare Barbados with Antigua, but whereas I would recommend getting a hire car in the latter, I don’t think it is such a good idea in Barbados. Why not?

Do you need to rent a car in Barbados - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


Why should you rent a car in Barbados?


Barbados rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Barbados.

How much will a week's car hire in Barbados?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Barbados. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Barbados.

Off peak£236$307260 €
Peak£238$309262 €
Peak 4 door+£288$374317 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Barbados

  • “Cheap” local driving licence  — unlike destinations such as Antigua, St Lucia or St Kitts, you don’t need to worry about getting an expensive local driving licence before you can hire a car. On the other islands, this can set you back upto US$50. On Barbados, you still need a local licence, but it will only cost you US$5 for two months.
  • Explore the island at your own pace — as we would say with a destination, a hire car will give you flexibility that other options cannot.
  • Beaches — there are plenty of excellent beaches near all of the popular resort hotels, but some beaches are even more spectacular than others. You may also want to do a particular activity that is much better one beach than another. For example, Crane Beach has a reputation as one of the Caribbean’s best surfing beaches. If you are going to be travelling to and from a beach like this each day, then you might well be better off with a hire car.
  • Scenery — we need not make the obvious point that Barbados is a beautiful island to explore, but if you just stick to the main resorts and packaged attractions listed below, then you will not get to experience the island at its best. The St Andrews District, Bathsheba Rock, the Botanical Gardens, and Crane Beach are all top personal recommendations, and I would recommend at least two days to appreciate them completely, although you can certainly do a mini island tour in one day.
  • Reasonable roads — if you have tried hiring a car in St Lucia, then you will find that the quality of roads in Barbados is vastly superior, and even though the island still has plenty of rugged terrain, it is relatively easy to drive around, although pot holes can still be a problem on the more rural roads.
  • Barbados car hire options include hiring directly from Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI), together with many Barbados car hire facilities being available in all the major resort areas.

Free Barbados hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Barbados having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Barbados here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
25619777Generally parking won't be too much of a problem here.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Barbados without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • Cost — in our car hire comparison list, the price of a week’s car hire in Barbados was around five times more than the equivalent hire car in Malaga. Although some of the other Caribbean islands were even more expensive, they don’t have the same level of alternative options that Barbados has, so getting a hire car here is extremely poor value.
  • Proximity — unlike some other Caribbean islands, most of the main resorts and attractions are relatively well connected to each other, as they span a short stretch between the airport and the capital Bridgetown. This includes the famous St Lawrence Gap resort area. You can easily travel between these places by bus, taxi or the local “maxitaxi” hybrid — having a car is just not necessary. Even outside these more popular areas, the whole island is only 21 miles long and 14miles across at its widest, and there are only so many roads you can fit into such a small area!
  • Just for one day  – You might well just want to rent a car for the day to explore the island, and this can easily be done locally. However, you might well get much better value by booking even short-term car hire in advance. Either way, we still don’t think it is worth getting a hire car for your whole stay in Barbados, unless you are staying in a villa, or doing an activity which makes you dependent on a car.
  • Rum — we don’t want to state the obvious, but Barbados is one of those destinations that has a strong association with having a good time, and drinks are extremely cheap, especially when compare to the other Caribbean islands! Many of the most popular attractions, including boat tours, rum tours and the legendary Harbour lights experience, also include unlimited free drinks. This simply does not mix with driving, especially not if you’re picking up a car after drinking the night before. This is a stupid idea at home, and it is even more stupid on holiday! If you are going to get a hire car in Barbados, then either severely limit your drinking the night before, or have a designated driver who does not drink at all.
  • Tours — plenty of options are available for going on organised tours of the island. This sort of excursion might not be to everyone’s taste, but you will certainly see most of the island, and the tour guides are usually highly entertaining. Some people go for a tour on one day and then hire a car for another day after being given an introduction for the island.
  • Oistins — one of the most popular excursions is a Friday evening fish market at Oistins. This is easily accessible without needing a car, as it is situated between the airport and St Lawrence Gap.
  • Offshore excursions — even if you don’t want to go on one of the “booze cruises”, there are still numerous options for going on boat trips and also for going diving, and in most of these cases, transport will be provided to and from your hotel.

Do I need to rent a car in Barbados? Barbados is certainly one of those places where the whole appeal lies in relaxing and taking it easy. There is more than enough to do in Barbados without a car, and there is little point in having one for your whole stay if you are in one of the main resort areas. However, renting a car to tour the island for the day is well worth looking into, and it is worth looking at car hire booking options for arranging this ahead of time to get the best rates..

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Barbados Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Barbados?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Barbados?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Barbados and additional online research. If you have your own Barbados car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Barbados, please share them below. Barbados was last visited by Carornocar in 2008

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

Barcelona

James says - a travel note!

Do you need to hire a car in Barcelona? Barcelona was one of the original reasons for setting up Carornocar.com, when I heard from a friend who had picked up a hire car at Barcelona airport, driven it to the hotel, kept it in the garage for a week, and then driven it back to the airport.

Now this isn’t just a waste of money on car hire fees, it also means paying needless parking charges. Now, chances are, most people who get a hire car in Barcelona will actually drive it somewhere, but before doing so, we suggest reading our pros and cons. 

Do you need to rent a car in Barcelona - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


Do you need to hire a car in Barcelona, or do you even think of it as Car-celona? Even if many people will suggest that there is anything but a need to get a car here, there are a few situations in which a rental car in Barcelona could still prove useful:

Why should you rent a car in Barcelona?


Barcelona rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Barcelona.

How much will a week's car hire in Barcelona?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Barcelona. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Barcelona.

Off peak£84$10992 €
Peak£89$11698 €
Peak 4 door+£105$137116 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Barcelona

  • Green Catalonia — once you get beyond the dismal Barcelona suburbs, you are out into the verdant landscape of Catalonia, and as with anywhere, the car will give you much more freedom to explore.
  • Skiing — Barcelona is a major gateway to the Pyrenees. However, resort transfers can be split between the three Barcelona area airports, and also Perpignan and Toulouse in France, massively watering down their frequency. A hire car will give you a bit more flexibility, but it certainly isn’t an absolute need.
  • Andorra — the tiny principality of Andorra isn’t just a cheap ski resort or a duty-free haven, the scenery is superb in summer too, but the transport links are not. A hire car will give you the flexibility to drive around Andorra, choosing a different route in and out. Make sure you fill your petrol tanks there too!
  • Full Dali experience — to get the most out of a visit to Dali’s homeland (the Dali triangle), you can also visit the fishing port of Cadaques and the castle at Pubol. This is much, much easier to do with a car.
  • Beaches — although there are excellent beaches in the city of Barcelona itself, a car will give you much more access to beaches on both the Costa Daurada (west) and the Costa Brava (east).

Free Barcelona hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Barcelona having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Barcelona here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
1461654Parking is most expensive in central areas, not so bad in the suburbs.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Barcelona without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments

Barcelona without a car – within the city

  • Barcelona has it all — the city of Barcelona really is Europe’s great all-rounder, with something for everyone, whether your interest lies in food, football, music, art, architecture, or all of the above. There is just so much to see within the limits of the city that many visitors don’t even think about getting out beyond – whether in a hire car or not!
  • Spend as long as you want: There is simply so much to see and do, that you can spend several days, or even a week here, without wanting to leave town — a boast a few other European cities can make.
  • Excellent public transport — Barcelona has one of Spain‘s best metro systems, rivalled only by the capital Madrid. This is supplemented by trams, frequent bus services on the main arterial routes, and a good network of suburban train services. All that is missing is a good central train station — Barcelona Sants, from where AVE trains depart from Madrid, is dingy — a Spanish version of Birmingham New Street!
  • Cable cars and funiculars — Barcelona has a variety of cable cars and funicular railways which supplement exploration on foot, especially if you want to hitch a ride to the top and walk down.
  • Barcelona’s answer to Cape Town – Montserrat: An excellent day (repeat – make a full day of it) excursion to make from Barcelona is the monastery community of Montserrat. This is easily done by train, combined with a cable car to the top and funicular railways around the site / back down again – so there is little point in driving there.
  • City of Beaches — in Barcelona, you are never far from the beach, and there are several metro stops which will take you straight there.
  • Architecture — virtually everywhere you look within the city of Barcelona itself (this doesn’t apply to the dreadful suburbs), you will see stunning architecture, especially in the Eixample district, best known for its Gaudi houses. Barcelona also has plenty of examples of modern architecture including prominent buildings by leading architects such as Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Santiago Calatrava and Frank Gehry. Just don’t get as absorbed in it as Gaudi did, or you will end up being hit by a tram!

Barcelona without a car – beyond the city

  • Two city tour — a trip to Barcelona can easily be combined with a visit to one of Spain’s other great cities, especially Madrid or Valencia, which can both be reached by train in under three hours. It should be reasonably easy to book an outward flight to Barcelona and a return through Madrid or Valencia from many parts of Europe. However, there is more than enough in and around Barcelona without needing to venture to other places.
  • Figueras — Salvador Dali’s hometown of Figueras can easily be visited by train from Barcelona, and the city of Girona can also be included on the same trip.The other two sites as part of the ‘Dali triangle’ are not as impressive as the Dali Theatre-Museum in Figueras, but can still be reached by bus with a bit of planning.
  • Nuria Valley — the railway line to Nuria is recognised as one of the most scenic in Spain, and it is certainly an easy way to explore the great scenery outside Barcelona itself without needing to bother with a hire car.

Barcelona without a car – practicalities

  • Parking costs — if you bring a rental car into the city of Barcelona itself, you’re likely to get hit with hefty parking charges (upto €30 per night), whether at your hotel, or in public car parks. Hotels on the edge of the city may have free parking, but they won’t provide such easy access to the city centre. On-street parking is expensive and puts you at a higher risk of car crime.
  • Easy airport rail link — trains are available directly from Barcelona airport into a number of different stations in the centre of Barcelona. If these are not within easy walking distance of your hotel, you can transfer by metro to a stop that is – or take the bus.
  • Car hire cost – if you are used to cheap car hire in places like Malaga, expect to pay a little more in Barcelona. Expect to pay more to pick up a hire car in Barcelona city centre, or to pick up a hire car at Barcelona airport and return it in the city or vice-versa.However, Barcelona is only expensive by Spanish costa standards, not compared to most places in Europe.

Conclusion — there is more than enough to see in and near to Barcelona itself to make it possible to get around without needing a car. Many of the excursions which can be done from Barcelona can also be done by train, so a car is only really useful if you intend to base yourself outside the city of Barcelona, and to travel around to different places during your stay.

Even those with itchy feet can still make three excellent excursions by train in different directions – to Montserrat, Figueres and Nuria, without needing to think about hiring a car.

Verdict — no

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Barcelona Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Barcelona?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
17BarcelonaBCNSpain740
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Note — this advice is based on picking up a hire car in conjunction with flights to Barcelona International airport. Girona and, to a lesser extent, Reus are sometimes marketed as alternative airports to Barcelona, although the budget airline Ryanair has recently started offering more  flights to Barcelona International. Coach services are available from both Girona and Reus airports into the centre of Barcelona, although it may be more tempting to pick up a hire car at these locations. That is fine if you aren’t going to spend much time in the city of Barcelona – otherwise it is best to endure the bus (or take local links to nearby stations in Girona and Tarragona respectively).

Have you driven in Barcelona?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Barcelona and additional online research. If you have your own Barcelona car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Barcelona, please share them below. Barcelona was last visited by Carornocar in 2008

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

Basel

Do I need to hire a car in Basel? Basel is perhaps served by the most multinational airport in the world — not only can you arrive in either Switzerland or France (Mulhouse); the airport also markets itself as serving the city of Freiburg in Germany. This makes it tricky to offer advice about whether or not to pick up a hire car, as you might be driving in any one of these three countries, or indeed in a combination of them. At least they all drive on the right!

Do you need to rent a car in Basel - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


 

One city, 3 countries….

Naturally for the city of Basel itself, it goes without saying that as with any other Swiss city, public transport is excellent, although unlike Geneva or Zürich, there is no direct rail link from Basel airport to the Central Station. The city of Freiburg has a long-standing reputation as being one of Germany’s greenest cities, and again the public transport is excellent. Public transport is also perfectly reasonable in the French city of Mulhouse, although it is less good for exploring the areas around it.

Once outside the cities, what are your best options?

Why should you rent a car in Basel?


Basel rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Basel.

How much will a week's car hire in Basel?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Basel. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Basel.

Off peak£139$181153 €
Peak£276$359304 €
Peak 4 door+£276$359304 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Basel

  • Variable public transport — Basel is a very important hub on the Swiss rail network, and there are three routes going into south-west Germany. However, only one of the German routes is a mainline, and there is only one line going into France, although this is the line to Mulhouse, which is served by the French TGV, albeit at a slower pace than when it is on a dedicated high speed line.
  • Cost — unless booked in advance (but you can only do this up to 15 days before the date of travel), Swiss trains can be ridiculously expensive, so booking a seemingly cheap flight to Basel instead of Zürich, and then taking the train into eastern Switzerland might be a false economy. Although car hire in Switzerland isn’t that cheap either, for a group of three or four, picking up a rental car at Basel airport might well be far cheaper than taking the train.
  • Not that great — it is easy to justify the high cost of train travel in Switzerland when the views are so superb, but apart from the route to Neuchâtel mentioned below, the train routes around Basel are nothing like as special as they are heading south from Zürich or Bern. If it is cheaper to drive, then you might as well do so.
  • Vosges – go for a drive in the Ballons des Vosges Natural Park, just beyond Mulhouse.

Free Basel hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Basel having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Basel here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
1061817Parking is easy and well ordered, but generally expensive in the city centre.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Basel without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • Cost — even if you have a choice of arriving in two countries, neither France nor Switzerland, nor Basel in particular are good value for car hire.
  • Swiss rail passes — a number of different rail passes are available in Switzerland, usually giving unlimited travel on a set number of days. If you take advantage of this option, it doesn’t matter that Basel is further away from some alpine destinations than Zürich.
  • Swiss transfer ticket — another option for long-distance train travel within Switzerland is to take advantage of the Swiss transfer ticket, which gives halfprice travel to anywhere in Switzerland on the same day that your flight arrives (or departs on the way out). Basel is a good airport to use for the Bernese Oberland, or for continuing through the Lotchberg Base Tunnel and on to the world-famous resort of Zermatt, which sits under the iconic Matterhorn.
  • Swiss trains — Swiss trains are famous for good reason, and this needs no introduction — see our Zürich and Bern pages for more information.
  • Neuchâtel — the lake and city of Neuchâtel are one of the most underrated places to visit in the Swiss Lowlands — the view from the city across the lake with the Alps behind is superb. Take the train from Basel to Moutier, then to the bilingual city of Biel / Bienne via Sonceboz, and then towards Geneva via Neuchâtel, and you can enjoy outstanding scenery for virtually the whole journey.
  • Vitra — whether you are appreciative of good design or great architecture, the Vitra design Museum, designed by deconstructivist architect Zaha Hadid, is in nearby Weil-am-Rhein (Germany).

Conclusion– if you started with the natural assumption that there would be no point in hiring a car in Basel, then there are plenty of reasons to think again. Whereas it should be categorically clear that a hire car in either Zürich or Bern is a bad idea, it is much less clear-cut in Basel. Therefore, relative to Swiss expectations, a hire car is certainly worth looking at.

Verdict — yes

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Basel Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Basel?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Basel?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Basel and additional online research. If you have your own Basel car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Basel, please share them below. Basel was last visited by Carornocar in 2006

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

Beijing

Do you need to rent a car in Beijing - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


Why should you rent a car in Beijing?


Beijing rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Beijing.

How much will a week's car hire in Beijing?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Beijing. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Beijing.

Off peak£136$177150 €
Peak£141$183155 €
Peak 4 door+£136$177150 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Beijing

Free Beijing hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Beijing having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Beijing here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
106137635Parking is chaotic, but there are also many large multi-storey parking garages in the city.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Beijing without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments

 

 

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Beijing Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Beijing?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
96BeijingBJSChina414
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Beijing?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Beijing and additional online research. If you have your own Beijing car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Beijing, please share them below. Beijing was last visited by Carornocar in 2014

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

 

Belfast

Do I need a car in BelfastThe Northern Ireland peace process has brought about a significant rise in the number of tourists visiting Belfast. As with most European cities, the main attractions in Belfast itself are easy to walk to, so what about places to visit beyond the city?

Do you need to rent a car in Belfast - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.


Why should you rent a car in Belfast?


Belfast rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Belfast.

How much will a week's car hire in Belfast?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Belfast. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Belfast.

Off peak£65$8572 €
Peak£153$199168 €
Peak 4 door+£153$199168 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Belfast

  • Limited railway lines — look at any major city in England or central Scotland, and you will usually see a network of rail lines fanning out, including local and long-distance services. There are only four railway lines heading out of Belfast, two of which only provide suburban connections to Larne and Bangor respectively. A regional service operates as far as Derry (Londonderry), whereas the Enterprise service continues down to Dublin Needless to say, you can head out of Belfast in any direction you want in a hire car. This network, branded as Translink, is not just short on routes, frequencies outside the Belfast area are also extremely poor. For example, trains to Derry depart roughly every two hours, considerably less often than might be expected on an equivalent inter-city service elsewhere in the UK.
  • Giant’s Causeway — this is surely the most impressive natural feature on the Emerald Isle, and is only a short drive from Belfast.
    However, scheduled (from Belfast, Coleraine or Portrush) or guided bus trips are available, so there is no need to get a hire car just to visit Giant’s Causeway.
  • Inland — the railway routes in Northern Ireland generally stay close to the coast, so to go anywhere inland, especially to visit the various points of interest around Lough Neah, you will need a rental car, or you will have to rely on slow bus services.
  • Blue Stack mountains — head across into Co Donegal for some superb scenery on Ireland’s northwest coast.
  • Poor public transport — although Northern Ireland has seen a lot of investment in recent years, little of this has gone on to noticeable public transport infrastructure, although the Translink fleet itself has been upgraded. No new lines have been built, and unlike many comparable cities in central or northern England, there is no form of tram in Belfast. The city remains car dependent, and it has relatively few good routes to explore by bike.
  • No railcard discount – if you are visiting Belfast from any other part of the United Kingdom, and you already have a railcard of any kind, then this will not give you any discount on the railways in Northern Ireland, as they are a completely separate network.

Free Belfast hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Belfast having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Belfast here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
1145044As with any city of this size - expect problems in the centre, but not in country around it.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Belfast without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments

  • Coastal trains — what Northern Ireland lacks in quantity is more than made up for in quality. The train hugs the coast in many areas, offering some excellent scenic views, especially between Coleraine and Derry, along Lough Foyle, and south of Newry most of the way to Dublin.
    My personal favourite is the train journey into Belfast from Larne Harbour.
  • Celtic cousins — instead of just visiting Northern Ireland, why not combine a trip to Belfast with a visit to Glasgow, or even tack on Edinburgh and Dublin at each end? This is an easy rail trip, with plenty of flights available from throughout Europe at either end if you extend to the Scottish and Irish capitals. The train south of Ayr towards Stranraer is particularly scenic, and you also get to include a short ferry crossing on the Irish Sea, although this now needs a bus link from Cairnryan harbour to Stranraer station.
  • Ramble by bus – you can take “Rambler” buses along designated scenic routes, giving you access to the Mourne Mountains to the south of Belfast, or the Sperrins to the west. A Rambler bus service also operates along the coastline near Giant’s Causeway. Other buses run directly in to scenic areas, such as the Davagh Forest country park.
  • Boat trips – from Ballycastle, you can take a boat to Rathlin Island, with its nature reserve. Further west and into the Republic of Ireland, you could take a boat from Burtonport to Arranmore Island. The outings themselves are car-free, however, although you can reach both ports by bus, it is still easier to get to these places in a hire car.

Conclusion — Do I need a car in Belfast? despite some useful bus connections to supplement the handful of railway routes which are on offer, public transport options in and around Belfast are still relatively limited, and the best attractions in the region are landscapes rather than cities.

This makes our verdict lean heavily towards recommending getting a hire car.

Verdict — yes (strong)

Note — it is easy to pick up a hire car at either Belfast International or Belfast George Best city airport. If you don’t plan on getting a hire car, you’re better off flying into Belfast city airport, which is much closer to central Belfast. You can even take a short shuttle bus journey to nearby Sydenham station to start onward rail journeys within Northern Ireland, although for just getting to the city centre, it is quicker to take a taxi or shuttle bus. Belfast City airport has a wider network of domestic flights from the rest of the UK, whereas Belfast International has more flights from mainland Europe.

Belfast and Northern Ireland  Local transport links:

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Belfast Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Belfast?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Belfast?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Belfast and additional online research. If you have your own Belfast car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Belfast, please share them below. Belfast was last visited by Carornocar in 2015

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.

Bergen

Should I hire a car in Bergen?

Do you need to rent a car in Bergen - yes or no?

why? why not? ratings notes comments

For full details of how we review each city, please see our ratings guide.

James says - a travel note!

It is a while since I actually visited Bergen, but oddly enough, the scenery hasn’t changed much, and the infrastructure hasn’t changed a great deal either, although there have been a few road improvements.

Back then, you could take your own car on the DFDS ferry between Newcastle and Bergen. This is no longer an option (DFDS canned the route in 2008), so assuming you arrive on flights to Bergen instead, what’s the best way to get around?

So, the obvious suggestion would be that a rental car is the best way to explore this very scenic, but sparsely populated part of the world. But the costs are astronomical – Bergen tops the list of cities I’ve looked at, with car hire prices starting at over £300 per week.

For this reason, I think it is worth thinking again:

Why should you rent a car in Bergen?


Bergen rental basics

There's a lot more to renting a car than the cost of the hire alone, but it's a good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Bergen.

How much will a week's car hire in Bergen?

The table below looks at the lowest price we've found and then compares it with the costs of a typical one week's summer peak time car hire in Bergen. The very cheapest economy cars are often only 2/3 door models, so we've also included a guide price for one week of peak time rental of a "reasonably" sized car - but nothing too large or too fancy, just a simple set of wheels to get you around in Bergen.

Off peak£242$315266 €
Peak£312$406343 €
Peak 4 door+£312$406343 €

Notes - Cheapest price is usually mid November for European and North American destinations, researched in June 2017. Peak is based on a last minute summer booking in August 2017, unless the destination is in the Southern Hemisphere. These are basic sample rental prices with no extras of any kind. Most of these prices are full-full fuel deals (see user guide on this).


General tips on car rental in Bergen

  • Explore: For all the obvious reasons – this is a land of stunning scenery, and the only way to do it justice is in a hire car.
  • Hardanger Fjord – not only this this perhaps the most famous of Norway‘s fjords, but it might have been one to reach by rail, had the Granvin line been kept open. Note: Google maps shows Granvin station as being open, when this is not the case.
  • Expensive trains too! – car hire in Bergen (or in Norway generally) might be expensive, but the trains are too. The price of car hire in Norway is more of a reflection of the generally high cost of living, rather than of motoring costs.
  • Atlantic Ocean Road – from Bergen you can start a road trip right up to the famous Atlantic Ocean Road around Averøy. Never mind the price of Bergen car hire, this is one particularly unforgettable trip that you will need to do with your own set of wheels.

Free Bergen hotel parking

 

What are the chances of your hotel in Bergen having free parking?

We've compared hotel listings from 300 cities to see which places tend to have the most hotels with free parking. We've compared Bergen here with the average, the highest and the lowest ratings.

 

HotelsFree ParkingPercentageNotes
601322Parking is most expensive in central areas, not so bad in the suburbs.

For full details and notes see - free parking notes.

 

Why not? Bergen without a car

why? why not? ratings notes comments
  • Cost – whether due to the high costs in Norway or not, car hire in Bergen is still ridiculously expensive, and more so than any other city we have looked at for Car Or No Car. For this reason alone, it is very difficult to advise hiring a car here!
  • Stunning rail trips: The Bergen to Oslo railway is rare amongst inter-city lines in that it is rated as scenic for virtually its entire length.
  • Flåm Railway – this route is one of the most famous scenic routes in Europe, if not one of the great railway journeys of the world. The line branches off the Bergen to Oslo railway line, itself also incredibly scenic, but is much closer to Bergen than it is to Oslo.
  • Boats: Whether you take advantage of organised trips, or use the ferries (combined with buses), the fjords are at their most impressive when reflected in all their glory from the water. Taking your car onto the ferries is an additional expense on top of already exorbitant Bergen car hire prices!
  • Walk it: The other ‘classic’ view of the fjords is from the top, but the best spots are rarely accessible directly by car, so you will have to plan to do some walking. Whereas many other scenic parts of the world can be visited by a ‘road trip’, the car in this part of the world is only going to take you to and from the start of a walk.
  • Outdoor Activities – there are many excellent opportunities for guided outdoor activities, and these may well come with transport provided, in which case a hire car won’t be needed.

Conclusion – Should you hire a car in Bergen? You would naturally expect that a hire car in Bergen will give you the most flexibility, but there clearly are other options. As car hire in Norway is more expensive than anywhere else I have seen, I have to suggest thinking twice before booking.

Verdict – no (based on cost)

What about car hire in Haugesund or Stavanger?

  • Bergen is more of a gateway to the fjords, although it may be tempting to look at Ryanair’s flights to Haugesund. However, Haugesund is nowhere near a station, so it is harder to get around without a car, and there are no scenic rail routes to enjoy. If it is a case of enjoying the area around Bergen without a car, or flying into Haugesund and renting, one, then those ‘cheap’ flights could end up being very expensive indeed!

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Bergen Road Ratings

So, is it worth hiring a car in Bergen?

Swingometer Scale (Relative)

Star Ratings (Absolute)

RankCityCodeCountryVisitors (million)Hire chanceFree hotel parking
AVERAGE5.73.33.7
HIGHEST2798
LOWEST200

Have you driven in Bergen?

This advice is based on a combination of visiting Bergen and additional online research. If you have your own Bergen car hire tips, or have suggestions on whether or not you need a car in Bergen, please share them below. Bergen was last visited by Carornocar in 1991

All images (C) 1999-2017 Carornocar.com, unless otherwise stated.