Why hire a car?
- Freedom — the main benefit of having a hire car is that it will let you go where you want, when you want. Even if there are many more reasons not to hire a car listed below, this single reason will often trump all of them combined.
- Cost — making lots of journeys by public transport can be expensive, especially if you’re going somewhere unfamiliar and end up in the back of a taxi where the driver speaks a different language and you feel open to being ripped off. The cost advantage of hiring a car will depend on the size of the group — single travellers will almost always be better off using public transport, whereas a family of 4 can fill a car and travel around for little more than the cost of a driver alone.
- Simplicity — travelling around without a car can usually be fairly straightforward if you stick to city centres where public transport options are usually plentiful, but the moment you want to start travelling between different towns, first thing in the morning or late at night, planning journeys by public transport can be a lot of extra hassle, especially as systems in different countries can operate very differently.
- Security — a hire car can give a sense of security in unfamiliar places, and expensive items locked in a car boot are generally much safer than they are on a luggage rack in a train or bus. You won’t get mugged in a car, but muggings and pickpockets are common on crowded public transport. However, there are also considerable safety and security risks with a hire car, so this point is debatable — see ‘why not’ page