Driving Vs. Flying: Which is Cheaper? | Budget Rent a Car

Getting There

Renting a car can be cheaper than flying because the travel expenses look a lot like driving your own car. You’ll pay for the use of the car, fuel, and e-Toll service (if you use it)—but you don’t have to pay for depreciation or insurance (unless you opt for add-on protections/insurance). 

Most rental cars also come with some perks that make driving to your vacation spot even nicer:

  • Unlimited miles, for most cars (confirm with your rental location).

  • Pristine interior and exterior 

  • Option to bring a pet with you

  • Excellent maintenance record

  • Late-model features

  • Luxury vehicle options (sports carsconvertiblesluxury sedans, and more!)

If you don’t have your own car, if you prefer not to add the extra miles to your personal ride, or if the car you have won’t fit your whole travel group, a rental car is a great alternative to flying.

Getting Around

Many travelers have to get a rental car after a flight so they can easily get to their hotel, tour around the city, and fully enjoy their vacation destination. You can skip that step and start exploring the very moment you arrive if you rent a car to drive there. Plus, you don’t have to pay for plane tickets and a rental car; you just have to pay for one.

Getting to and from the Airport

You have lots of choices for getting to the airport, each with its own costs. 

  • Train/public transportation: $2-15 per person (plus lugging your bags on and off)

  • Taxi/ride-share: About $3 per mile or $0.20 per minute, plus service fees

  • Ride from a friend: Free!

  • Airport parking: $30-50 per day

The math: Multiply the cost for public transit or taxis by 2 if you’re making a round-trip journey. If you’re parking at the airport, multiply the number of days by the daily parking fee.

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