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Uber Vs Rental Car: Which Option to Choose on Your Next Business Trip?

Did you know that Americans make over 405 million business trips every year?

If you’re a business traveler yourself, you have a lot of options about how to get around. Perhaps you’ve always rented cars on business trips–and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But with the explosion of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, it may be time to re-think your transportation strategy. Is a rental car still the best way to go, or would Uber be more practical for your next destination?

The truth is that there are pros and cons to both options. In this post, we’ll discuss Uber vs rental car and help you decide which is the best choice for you.

Read on to learn more!

Uber vs Rental Car: 4 Things to Consider

Ride-hailing services are gaining popularity. But does that automatically mean they’re a better choice than renting a car?

Not necessarily. To help you decide which is most practical for you, here are four key points to keep in mind.

1. Costs

For starters, let’s look at the numbers.

The cost of renting a car varies from city to city and state to state. It depends on whether you rent for a day or a week, or whether it’s a weekend or a weekday. Some companies also offer discounts for military, AAA, and other memberships.

There’s just as much variation in how much you’ll pay for an Uber or similar service. The distance you’re traveling, the traffic, and the type of vehicle you hire all factor into the ride price. Depending on the area, expect to pay between $1-$2 per mile.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula to tell you which will be the more economical option. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you decide.

How Far Will You Travel Each Day?

If your hotel is half a mile from the business meeting, do you really want to pay for a rental car? For short distances, an Uber will probably cost a lot less.

On the other hand, what if your business venue is across town? Or what if you’ll be traveling to many locations around the city or region?

In that case, it makes more sense to hire a rental car and do the driving yourself.

Is Parking Included Where You’re Staying?

If your business trip is taking you to a big city, you may need to pay a premium to park your rental car.

In Manhattan, for example, you may pay up to $8 per hour to park a rental car. If you’re there for a week, those costs will quickly escalate!

Are There Other Costs to Consider?

In addition to parking and fuel costs, there may be other fees associated with renting a car. 

Additional drivers, drivers under the age of 25, and returning the car to a different location all incur extra fees.

Of course, with a ride-hailing or limo service, there might be some extra costs too. Gratuity is customary when your driver is friendly, prompt, and accommodating.

2. Convenience

The convenience factor depends on the nature of your business trip.

If you’re traveling long distances around a city or region, renting your own car is likely the most convenient option. You’re not reliant on anyone else’s timetable, and you can make stops whenever you need to.

However, you also need to consider parking arrangements. If street parking is limited or you need to leave your car in a garage down the road, it could become a major inconvenience.

What about ride-hailing with Uber? In some situations, it may be a more practical and convenient option.

Rather than trying to navigate a strange city on your own, you’ll leave the driving to an experienced local. This frees you up to make phone calls, check your email, or other business-related tasks.

There’s a lot to be said for saving time and stress. 86% of Uber users feel that ride-hailing is less stressful than driving their own car.

3. Safety

You may feel safer driving your own private vehicle, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But to lay any fears to rest, you should know that all Uber drivers are screened and validated before they begin working. It’s similar to the process that professional taxi drivers go through with their vehicles and driving history.

When you put in a pickup request, you’ll be able to see:

  • The driver’s name 
  • The driver’s photo
  • License plate number
  • Customer rating

Uber and other ride-hail services place great emphasis on passenger safety. In lieu of a rental car, they’re a safe and reliable way to get around.

4. Availability

A final consideration is the area you’re traveling to. Is it a big city with lots of public transportation, or is it a smaller town in a rural region?

Most cities will have no shortage of ride-hailing services available. These are ideal for short trips around town during most times of the day.

But what if your travel plans take you to a more remote region? Before you assume you’ll be able to hire a driver, do some research and make sure that Uber exists in that area.

Renting a car could be the logical choice if other options are limited–or nonexistent. If you want to explore the area after your business meeting, you might also enjoy the freedom and flexibility of driving your own vehicle.

Uber vs Rental Car: Which Will You Choose?

So, now you know the pros and cons of Uber vs rental car.

In light of our discussion, which option is best for your upcoming business trip? Whichever route you choose, it should contribute to a hassle-free and low-stress travel experience.

Now that your transportation is sorted, it’s time to think about accommodation. Click here to learn how to choose the best hotel for your next business trip.