Rentals V. Public Transportation

If you’re not planning a road trip for your next travel adventure, hailing a cab or calling an Uber every few hours can be exhausting and will quickly burn through the cash you could be using for fun excursions or cool restaurants! Most people have gone the car rental route, which is super convenient, and all you need to worry about is filling up at the gas station. Others have gone the public transportation route if they are in a city where bus and rail travel is abundant, usually with a variety of transportation passes available to fit your needs.   


These both sound awesome, so let’s go through the pros and cons of each, and then you can decide which option is best the next time you plan a trip!



  • Freedom! Well, I guess just more flexibility on where you can go. If you want to travel far and wide, but return to the hotel or place you’re staying at the end of the day, go for a rental car.
  • Solitude! I don’t know if this is the best word to describe it, but if you prefer traveling to where you want to go and traveling alone without being surrounded by strangers, this is your best bet!
  • Timely! Usually when on public transport, you have no choice but to wait through all the other stops before you reach your own, and that could take minutes to hours depending on the time of day.
  • Affordable! If you only need 4-wheels instead of a 4-wheel drive, there are plenty of affordable options for midsize sedans or even hybrids!

Cons– notice the exclamation points went away!

  • Liability. Life happens, even when you’re in a vehicle that you don’t own. If someone isn’t being responsible behind the wheel and hits your rental, you could be in for some major monetary responsibility if you haven’t purchased rental insurance–and most countries will require you to purchase insurance anyway; it’s usually not cheap
  • Parking. If the places you are traveling have free parking lots or tons of street spots, that rules! But sometimes you won’t be so lucky and you may have to spend money on parking meters or garages for a max amount of hours.
  • Fuel Emissions. More cars out on the road means more emissions being released into the environment. If you are into green travel and want to reduce your carbon footprint, opt out of the rental car this time if possible!


Public Transportation


  • Cheap! Usually a daily pass for transportation is no more than $15 (but it all depends!) And this pass allows you to ride any and all transportation–rail and bus.
  • Green! You’re reducing your carbon footprint by traveling this way! (link to something about this)
  • Convenient! Usually if you are traveling around a city, the public transportation is interlocking all the way through so there are stops every few city blocks!



  • Limited Stops. This all depends on where you travel, but sometimes the public transportation won’t take you as far out as you want to go. Of course, there are always other options, but it’s definitely smart to plan out where you want to visit beforehand to be sure the public transportation lines have stops nearby!
  • Busy. Sometimes, public transportation systems can be packed! Be sure to strategically plan to catch busses or trains during non-peak hours, so you can miss the traffic of people coming and leaving work.
  • Time constraint. All public transport runs on a schedule, so you’d better be on time or you’ll miss it! Also, once again, life happens; sometimes you’ll be late–so be aware of all your variables before you choose.


Well, there you have it, a quick guide to help you decide what’s best! Always do your research before you travel to make sure your destination has the resources you need to get around so you can have the best experience possible!


Have you been to a place where you swear by their public transportation system? Were you ever on a trip where you absolutely needed a rental car? Do you know any more tips or tricks for getting around while traveling? Let us know!

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