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To Rent or Not To Rent?

Conflicting Advice for Travelers by Car Hire

Sometimes it can be difficult to decide whether or not you should reserve a car rental in your planned destination.  One travel guide will say it's a waste of money and advise you to take public transportation, a review from a traveler will say walking and taking a taxi will get you where you want to go, and the destination's official travel website claims you'll spend just as much in cab fares as you would to rent a car.  So how do you decide?  Which advice do you choose to take?  

Car Rentals in Big Cities

I've read several guides and reviews about cities such as London and New York that say you would be crazy to hire a car and drive yourself around.  If this were completely true do you think there would be so many car rental vehicles offered from multiple car rental companies in Gatwick Airport?  A good number of people do rent cars in London and in New York.  Will you save over taxis?  Maybe not.  Is it more convenient than the subway or underground?  Yes and no, it depends on where you're going and how close you can find a parking spot; but when you have serious business engagements, a big family, young children, or any number of other reasons that make public transportation impractical you should ignore the nay-sayers and just hire a car rental.

Car Rentals on Islands

Some very prominent travel guides for popular island destinations such as the Bahamas and the Balearic Islands basically skim over car rental, as if you wouldn't even have the chance to use one.  This is just silly.  Even if your island destination is quite small renting a car in Ibiza, for example, can keep you from having to  walk everywhere.  It can be a real bummer to limit the number of things you can do in a day because of the time it takes to walk and/or take busses.  Besides, with cheap car rental rates in several hundred island destinations it would be silly not to reserve a car for your next holiday.

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