Cheerful young woman with refreshing drink in automobile during car trip

10 Alternatives to Car Rental While on Vacation


You might not be aware, but the United States is currently in the midst of a rental car shortage. During the COVID pandemic, many rental companies were forced to sell off large chunks of their fleets and unload them in the used car market. What they didn’t foresee was the huge upswing in demand. Hence the current shortage. As well as a lack of cars, travelers also have to face unusually high prices. 

Are there alternatives to renting a car? You’ll be pleased to learn there are quite a few. Don’t cancel your vacation plans just yet. Read this post, and you’ll appreciate that you’ll still be able to get around during your vacation. 

Top 10 Car Rental Alternatives You Should Consider

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure and need the flexibility of your vehicle, the following options are great alternatives to car rentals.


Companies like Lyft and Uber offer ride-hailing services if you need to get around once you arrive at your destination. How much you pay depends on the location and time of day. It’s a good idea to spend some time researching this alternative to car rental.

Something to consider is that if you’re not going to need to get around much, you’ll find walking the cheapest alternative to a rental car. 

Renting an RV

If you’re planning a vacation to a destination with lots of opportunities for outdoor activities, a sensible option might be to rent an RV rather than a car. You might also save a chunk of money because you won’t have to pay for a vacation rental or a hotel. 

There are several popular online RV rental websites to choose from. However, bear in mind that you may have to pay extra for the use of a generator, bedding, and cookware. 

Public Transportation

If you’re vacationing in a populated area, such as a city or town, there’s likely going to be a well-established public transportation system. You may not need to worry about car rental at all. 

In many large cities, such as New York or Los Angeles, you might find using the metro or subway much easier, cheaper, and more convenient than driving around and trying to find a place to park. 

Before you finalize your vacation plans, do some research on the public transportation options to help you decide whether it’s a better fit.  

Borrow a Friend’s or Family Member’s Car

If you’re visiting friends or family for your vacation, consider asking whether they have a spare car you can drive while you’re there. 

You’ll have to pay for fuel when you use the car but that’s probably all. However, you might want to consider offering to pay for the convenience or offer to take them to dinner to show your appreciation. 

Auto Transport Services

One often overlooked option is to ship your car. If you’re taking a vacation that’s longer than a couple of weeks, shipping your car might be the best option. 

Think how great it would be if you had your car to get around in. Renting a car is an option, but why bother if you can take your car with you?

You’re probably wondering about the cost and whether it’s worth it. How much you pay for a car shipping service depends on several things. The main ones are as follows:

  • Distance and location
  • Time of year
  • Delivery time frame flexibility
  • Shipping options
  • Vehicle weight and dimensions
  • Special requirements
  • Available discounts


With Getaround, you can rent a vehicle in the area on an hourly basis. There is no membership fee to join, and hourly rates depend on the location, the vehicle, and other factors. 

Once you’ve found a vehicle you like, you reserve it and pick it up at its home location. You unlock the vehicle with your phone so there’s no need to speak with the owner. 

In most locations, you must be at least 19 years old and, in some cases, there are limitations for drivers under the age of 25. 


Turo is one of the largest car-sharing marketplaces. You can break down your search based on the type of vehicle you want, whether you want a pet-friendly vehicle and more. 

Depending on your needs, you have to option of picking up the car from the host or having it delivered for a fee. Prices vary depending on the location and the host. 

To rent a car using this service, you must be at least 18. A “young drive” fee must be paid if you’re under 21, plus there’s no option to decline insurance. 


Zipcar is a car-sharing company. Arrangements are made on a daily or hourly basis. If you’re only planning to need a vehicle part of the time, but you don’t want the hassle of ridesharing, Zipcar could be the car rental alternative for you. 

To take advantage of the car-sharing service you must join up at $7 per month or $70 per year. Once you’re a member, driving rates start from $10 per hour or $83 per day. What you actually have to pay depends on various factors.

To use the service, you must be at least 21 years of age. Unless you live in Maryland, Michigan, or New York or are applying with a college that partners with Zipcar. In this situation, the minimum age requirement is 18. 


Avail is also a car-sharing service, but there are some interesting perks you won’t find anywhere else. Full insurance coverage from Allstate is included with every rental. You can rent a car if you’re 18 years or older and there’s no fee for being under 25. 

You collect your car from Avail’s airport lot. The only drawback is that Avail is only available in 15 cities. 

Lyft Rentals

Lyft is not just a ride-sharing company. There is also a car rental side of the business. You access the rentals using the Lyft Rentals mobile app. Rental rates vary based on vehicle type, location, and other factors.

If you like the idea of using an auto transport service, you’ll be glad you picked SGT Auto Transport services. We offer affordable rates and the convenience of having your own car at your disposal. 

Get in touch with our shipping advisors on (864) 546-5038 or use Live Chat for an accurate quote. Alternatively, use our online quote calculator today.

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How do you get around without renting a car?

You have many options if you don’t want to rent a car, for example:

  • Use the subway
  • Hire a bicycle
  • Take a scooter
  • Travel by foot
  • Rent a moped
  • Hop on a bus
  • Borrow a vehicle
  • Book an auto transport service and take your car with you on vacation

What is cheaper than a rental car?

With car rental prices going up it’s no wonder people are looking for alternatives that are cheaper than a rental car. There are more affordable options, depending on your needs. For example, you might want to consider:

  • Ridesharing and taxis
  • Public transit
  • Renting off airport
  • Car sharing

Is there an Airbnb for cars?

Turo is a service that’s very similar to Airbnb for cars. You rent a car, book online or via the Turo app, and collect it from the car’s owner. You arrange to pick up the car at a convenient location. It might be the owner’s house, a shopping center, or a public area such as a park. 

Is there a cheaper alternative to Zipcar?

Turo is possibly the best Zipcar alternative. You’ll find it easy to use and widely available. No membership is required and you only pay for the time you rent the car. 

How do I get around while on vacation?

There are many ways you can choose to get around while on vacation. Here are some suggestions:

  • Ship your car
  • Public transport
  • Taxis or Uber
  • Hiring a car service
  • Car sharing

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