Wisecars — renting a car vs flying

5 min readAug 4, 2022
Photo by Pixapay on Pexels

Traveling this summer can be a little more difficult with flights constantly being canceled or delayed a lot. Moreover, compared to the time before the pandemic, flying has become significantly more expensive. But there are other ways to travel rather than just flying to your destination.

When you are planning your next trip, the question of which means of transport to pick arises. If cost is your primary focus, the choice is usually between flying or renting a car. Flying and driving both have their own set of expenses as well as advantages and disadvantages.

First, you have to decide whether you should rent a car for the trip or drive your own car. Renting a car for your trip is worth considering if you don’t want to drive extra miles with your own car or if your car consumes too much fuel. Furthermore, car insurance is usually included in the car rental price. In some cases, there is no better option than renting a car; for example, if your own car is too big or small to travel with. Renting a car for the first time may seem daunting, but here at Wisecars, we have some tips to make it a pleasant experience.

How far is your destination and how much time you are there?

To start with, you should determine how far your destination is and how much time you are planning to stay there. Flying is usually the fastest way to get to your destination, but that may not always be the case.

One of our customers shared their experience: Let’s give an example of a Wisecars customer: “… My favorite example is the trip from Washington D.C. to Chicago. If you are traveling from Washington D.C. to Chicago, it would be an eleven-and-a-half-hour drive by car. If you live two hours away from the airport and in the current situation of aviation you have to wait for another three to five hours at the airport for your flight, the car seems like a viable option. It is also necessary to be at the airport ahead of the flight as well as drop off your luggage. Even more, time is lost if you consider your arrival, which means even more waiting to pick up your stuff. The flight itself lasts another two hours or so. All in all, traveling from D.C. to Chicago by plane takes more or less the same amount of time as driving there. I prefer to rent a car for this trip because then it is certain that my trip will not be canceled or delayed due to many flight cancellations.”

There are also things about flying that people don’t like. One of the biggest flaws of flying is that most of the seats are too narrow and there is too little legroom. You can also end up on the same flight with crying babies and overexcited travelers. The choice of food and drinks on the plane is also quite limited.

Is renting a car cheaper than flying?

Renting a car should be considered if you are traveling with your family and the distance is not very long. Destinations of up to ten hours are cheaper to travel to by car than by plane. Renting a car vs. flying can actually save you money in two areas of your vacation budget:

  • getting to your destination
  • getting around once you get there

One of the biggest advantages of renting a car is that you don’t have to worry about transportation when you get to your destination. You can explore different locations freely using your rental car. If that does not convince you, renting a car also comes with several other benefits. You can choose between various vehicles: model, car size, transmission, and premium brands. Many people go on a trip with a certain model of a rental car, because they, themselves, plan to buy this model and they want to try it on a long road trip first.

What choice do you make — the experience or the destination?

If crowded airports and stuffy airplanes are not part of your picture-perfect vacation, consider renting a car. Think about what the most important thing to you on this trip is — getting to your destination quickly or enjoying the journey. If you have time –drive. Make stops and drive through small towns and villages. You are able to find plenty of trip organizers all over the Internet, which calculate for you suitable stops taking into account your starting and finishing points. Create precious memories at various locations in between your origin and destination.

Here are some tips on how to save money when renting a car:

  • Book as early as possible. The sooner you book your rental car, the cheaper it will be. It is best to look for refundable rates in case your plans might change. In general, all bookings can be canceled up to 48 hours before the pick-up time. Check the rental prices 2 weeks before the pick-up time and see if you find a cheaper offer and then re-book your reservation.
  • Compare prices. Book your rental car as early as possible if it is possible book several months before your vacation. Monitor prices constantly in order to find cheaper deals.
  • Avoid extras — bring your own GPS or child seat. If you want to save money, use Google Maps for navigation. If you need a child seat and you can conveniently take it with you, you have yet another opportunity to save some money.
  • Choose one driver. The cost of an additional driver can be quite high. In order to save money, choose one driver.
  • Book the cheapest deal in the preferred car category. View all car rental offers. Sometimes you can even get a medium size car at a good price.
  • Pick up and return the car on time. If you are late to pick up, you may lose your vehicle as it will be rebooked to another customer. Whereas if you drop the vehicle off late, you might incur additional charges.
  • Make sure your rental company allows cross-bordering travel. Some car rental companies do not allow cross-bordering travel. Before renting a car you need to make sure you are not traveling to the states/countries that your car rental company does not allow you to enter.
  • Explore downtown locations. Car rental rates are often cheaper in downtown locations than at the airport.




WiseCars is a car rental broker staffed by people who have worked in the online car rental industry for over 20 years.