Uber or a rental car: which is better for traveling in the USA?

When it comes to traveling to the United States, it's normal to have doubts about whether to call an Uber or rent a car to get around. The ideal option should be analyzed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the itinerary of the trip, the costs and the freedom to get around whenever you want.

Image of a pair of models in a car, with the driver looking back at her passenger

Each has its benefits, from the feeling of freedom and control to greater comfort and practicality. Check out below which means of transportation are most worthwhile when traveling to the United States, what to consider when making your choice and the extra costs of each. Have a good read!

What to consider when choosing Uber or a car?

Points such as the number of people, the itinerary of the trip, the amenities of the hotel and the budget of the tour are all important to consider at this point. From there, you and your travel companions will be able to make the most appropriate choice for the case. See below:

The number of people

If you plan to travel with 4 or 5 people, the cost of Uber may not be worth it. Therefore, when faced with the option of Uber or a car, a rental car is more economically advantageous, as it can be shared between travelers.

The itinerary

If your trip is going to be longer and you're going to pass through several places, renting a car is the best choice. This is because you have the freedom to stop wherever and whenever you want, which makes the trip even more practical and enjoyable.

In addition, it's important to note that in less crowded places, the presence of app drivers is also low, which can make waiting times longer than normal.

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The hotel's amenities

It's normal for some of the amenities offered by the hotel you're staying in to help you choose between Uber or a rental car. There are hotels, for example, that offer free transportation to some nearby places, such as airports, stations and tourist attractions. In this case, if your idea is not to visit places very far away, Uber is a viable option.

But if the hotel offers free parking and you don't just want to stay in the area, a rental car is the ideal choice. Not only do you have a safe place to leave it, but you also have the ease of always having a car at your disposal.

The tour budget

Of course, all decisions must be made based on the amount you are willing to invest. That's why it's important to consider all the costs of the rental car as well as Uber rides to assess the best option for your trip.

Image of a model inside a car in the driver's seat with a salesman outside holding a clipboard, daytime

What do you need to rent a car? Check it all out with Happy!

What extra costs should I consider?

In the case of Uber, the extra costs to consider are: dynamic fare and cell phone internet. As for rental cars, it's important to consider fuel, insurance, tolls and parking.

It's important that all expenses are put on the table and the amount shared between travelers. The choice depends very much on each person's travel objectives and available budget.


Relying on Uber's services can be flexible, but it's difficult to pin down an exact price that will be spent throughout the trip. Just like in Brazil, the cost of a trip is not always the same. There are points that need to be taken into account when choosing, such as:

  • Dynamic fare: the price of all rides will depend on the distance to be covered, as well as the demand at the time. At peak times, fares can even double;
  • Cell phone chip: in order to use the app, it is more than necessary for your cell phone to be connected to the internet. That's why you should consider planning a temporary data plan or investing in a local SIM card so you don't have to rely on Wi-Fi.

Rental car

Renting a car involves more costs than Uber, such as tolls, fuel, insurance and parking. However, a positive factor is that these expenses can usually be found at fixed rates, which will not change during the trip. The points that should be evaluated when renting a car are:

Image of a model inside a car in the driver's seat, with a saleswoman at her window

  • Insurance: insurance is an essential part of a rental car, because it includes protection against theft or damage to third parties. Ideally, talk to the rental company to find out how much it costs and what benefits are included;
  • Petrol: the price of fuel can vary depending on the vehicle you are renting, the distance and the prices in the region you are visiting. The ideal is to include the estimated cost to get an idea of the total cost;
  • Tolls: in some areas it is common to find roads with tolls. Be aware of the routes that involve this type of fee and include them in the additional costs of your trip;
  • Parking: if the hotel you're staying in includes free parking, that's a plus. But you should also consider the places you'll be visiting.

After all, which is better, Uber or a rental car?

If you're planning a long-distance trip or want to enjoy the sights along the way while you're not at your final destination, you should rent a car. As well as being a safer and more convenient option, a rental car gives you the flexibility to explore at your own pace.

But if you don't need a car at all times and are looking for a more economical option, Uber can be a good choice. In cities where car parking is scarce, such as New York and San Francisco, Uber - or even a cab - can be more practical.

How to rent a Van in the United States?

Points such as availability, waiting time, convenience and safety should also be taken into account when considering Uber. When it comes to availability, it is common for Uber to offer a certain waiting time, especially in urban areas, which should be considered if you have an appointment.

In the end, the decision should be made based on your wishes and understanding of what you will need for the trip. Carefully evaluating the itinerary and the budget available is the ideal way to ensure that everything goes smoothly and that you make the right choice between a rental car, Uber or cab.

Rent your car through Happy Tour to travel around the United States

If you're looking for the best car rental company in the United States, you've found it! With a wide selection of vehicles and rental options, the Happy Tours offers an easy and affordable way for you to visit every possible destination.

Image of a car with a driver and three passengers, in daylight


What's more, our entire team of experts is at your disposal to answer questions and help you choose between a rental car, Uber or cab. With years of experience, Happy Tours will show you the benefits of having a car at all times during your trip, whether you're traveling alone, with the family or with a group of friends.

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