Renting a Car from Las Vegas Airport:
Las Vegas is a fun city with lots going on 24 hours a day. I just recently got back from a golfing trip to Mesquite, NV which is about 80 miles from Vegas way out in eastern Nevada. I have been taking guys golfing trips for years into Las Vegas and rented cars from several rental car companies. In the past year things have become much easier as McCarran International Airport (LAS) has a Rent-A-Car-Center which houses all the major rental car companies in one location. The rental car shuttle buses run every 5 minutes from McCarran to the car rental center and it only takes about 6 minutes via the bus to get there. All the major brands like Alamo, Advantage, Budget, Payless, Avis, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Savmor, and Thirfty are available. The rental center is at 7135 Gilespie St, just off the I-215 and Las Vegas Blvd. You can catch the shuttle bus at exit door 10 or 11 from the airport and there are customer service agents that literally guide you to the next available bus. It is a very smooth and seemless process compared to some airports.
On my most recent trip (May 2009), I rented with Alamo and got a pretty good rate of $20/day (plus airport fees), but the total for 3 1/2 days was just $100 for a premium car. Many people wonder whether they actually need a rental car in Las Vegas and we try to answer that question in a separate section down below. For now, we will focus on getting a car rental at the Vegas Airport. When you arrive midweek the lines to things like rental cars are small compared to trying to get one on a Friday. I picked mine up on Thursday afternoon and returned it on a Sunday night. The good news is that the center where you return the car is well staffed and eventhough we waited a few minutes to get our receipt, the process was easy and we got the return bus back to the airport with plenty of time to spare. What I like about the rental car center at McCarran is that if you don't have a car rental reservation, you can literally walk from company to company and see who is offering the best rates, which means you still win. It's always best to book something online and not just show up without a booking, but in Vegas this can often play in your favor. From the Rent-A-Car-Center just head a few minutes back up Las Vegas Blvd or out to I-15 and head towards the Strip which is only a few minutes away. Most hotels offer FREE parking onsite which means having your car will only cost you gas plus the daily rental fee. I have heard some people getting cars for $10/day which seems like a pretty good deal even if you only use it for 1 out of the 2 or 3 days you are in town. The official page for rental car information at McCarron airport is located HERE
Lowest Rates on a Rental Car from LAS:
How do you get the lowest rates on a car rental at Las Vegas Airport? We get that question all the time. The most obvious idea is to go to websites like Expedia or Orbitz and see what they are offering. Markets like Vegas are very competitive and rental car companies offer up deals and discounts all the time. I booked mine through Southwest.com after I had made my airline reservation and Alamo had a promo code which game me the biggest discount amongst the rental car companies. You can always find discount codes online on sites like Mousesavers.com and then just enter that coupon code when making your reservation online. Usually you can save at least 20%-30% at the time of booking. Another excellent source is to use Priceline.com, even when booking at the last minute. We found that renting a car from the Las Vegas Airport through Priceline is a surefire way to get instant savings. Lastly, consider offsite rental companies and avoid some of the airport taxes that always seem to add extra $$$ to your bill.
Exotic Rental Cars in Vegas:
Las Vegas is notorious with high rollers and partying. No status symbol shows that off more than having a nice exotic car while driving down the Strip on a Saturday night. Not all rental cars are a Ford Focus as there are quite a few exotic car rental companies in Vegas. Our favorite company for renting really nice rental cars in Las Vegas is at Dreamcarrentals.com
. They are located on Las Vegas Blvd. and they offer luxury and exotic cars to choose from. Dodge Vipers, Ferrari F360 Spider, Lamborghini, Lotus, Corvettes, Porsche, and many more. Most have a 5 hour minimum rental fee and you only get FREE miles up to about 100. After that you are paying upwards of $1.00 for every extra mile driven. These luxury rental cars are not for those light in the pocket book. The Lamborghini Gallardo Spider is a beautiful car that goes for about $1350/day. My brother and his friends did a 40th birthday party in Las Vegas a few years back and used this company to rent a few cars and took them out to the desert for some fun. They said the cars were awesome and very impressive, unlike anything you will probably ever drive in your lifetime.
Do You Need a Rental Car in Las Vegas?:
I have done trips to Vegas with and without a rental car so I'll give you some pointers on when you should at least consider getting a car. If you are planning on spending at least a few days in Vegas then definitely get a rental car. The Hoover Dam is not that far away and a great tourist spot to spend a few hours away from the casinos. Also, some people fly into Las Vegas and then rent a car to go down to see the Grand Canyon. Even Death Valley is not that far if you get a rental car at McCarran International Airport. If you plan on just staying on the Strip and gambling or seeing shows, then a rental car is probably not what you want. Since I golf on most of my trips, I need to rent a car in Las Vegas so I can take my clubs with me and then drive to the various courses like Paiute and Primm. Rental cars in Las Vegas are cheap so it's definitely worth considering.