During A Layover, Rent A Car Or Uber It?

Uber It
image: Google Maps

On July 4, Kim, Lucas and I flew home from Nicaragua stopping in Miami for a long layover before getting back to New York.

All along I had a plan to get out of the airport (for around 5 hours) to spend some time wandering around Miami. However, with rentals car prices seeming to be pretty high, I debated what our best option really was.

Adding to the costs of a rental car would be the need to also rent a car seat for Lucas. Car seats usually rent for $8-12 per day (give or take) which is a bit ridiculous if you ask me…

Prior to going away I searched for rental cars, finding the cheapest ones to go for around $35 not including a car seat! While this is pricey, I felt it could still be a better option than taking cabs around the city.

During our trip I checked on prices a couple of times, never finding any sort of deal.

I then decided to book a car with Fox Rent A Car the night before our flight home. With a car seat, the rental came to $46.26.

While I was glad to have taken care of this, I still wasn’t really happy with the decision for a couple of reasons.

First of all, Fox was located off-airport which would take extra time to get to. The other reason was that I had read a bunch of negative reviews about the company.

My debate was whether or not it was worth saving around $15 while having these concerns? (A rental with Hertz was going for around $60 with car seat.)

We landed in Miami and got stuck waiting a ridiculously long amount of time for Lucas’ stroller. While waiting, all I could think about was our time in the city getting shorter. Considering we had nothing solid to do besides go for lunch, maybe this wasn’t a bad thing.

After getting the stroller we then went through customs, using Global Entry for the first time. This ended up being a slow process due to lines at the machines and Lucas’ fingerprint scan not working…. more time wasted.

Another option… Enter Uber.

I started to think of our options and was feeling less in the mood to rent a car. However, I didn’t want to just hang around the airport for hours.

I decided to do a Uber Fare Estimate. All of our lunch options were pricing out at around $8-$12. I figured if we went for lunch roundtrip or even added in an additional stop in this price range, we’d still be saving some cash and we’d also avoid the headaches associated with a car rental.

We headed over to the car rental area and made it to the Fox shuttle pickup when I mentioned to Kim that I wanted to cancel the rental car. (I had suggested this option while waiting for our luggage too.)

I ordered up a Uber which arrived in 3-4 minutes and we were sitting at the restaurant around 15 minutes later. The ride only cost $11.22 but ended up being free due to a Free Trip credit that I forgot I had in my account.

(If you don’t already have an Uber account, you can sign up with my link above. You’ll get your first ride free, up to $20 and after you take your ride, I’ll also earn a free ride up to $20.)

After lunch, Lucas fell asleep and Kim & I were a bit tired. We decided to wander around the area a bit before walking over to a Target to get snacks for the flight home.

In the end we only took two rides with Uber. (We had an issue with our ride back. More on that in a future post.) So I could say that we saved some money on transportation but if we had a rental car we most likely would’ve found something to do making it hard to compare…

What do you feel is the best option when you have a long layover? Rental car, Uber/ taxi, public transportation or just stay put at the airport?

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4 thoughts on “During A Layover, Rent A Car Or Uber It?

  1. From experience Uber in Miami for most rides is cheaper than rental. A good rental car company located in the airport is Royal. I rent from them at least 10 per year

  2. Carlos- Thanks and definitely good to know if there’s a next time!

    Andre- Stroller goes right in the trunk and we held Lucas or had him just sit in the seat for the short rides.

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