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Uber/Lyft vs. Rental Cars – Understanding Transportation for your Out-of-State Meeting or Event

September 11, 2019

By Olivia Orman

When you have a company meeting or event in another state, and you are without a car, what do you do?  There are many different ways to commute from place to place, some more advantageous than others.

Some of the most popular, preferable methods to navigate a distant state, when flying to your destination, are to utilize the Uber/Lyft app or drive a rental car.  But how do you decide which of these options is a better choice for your circumstances?

Variables to Consider

There are many elements that factor into making an informed decision about how you plan to arrive at your meeting or event on time, along with any other necessary stops.  Before committing to any method of transportation, it is important to evaluate the following points to reduce your travel expenses:

  • Time – How long are you going to be out-of-state?
  • Distance – How far will you need to travel from your hotel to other important facilities?
  • Frequency – How often will you need to utilize transportation?

Analyzing your Options

It can feel tempting to choose the method of transportation that initially comes to mind, but weighing out the pros and cons of Uber/Lyft and rental cars in advance can save time, energy and expenses.  Both of these options are viable, but only one of them will fit the needs of your trip since they contain vastly different components.

Uber

Uber and Lyft are user-friendly phone applications that utilize nearby vehicles to bring people to their destination.  Users enter their pick-up and drop-off address into the app, and the Uber/Lyft apps designate a driver that is five or less minutes away.  In addition, the user can track where their driver is and they can see when they arrive.  Though there are many advantages to using Uber/Lyft, there are also drawbacks to utilizing this service based upon the variables listed above.

Pros

The Uber/Lyft services relay critical information about the driver and the Scar to ensure the pickup is legitimate.  The user requesting a vehicle is given the make and model of the car, along with the driver’s full name and license plate.  The Uber/Lyft car also arrives promptly, in under five minutes, making this method of transportation reliable and efficient.  The user is also exempt from paying for gas.

Cons

Using Uber/Lyft for several days, miles and pickups will accumulate some serious expenses over the span of your business trip, especially if your meeting or event is taking place in a rural setting.  Just like commuting in a taxi, it is an expected courtesy to tip the driver based upon the quality of the service they provide.  Additional costs will multiply from your generosity, especially if you tip graciously and utilize many Ubers/Lyfts throughout the day.

Rental Cars

Utilizing a rental car for your business trip can be an excellent method of transportation.  Car rental companies such as Avis, Enterprise and Hertz are found near several airports, simplifying your access to a car and making the process almost instant.  Similar to Uber/Lyft, borrowing a car has many pros and cons to consider before filling out the paperwork.

Pros

Renting a car gives a person the most freedom out of any method of out-of-state transportation.  The driver has the ability to go wherever they want, exactly when they want, just as if they were driving their own car.  It also costs much less to travel far distances on the road.  Unlike Uber/Lyft, car renters are exempt from tipping since they are relying on themselves to commute from place to place.

Cons

The daily cost of driving a rental car can also accumulate a large sum of expenses, depending on what vehicle you choose to drive, the mileage of the car, and how frequently you drive.  There is always the risk of an accident happening on the road, especially when we utilize our phones for directions in an unfamiliar area. There could be more expenses if a person causes damage to the rental vehicle.  In addition, the driver has to pay for gas.

Values Dictate Your Commute

The length of your trip, the amount of stops you need to make in the car, and the distance you must travel from each place will dictate whether you choose to use Uber/Lyft or drive a rental car.  You may even decide that you want to take a taxi or bus.  Either way, you will benefit from understanding the advantages and drawbacks of utilizing both these services, and your new knowledge will serve you well as you are planning the trip leading up to your big meeting or event.

MM&E

Olivia Orman is a contributing writer from St. Louis, Missouri.

About the author

Joe Clote

Joseph W. Clote is owner of Publishing Concepts, LLC a communications and marketing firm based in Saint Louis, Missouri. Mr. Clote is Group Publisher of MeetMed™ and Missouri Meetings & Events™ (MM&E) magazine, a quarterly publication read by thousands of meeting and event professionals, and producer of the St. Louis and Kansas City trade shows under the MM&E name. Mr. Clote has extensive sales and marketing expertise in the travel, tourism, fine art, insurance, and software development industries.