Should visitors rent a car in Las Vegas?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Laura Janelle Downey

If you’re staying on the Strip, there is really no need to rent a car unless you are planning on going to explore some off-Strip sites. A lot of tourists choose to walk from hotel to hotel, but in the summer the heat can be a bit much. I recommend jumping in a cab and asking the driver to take the back roads in an effort to avoid the bumper-to-bumper Strip traffic. It will save you some time for sure. You should also check with your hotel concierge to see if they can arrange a car or limousine service to transport you from Point A to Point B. This past New Year’s Eve, I arranged for a limo to pick me up from my south Strip condo and take me to Paris Hotel and Casino so I could bring in the New Year there. My driver was well aware of the roads that were closed and so she was able to navigate the streets flawlessly. I was at my destination in 10 minutes tops.
When you’re in Las Vegas, you should concentrate your efforts on having a great trip instead of worrying about if you’re going to make it to your dinner at the other end of the Strip on time.

Larry Olmsted

Visitors to Vegas should absolutely avoid renting a car if they do not plan to leave the city. Even if you are doing a day trip, it is probably better to rent at your hotel (most have rental car desks) for the day, not at the airport, which is very close to the Strip. Cars are handy for touring Hoover Dam, the number one out of town attraction, though not necessary. They are more necessary if you want to see Red Rock Canyon or the Grand Canyon. The other major reason to rent is if you are playing golf, since all Vegas courses with the exception of Wynn and Bali Hai are off the beaten track and expensive and cumbersome by car service. However if you are just staying in town, even if you want to see all of Vegas, including historic Downtown, do yourself a favor and take cabs or the bus or the monorail. Traffic is terrible, roads are very confusing, and it is especially difficult getting in and out of the large casino hotels. Valets take forever, fees are high, and self-parking can be in what feels like another country.

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