Last Updated on March 30, 2024 by Kristin

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Planning a fun trip to Sin City? You may be wondering if you need a rental car in Las Vegas. The right answer for you depends largely on several factors, including what kind of trip you envision.

A car can be incredibly useful if you have client meetings around the city in 100-degree summer heat, but is probably unnecessary if you plan to spend a weekend casino-hopping on the Strip. Do you plan to spend a few days in Vegas before embarking on a road trip to one of the many national parks within striking distance? If so, you might want to time your pickup for your last day in the city.

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One thing to keep in mind when planning your trip is that rental cars in Nevada have some of the highest taxes and fees of any state for rental cars. This can make rental cars pricey, but between applying coupons and discount codes and tracking your rental for price drops, AutoSlash can help you to get a great deal.

Here are a few factors to weigh when deciding whether you need a rental car in Las Vegas.

How to Get to Las Vegas from the Airport

If you’re flying into Harry Reid International Airport (LAS), it’s a stone’s throw to the iconic hotels on the Strip including the Luxor, Belaggio and Mandalay Bay. A taxi or rideshare service can get you to the Strip’s south side in about 10 minutes. The bus, on the other hand, can take more than an hour. Unfortunately, many of the Las Vegas Strip hotels do not offer free shuttle service.

Here’s a breakdown of what public transportation costs from the airport to popular destinations:

Taxi: Taxi rates vary but generally costs between $22 to $30 to hotels on the Las Vegas Strip.

Rideshare Service: The cost for a rideshare service like Uber varies depending on which hotel you’re headed to, as well as the time and day of the week. A ride to a hotel on the south side of the Las Vegas Strip may cost between $15 and 30. Expect to pay about $25 and $40 or so for a ride to Fremont Street.

Bus: Fares start at $2, but can cost up to $6 with a transfer to the Deuce bus that goes down the Strip. Visitors can also get to the Fremont Street area on the Centennial Express bus starting at $2.

Rental Car: A recent search for a small rental sedan from Harry Reid airport turned up a wide range of prices of $30 to $50 per day, including taxes and fees, depending on dates and what events are going on in town at the time of the visit. 

Picking up a car at a location in downtown Las Vegas can cut the price roughly in half, but there are good options on the Strip, too. It’s also worth mentioning that you can do a one-way rental from the airport to the Strip or vice-versa if you only need a car for part of your trip.

Public Transportation Options in Las Vegas

Las Vegas has some public transit options, but the length and ease of the trip will depend on where you are headed. Rideshare services or taxis will be more expensive, but often more convenient — especially on summer days when temperatures are approaching 100 degrees.

Taxi: Taxi rates vary. Prices are reportedly set to increase, with the city looking at raising prices during special events.

Rideshare Service: Rates vary. From the Strip to Fremont Street, a ride typically costs just north of $20.

Bus: The Deuce bus is a 24-hour bus that travels the Las Vegas Strip. It costs $4 for a single ride, or $6 for a two-hour pass. A Deuce day pass is $8. The Centennial Express bus starts at $2.

Monorail: Another option for navigating the Las Vegas Strip is the monorail, which stops at various resorts on the Strip. It costs $13.45 for a day pass. 

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Bike Rental: Las Vegas also has a bikeshare system downtown, which is convenient during cooler months. Passes are only $5 per day or $15 per month.

Downtown Loop: The Downtown Loop shuttle bus is free and takes visitors to a circuit of main attractions.

Parking in Las Vegas

Many hotels on the Las Vegas Strip now charge significant daily parking fees (typically $15-$25 per day). A handful of Las Vegas Strip hotels that once touted free parking, including The Strat, Venetian and Palazzo, ended free parking for guests and visitors in 2023. These hotels now charge for parking—and at rates similar to their competitors.

Three hotels on the Strip that offered free parking as of March 2024 are Circus Circus, Wynn and Treasure Island.  If you’re staying at one of these hotels, or even nearby one, it can be a good way to manage costs.

But just because free parking in Vegas is harder to find doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Several hotels on and off the Strip don’t charge for parking. Sometimes you can get free parking as a perk of a hotel’s reward programs, though you’ll have to earn your way up to a certain status tier before the perk kicks in.

Road Trips From Las Vegas

Renting a car from Las Vegas makes sense if you plan to use the city as a base to take a fabulous road trip. Whether it be a jaunt to the Grand Canyon or a visit to Zion or Death Valley national parks, renting a car from Las Vegas for a few days may be a good idea. Our advice is to pick up the car as you’re leaving the city, as it will likely be cheaper not to have a rental car while you’re staying in the city.