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Car Rental in Reno: Nothing Little about It
National Geographic dubbed it “the best city in the US”, and there are certainly plenty of reasons why. From its strategic location between the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe to its outstanding ski season, heaving casino industry and proximity to Las Vegas and Red Rock Canyon, Reno packs quite the punch, despite its small size.
The city is steeped in history, and this is strikingly evident, however you choose to explore. Reno is equipped with good ground transportation, but renting a car is definitely recommended, especially if you plan on making the most of Reno’s stunning neighboring areas. You may choose to stay within the city center for the first few days of your vacation and, in these circumstances and to save a few bucks, you may want to make your way around by bus at first, and then book your rental car later on.
Best Times to Visit Reno: Planning Your Vacation
There are several factors to consider when planning your trip to Reno. Spring (April-May) and Fall (October-November) are the city’s low seasons if you’re visiting on a budget; prices drop, and you’ll probably find some good bargains when renting a private automobile. You’ll also benefit from milder temperatures, but keep in mind that it does get cool in the evenings, so make sure to pack some warm layers.
The more gregarious traveler will appreciate the surge of tourists that flock to the city during Reno’s high seasons. Summer (June-September) is rife with blissful lakeside days and groovy summer festivals, though temperatures tend to soar in midsummer, so pack some sunscreen! Winter (December-March) whirls by in a flurry of snow-laden trees and the city’s renowned ski slopes; if you’re visiting during this time, make sure to book your rental car well in advance.
Booking Your Car: What You Can Expect to Pay
Prices for renting an automobile in Reno hover around the $30 per day mark, though this may drop considerably during low season and rise a little during peak months. It’s always wise to shop around, with the best deals originating online. If you don’t fancy booking your car online, however, consider finding an automobile away from Reno International Airport, where prices offered tend to be higher. Rest assured that it won’t be difficult to get to downtown Reno from the airport; the three miles between them can easily be covered by taxi or shuttle bus. You can then find the best deal for you at one of the neighborhood rental car companies. Some will even allow you to drop off your vehicle at the airport at no extra cost. Here are a few examples of average rental car prices in Reno:
- Kia Rio (economy class) - $35 per day
- Nissan Note (compact class) - $36 per day
- Hyundai Elantra (intermediate class) - $37 per day
- Volkswagen Jetta (standard class) - $38 per day
- Ford Fusion (car class) - $41 per day
Making the Most of Your Rental Car
You can’t visit Reno without doing some obligatory sightseeing. Start off your visit by ticking off some of the city’s must-see attractions located in central Reno; you can choose to walk or drive depending on the weather and time of year. The 49-acre Idlewild Park is a must for families. Sitting right on the Truckee River, this lush spot of greenery will keep children happily absorbed for hours and includes a couple of duck ponds, two playgrounds, a stunning road garden and a skate park for older kids. Following the river will soon bring you to the city’s National Automobile Museum, displaying an array of historic and vintage cars, and ten minutes further on, the bright Reno Arch spanning Virginia Street brings home all that the city stands for. Later, if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, treat yourself to a spa, delectable dinner or some light gambling at the Silver Legacy Resort & Casino, an imposing building which dominates the surrounding area.
Many other casinos are dotted around the city and, although you are perfectly entitled to stay put, missing the opportunity to visit the country’s most notorious gambling location would be an absolute sin, especially if you’re staying for more than a week. Las Vegas lies just seven hours away on Highway 95, making a two-day trip entirely possible. Keep an eye out for landmarks such as Scotty’s Castle and Walker Lake on the way.
You may, however, have neither the time nor the patience to embark on a 450-mile drive. In that case, Lake Tahoe can be reached in less than an hour in fine weather conditions. Make sure your car is equipped with snow tires if you’re travelling in winter. Most rental car companies do provide them if asked but, if not; you’ll probably be better off renting an SUV. Skiing enthusiasts will find their nirvana at the Squaw Valley Ski Resort or the Homewood Mountain Resort, both located on Lake Tahoe, while summer visitors can make the most of the district’s stunning beaches, parks and hiking trails.