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Best cars to rent for a trip to Denver
August 31, 2021

Best cars to rent for a trip to Denver

Figuring out car rental in Denver can pose a bit of a dilemma–what kind of car do you get? Should you rent a ready-for-anything SUV for the mountains, or get something sensible and more affordable to drive around the city? Denver is an excellent city to visit in all seasons, and with over 300 days of sun a year, there are lots of outdoor opportunities even when it’s cold.

When you’re renting a car in Denver, think about what season it is and what the weather will be like. Because of the elevation, weather conditions can change within the hour, so you’ll want to be prepared in case of a summer thunderstorm or a heavy amount of snow in the winter. Also, think ahead of where you’ll be driving. Mountainous regions have hyper-local weather that can be very different from the surrounding area. If you’re driving up into the rockies, you’ll definitely want something a little more rugged with 4WD or AWD.

That being said, think about your budget, luggage, and how many folks will be joining you along your trip. Avail often has car rental deals in Denver depending on the season and car type. Here’s some guidance to help you decide.

car in mountains

SUV or 4WD rentals in Denver

Going skiing, hiking, or kicking back in a small mountain town around Denver? Getting active in Colorado means you’re gonna want a vehicle with 4WD. Whether you pick an SUV or a larger sedan like a Subaru is up to you, but you’ll want to be prepared in case of snow, dirt, or bad road conditions. Winter driving in Colorado can be especially beautiful, but also hazardous. Winding mountain roads can get hairy, and the extra traction of 4WD is super helpful when push comes to shove. That being said, if you’re just chilling in a cabin during the summer, you’re probably fine without something super rugged. Be honest with yourself about how adventurous you plan to be. SUVs can also be in high demand in Denver and are often much more expensive than smaller vehicles. Do more digging on SUVs in Denver here.

Minivan & van rentals in Denver

Taking the kids for some fresh mountain air? Road tripping to a mountain weekend with college friends? You’re gonna want to rent a minivan or van in Denver. Vans are great for traveling in comfort with anywhere from 5-7 people. They hold plenty of luggage and give passengers a little extra leg room. Now, most minivans come with sweet bells & whistles like TVs, bluetooth audio systems, and outstanding climate control. Vans also provide a smooth ride on winding roads, which helps stave off carsickness.

The downside of renting a van in Denver? Weather, mountain roads, and snow. Most all vans are front-wheel drive, which doesn’t provide a whole lot of traction when the going gets rough. No need to worry about driving in a pop-up summer thunderstorm, but heavy winter snows can easily strand a van high up in the mountains. Even with roadside assistance, you’re still gonna be stuck for hours while someone comes up for help. For that reason, we recommend an SUV or something with 4WD in the winter. 

Standard car/sedan rentals 

Sometimes, you don’t need to overthink it. There’s nothing wrong with renting a sedan or standard car in Denver. Plenty of folks get around great in the city and surrounding areas with standard cars. If you’re visiting friends or family in downtown Denver, or just looking to do some summer sightseeing with a friend or traveling partner, sedans are a cost-effective and efficient way to get around the Denver area. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, Avail occasionally has larger sedans like Subarus that come with 4WD. Take a look at our selection and see what you can find here

Rental vs sharing

Did you know you have a choice? Nowadays, there are plenty of safe and solid alternatives to renting a car. Car sharing is the most similar, and it’s almost exactly like rental, but a much better value. Instead of renting a car owned by a rental company, you’re actually renting a car owned by a local Denverite. That makes daily rates much more affordable and allows car sharing companies like Avail to offer protection like insurance coverage from Allstate, too. Sometimes, renting can be a better option if you have loyalty points or are a part of a rewards program. But most of the time, car sharing companies like Avail offer quality cars at a great value. Car sharing is an especially good option for young drivers, as there are no under-25 fees. 

Get there with Avail

There are lots of great things to see and do in Denver, and Avail has tons of great cars to help you get there, from city-smart sedans to mid and large size SUVs. Every trip is protected by insurance coverage from Allstate and includes 24/7 roadside assistance. Check out our selection and book your car today!