Travelers to Denver often wonder what the best type of rental car is for their trip. On the one hand, you don’t need a rugged vehicle to get around the city, but an SUV with four-wheel drive may be useful if you’re planning to visit some mountain towns near Denver. So, what are the best cars to rent in Denver, and which rental companies make the experience easy in this laid-back city? Let’s dive in.
1. Rent an SUV for the mountains
Of course this seems obvious, but you can also drive a sedan on a road trip around the Rockies without issue. The reason an SUV is ideal for mountain trips and road trips, even when you don’t plan to go off-roading, is because there’s a potential for weather changes. It could be a sunny winter morning, but snow may be falling by late afternoon. Or you could stay overnight in a cozy cabin and wake up to black ice on the roads. It’s not worth the risk of getting stuck in a remote area without a vehicle that can get you out safely.
2. Consider an SUV with four-wheel drive
Not all SUVs come with four-wheel drive (4WD), and you’ll likely pay extra to get it, so be honest with yourself about how adventurous your trip in the Colorado wilderness might be. If your plans will take you off-roading, into snowy or hazardous conditions or down narrow, winding roads, 4WD should be a non-negotiable. But if you’re planning on cruising scenic byways or day hiking, then you can get away with a less-rugged vehicle. SUVs with and without 4WD will be in high demand in the city, so compare Denver rental prices and see what fits your budget and plans.
3. Opt for a van if you have a group
SUVs can fit a fair number of people, but if you are traveling in a large group, then a minivan or van will be more comfortable and fit more luggage. Just keep in mind what we said earlier about changing weather and extra-adventurous plans. If you have a rugged trip ahead of you or there’s a chance of ice, sleet or snow, you may want to opt for an SUV to give you more traction on slick roads. But a minivan or van is still one of the best cars to rent in Colorado for groups going on day trips from Denver, such as to Golden or Fort Collins, or visiting Denver’s most Instagrammable locations, like Confluence Park and Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater.
4. Stick with a sedan in the city
If you’re staying local and traveling solo or with just one or two others, then a sedan or compact vehicle may be the best car for you to rent in Denver. It’s a cost-effective option, easy to get around in and you don’t need to look for oversized parking spots when you’ve reached your destination. So when your plans involve sightseeing in Denver or even heading into Boulder for the afternoon, consider keeping it simple by renting a standard car.
Best way to rent a car in Denver
Traditional car rentals can be a hassle, especially when you’re eager to get on the road but get stuck in line instead. Avail car sharing is an affordable alternative to car rentals in Denver that allows you to completely bypass waiting in line.
Instead of renting a fleet car from a big company, Avail’s cars are owned by locals. So when you rent with Avail, you’re also putting money back into the local community. There are locations in neighborhoods across Denver, so you can easily find one that’s near where you’re staying. All locations are equipped for self-service, so you just grab the keys and drive off. If that’s not appealing enough, there are no added fees for second drivers or to modify your reservation. All trips are protected by Allstate and 24/7 roadside assistance to give you peace of mind as you cruise the Colorado roads.