Rental Cars Can Be Better than Taxis

Chevy Spark Alaska RentalIt can be a pain in the neck to get from Baltimore-Washington Airport to the Washington, DC metro area.  Maryland’s regional trains (MARC) run on weekdays only, and the Amtrak trains can be pretty spaced out.  There’s a shuttle to the metro, but that adds a lot of time to travel–plus, the metro does not open early enough for someone to make it out to BWI for a morning flight.

I don’t take taxis to BWI because they are extremely expensive and undo the cost-savings of flying out of that airport.  But I’ve started using a more cost-effective means of getting to the Baltimore-Washington Airport, one-way car rentals.

One-way car rentals can be extremely expensive sometimes.  But I made the mistake of assuming that is always the case.

I’ve been able to snag a good deal on a one-way and head out to BWI.  I’ve also felt like it was a bonus if I were able to find a good rate when I’m flying into DCA airport the day before.  Then I get a ride home from the airport too!

This won’t always be the best solution, but I recommend checking it just in case.  My last flight out of BWI left at 7am.  Luckily, there was a car avaliable for relatively cheap that day.  I arrived back in BWI the next day, but cars were ridiculously expensive going the other direction.  Luckily, it’s easier to be flexible when I’m leaving BWI because I don’t have a flight to miss! 😉  So I was able to easily take the MARC back into town.  (I was actually surprised at jus how easy it was too.  I’m very used to the unreliable WMATA–the DC metro system).

So consider rental cars–they sometimes, but not always are the cheaper option.


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. what price ranges are you talking about? can you give specific amounts including taxes and compare to cost of taxis or marc etc?


    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      I want to be clear that I am saying rental cars can be better than taxis. MARC is much cheaper but not always running when I need to get to the airport. A taxi can be >$100 for BWI. I’ve gotten a rental for $30-$40 plus gas as a one way and drove myself.

  2. Actually, as of this past weekend, MARC trains do run on weekends. (And Amtrak always has, though it costs more than MARC.)

  3. MARC weekend train service on the Penn Line started this past Saturday. 9 trains in each direction Saturday and 6 each way on Sunday:

  4. You can take a bus from the airport to greenbelt metro station (green line). Super easy. Although if you have an early flight you are right that it is a hassle and a half and the metro might not open in time.

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