Colorado is known for its great outdoors filled with beauty and adventure—especially during the holiday season. People travel from all over the world to check out why Colorado is the #1 ski destination in North America, and to enjoy the 300 days of sunshine. You are probably thinking you need to rent a car to get to your holiday vacation destination up the mountain, but we disagree! There are countless reasons why traveling Colorado without a car is ideal, and here are just a few:
1. All of our mountain resort towns are incredibly pedestrian-friendly! The majority of bars, restaurants, and shops are within walking distance of the resorts. If walking doesn’t fit your fancy, most of the towns also have free transportation options within city limits.
2. None of the major car rental companies offer snow tires—and if you come to Colorado during the holiday season—you will be driving in the snow. This is a problem when Colorado traction and chain laws go into effect. These laws are in effect from September 1st to May 31st. You absolutely do not want to risk driving without AWD/4WD, snow tires, or tire chains when these laws are in effect.
3. AWD/4WD SUVs are very expensive to rent. You will likely spend over 500 dollars to get a vehicle that only partially complies with Colorado’s traction and chain laws. You won’t want to get caught being non-compliant with your vehicle due to the hefty fines that come with ignoring the laws.
4. Because of supply chain issues and the increase in travel, rental cars are scarce these days. If you are lucky enough to score a rental car, you will be paying a premium. Right now, a rental car for a week around the holidays is costing around$1,000 dollars. This doesn’t include the cost of fuel.
5. Rental car insurance is very expensive. It can add up to $30 a day to your bill! If you choose to use your own insurance and damage the rental car, you will be paying a large deductible and your insurance rates will go up after the claim.
6. Uber and Lyft are not common services in the mountains, especially to or from the airport. Most mountain towns are around 2 hours from Denver International Airport. Because of the free transportation around town, there is not much of a need for these services.
7. Driving in the snow is dangerous, especially when the road is full of people from out of state who are not comfortable with the conditions. Taking a drive on windy mountain passes, up and down steep grade hills definitely has pretty views but is not fun in icy conditions.
8. Take a mountain shuttle to your holiday destination! Peak 1 Express will meet you at the Denver International Airport and take you up to Summit County or Eagle County, where you will find a majority of ski resorts in Colorado. Taking a mountain shuttle will remove the stress of driving through the snow and holiday traffic yourself. You can just sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful drive!
9. Hop aboard the Ski Train to go non-stop from Union Station in downtown Denver to Winter Park Resort. You don’t have to worry about transportation from the airport because you can hop right onto the A-Line and go straight to Union Station! Make sure you buy your tickets early, the train does sell out.
10. Check with your hotel/Airbnb host. Many housing agencies will accommodate transportation from the airport. However, keep in mind that if you are traveling to a ski resort, you may have a harder time utilizing this service due to the distance from the major airport.
After reading all of these, renting a car is just silly! Leave the snowy highways to our professional, experienced drivers and ditch those rental car fees.