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Car rental or Colorado Mountain Express?

Baltimore, MD
Level Contributor
30 posts
Car rental or Colorado Mountain Express?

I have discovered that it is just as cheap to rent a car from Denver Airport as it is to take the shuttle.......I'm not sure what to do, I worry about driving around in the snow, though I've driven across I70 before in the snow. Should we just stick with the shuttle to Vail and be carless for a week? I'm leaning towards getting a car, I'd really like to spend a couple of days at the hot springs. Thanks for any advice! We are staying at the Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa.

Wash. DC
Level Contributor
67 posts
17 reviews
24 helpful votes
1. Re: Car rental or Colorado Mountain Express?

You do not need to have a car in Vail. Having said that, I rent one and drive from Denver every time. There is always the chance that snow makes the drive more difficult, but its just a more fun trip with a car. (Also, while my experiences with CME have been fine, it's not like you get the most skilled "snow driver" around. Australia isn't exactly known for killer winters)

Here are a few "pros" to renting a car. First, if you rent a car you won't have to sit around at the airport in your shuttle van waiting for enough passengers to show up so you can fill up the van and leave. Second, when you get to vail, you don't have to wait for the shuttle to stop at all the other hotels before you get to yours (unless your the lucky first person dropped off). Third, on your day of departure, you won't have to plan on being picked up about 5 hours before your scheduled departure in Denver. Finally, the car gives you more freedom if you want to venture outside of Vail (Edwards for Dinner and a movie), Minturn for dinner. Also, if you rent a car, you can stop for a break at Idaho Springs and eat at Beau Jo's, a great little pizza restaurant just off the interstate. It makes for a nice break if you want one.

So, again, you absolutely don't need a car. The CME shuttle and the Vail Shuttle system are terrific. However, if they're about the same price, I'd go car every time.

P.S., there may be a daily parking fee in Vail if you bring a car so you have to add that into your cost equation. Check with where you are staying.

Glenwood Springs...
Level Contributor
473 posts
43 reviews
28 helpful votes
2. Re: Car rental or Colorado Mountain Express?

I agree that having a car is very nice. It gives you options as mentioned in the previous post. Two things you may want to check before making your decision. When you got the quote on the car, was it just the per day rate or did they include all of the taxes and fees? The last time I rented a car, by the time they added all the fees and taxes, it almost doubled the cost. The second thing to check is the parking. Make sure your hotel has parking available and what it will cost you. Depending on the final price tag, you may decide that it isn't worth it.

Level Contributor
105 posts
2 reviews
3. Re: Car rental or Colorado Mountain Express?

Someone knows if I can rent a car at denver airport and return it in vail village?

are there any rent a car offices in vail village?

Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
4,186 posts
108 reviews
119 helpful votes
4. Re: Car rental or Colorado Mountain Express?

You can rent a car from Enterprise in Avon, which is right next door to Vail.

Fruita, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Fruita, Grand Junction
Level Contributor
7,857 posts
275 reviews
193 helpful votes
5. Re: Car rental or Colorado Mountain Express?

You can certainly rent a car in Denver & drop it off in Vail but the cost is usually much much much more since then they have to get that car back to Denver. One way rentals are expensive and some rental agencies do not allow it (car rental agencies are sometimes not owned by the corporate company).

Vail, Colorado
Level Contributor
579 posts
130 reviews
81 helpful votes
6. Re: Car rental or Colorado Mountain Express?

I would rent a car, but if you're concerned about weather, rent a 4x4. You can have someone pick up the car for you, but it will be cost prohibative when you're matching CME to car rental prices. Avon is about 10 minutes from Vail, dependent on Dow Junction weather conditions. Have a great trip!

1 post
7. Re: Car rental or Colorado Mountain Express?

I would go with CME, besides rental car costs, plus taxes and fees, and extras like ski racks and child seats, and parking and gas, and driving I-70 on snow and ice in the dark, not to mention any damage or accident, even with insurance, a $500-$1,000 deductible, plus increased rates for several years, plus the safety of a large van in an accident versus a car. Upon returning to the airport with CME they drop you right at the curbside check in, no hassle, no fuss. And if you do not want to ride with others, just charter a van for your family, or team up with other friend, leaving were and when you want, which can even include a stop in Idaho Springs at Beau Jo's for pizza.

Vail, Colorado
Level Contributor
892 posts
2 reviews
9 helpful votes
8. Re: Car rental or Colorado Mountain Express?

I'd recommend CME as well - or even a private limo from someone like Avanti Limosine. Often they are cheaper than a CME shuttle for a family. Check with your hotel concierge and ask them. I do know that CME offers good discounts for multiple guests if you book through your hotel concierge. Discounts start with only three guests.

9. Re: Car rental or Colorado Mountain Express?

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Level Contributor
140 posts
15 reviews
9 helpful votes
10. Re: Car rental or Colorado Mountain Express?

I like the flexibility and convenience a car gives you. We are flying into Eagle and car rental for the week is half the price of taking the shuttle for 3 people round trip. The key is renting the car well in advance of your trip, rates are lower the further out you rent. Having the car allows us to get to another mountain, or into another town for dinner,etc. Even with parking fees at the hotel, we are still ahead of the game.

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