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If public transportation's not your thing, Salt Lake has plenty of taxi and rental car services available. The three main taxi companies--City Cab (801-363-5550), Ute Cab (801-359-7788), and Yellow Cab (801-521-5027)--offer 24-hour service throughout the valley. Taxis here are scarcer than in other cities, so your best bet is to call ahead; you'll be waiting longer than you'd like if you try to hail them from the curb. Several hotels downtown have cab stands (like the Hilton) and downtown destinations like the Capitol Theatre and the Delta Center become hubs for taxis on event nights. Taxis can be expensive in Salt Lake. Fares have recently gone up and Salt Lake is not compact--a trip from one side of town to the other can take up to 30 minutes. Furthermore, Utah is known for its constant construction--chances are you'll take at least one detour on any trip. Traffic, however, is only an issue at rush hour.
Renting a car may be a more cost-effective option, and it's definitely the best option for exploring the canyons and doing outdoor activities. Salt Lake's car rental agencies offer every kind of car available, from 4-wheel drive SUVs to compact city cars. This booking service offers real-time guarantees for pricing and availability for all the major rental chains in Salt Lake. Rugged Rental, as its name suggests, specializes in oversize and durable rentals. Like any city, demand dictates rental rates, and the more popular visiting times during the year are early summer, the LDS Church's General Conference (twice a year in spring and fall), and of course, the winter ski season.
Whatever your mode of transportation, chances are you'll have an easy time getting around, thanks to Salt Lake's grid plan and manageable size. Explore!
Tip on rental cars: If you are flying into Salt Lake City, you'll pay a lot more for a rental car at the airport than renting from a rental car location in the downtown area. Substantial airport fees are tacked onto rental car rates at the airport. The fees don't apply to off-airport locations. Most major hotels, whether downtown or near the airport, offer free pickup and drop off at the airport, so call the hotel when you arrive for transportation to your accomodation. Then have a rental car agency, such as Enterprise, pick you up at your hotel. Reserve your rental car in advance if you want to be sure you get the type vehicle you want when you want it. When you're finished with the vehicle, return it to the rental car agency and they will drop you off at your hotel. Take the hotel van back to the airport for your departing flight and you've saved a bundle. If you are arriving in Salt Lake City later in the day and departing on a morning flight, you can probably time the car rental to save a day's rental.