Are you thinking about visiting Charleston this year and trying to come up with your trip’s budget? After lodging, transportation can be one of the costliest aspects of a vacation so it’s important to examine before finalizing your reservations. Charleston transportation costs can include airfare, fuel, bus fares, party bus tabs, rental cars, Uber charges, and taxi fares. All of these modes of transportation vary in cost, luxury and convenience, this all-comprehensive guide will help line up your expectations with your budget. Let’s begin with the fun ones!
Flying into Charleston International Airport will likely be your biggest transportation cost if you decide to do so. Since it is a premier travel destination, flight tickets are much more expensive than in most parts of the country.
Depending on the time of the year, you can expect roundtrip flights to range from $400 to well over $1,000.
There are also three FBOs (private airport) located in the Charleston area if you prefer to go that route. These are Charleston Executive Airport, WB Upshur and Atlantic Aviation.
However with the rising demand in private aviation you can expect your bill to range anywhere from $6,000 to $60,000.
Charleston Party Bus
The most fun way to spend your transportation budget is on a Charleston party bus and there are tons of reasons to do so in Charleston, whether it’s for a birthday party, bar crawl, wedding or night out on the town!
Prices vary depending on passenger capacity and the size of the vehicle. They start at around $165 an hour for 16 passenger vehicles on weeknights and can go up to $300 per hour for 60 person vehicles on weekends during high season. However, because of Double Black’s discounted prices on weekdays and half-day, full-day specials, our prices can be as low as $150 an hour for a 24 passenger vehicle! To bring it down even lower, ask about our multi-day discounts that are designed for groups needing transportation all weekend long.
If you’re coming to Charleston this year you should definitely consider renting a car for your main method of transportation. The Lowcountry is very spread out, so if you plan on seeing all of the different areas then you’ll want your own vehicle. If you’re staying downtown you can get away with walking most places and then ubering to the beach or golf course. But if you’re staying in one of the several beach towns, you’ll definitely want a rental car. Prices vary from $100 – $500 a day.
Whether you get a rental car in Charleston or drive your own car to the Lowcountry, fuel will likely end up being one of your primary transportation costs during your visit. While most of South Carolina has relatively low fuel costs compared to other parts of the country, Charleston is an overpriced travel destination and our gas prices reflect as much. For most of 2022, unleaded has bounced between $3.50 – $4.50 a gallon.
Charleston has a ton of taxi companies, unfortunately they all seem to run on the same schedule so you’ll likely either have your choice of 5 or none. Easy places to find them are on King Street, the airport and East Bay Street.
If you are a night owl and like to stay until last call, you may have a difficult time finding one on King Street. They are also quite expensive and charge for each additional person over 2, so be wary! Expect prices to vary from $20 – $100 a ride.
Ubers are often cheaper than taxis and overall the better option in Charleston. They don’t have any hidden fees and you can track them on their way to pick you up. Instead of taxis saying they’re on their way, only to be late by an hour or more. Unfortunately, Ubers are no guarantee either and sometimes there are simply none available on the road. Also, if you’re not downtown it often takes 10+ minutes for one to pick you up. They often won’t even come to Isle of Palms, Kiawah or Folly Beach. Depending on the distance, prices can vary from $10 – $70.
Transportation is not cheap anywhere and especially not in premier travel destinations such as Charleston. Uber and taxis can be an affordable option for groups of 5 or less. However, we recommend renting a car for most visitors and booking a Charleston party bus if your group is 8 or more people. Get a quote today!