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Gigi welcomed me at the airport
COTA Parking
Downtown rental scooters


COTA and Downtown Austin are both a short drive from Austin Airport. Because rental cars at airports have additional fees, we took an Uber to and from the airport, and booked a rental car from a downtown location. (We saved around $150 for the car rental by not getting it at the airport.) Our arriving flight was delayed and we weren’t able to pick up our rental car before they closed for the evening. When we went to pick it up the next morning, we were told that they’d given our car to someone else and our reservation was no longer valid. Apparently, they only hold your car for two hours, even with a reservation. After an hour of waiting and pouting, they managed to provide a rental car. Booking a rental car last minute for the races could cost around $800 for a 4-day weekend, while we paid $350 with our advance reservation.

Parking downtown isn’t cheap (around $25 per night), but we saved some money by not using the valet. In the evenings, police tow all vehicles that are parked on 6th street where all the bars and restaurants are. The signage doesn’t seem very clear about what time they begin towing people’s cars, so I’d avoid parking on 6th Street altogether, and just use a garage.

If you don’t want to pay for parking and rental cars, other folks used Uber/Lyft to and from the circuit. There was a crowd of around 20 people outside of the front gate waiting for their rideshares Sunday afternoon. I don’t know how long they had to wait, and how much it cost them, but it is available.

Racetrack Parking: There were two lots available, and we chose Lot T. We arrived early each day and parked close to the circuit. These lots aren’t a terribly far walk to the track, and the surface is pretty level and the walking paths are paved. The parking lot is mostly dirt and grass and with the heavy rains on Saturday morning, we were really relieved to have 4-wheel drive. We did kick up a lot of mud and the rental company suggested charging us extra for it, but they didn’t.

Fees for driving the toll roads were assessed and billed to our credit card on file with the rental car company after our return home.

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