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Key facts for hiring a car in the USA
Best time to visit
late spring and early summer provide ideal temperatures without too many tourists.
Minimum driving age
There are six different time zones in the US, so it depends where you are heading.
Riding shotgun = travelling in the passenger seat.
US Dollars (USD, $)
Hire a car in the USA
As its name suggests, in ‘the Land of Opportunity’ you’ll never be short of things to do or places to see.
Crammed with hundreds of thriving cities, relaxing beaches, stunning national parks and picturesque drives, there are many popular locations for car hire in the USA.
If you hire a car, you can explore a variety of terrains, from the sandy beaches of the Caribbean to the arid Arizona desert, the snowy mountains of Colorado and of course the dazzling New York cityscape. No other country in the world can offer such geological diversity.
West Coast vs East Coast
With beautiful national parks and vibrant cultural hubs, the West Coast is known for its laid-back vibe and picturesque scenery. Here are some of the most popular places to visit if you opt for car hire in America.
San Francisco – home to many young creatives, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Instagram-worthy Alamo Square Park.
Los Angeles – the land of endless summers and home to the rich and famous. LA features the iconic Hollywood sign and the lovely Santa Monica Pier.
Portland – known as one of the ‘hippiest’ cities of the US, where artists, liberalists and musicians gather.
The East Coast offers everything from beautiful beaches to intricate architecture. An advantage of the East Coast is that the major cities are closer to each other, allowing you to see more in a shorter period.
New York – one of the most visited cities in the world, its long list of must-see sights include Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Broadway and the Empire State Building.
Washington DC – as the US capital, Washington DC is home to the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol Building.
Miami – for a beach break, there’s nothing like Miami Beach, which offers one some of the best nightlife in the world.
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As America is so vast, there’s always plenty of places to go if you opt for USA car hire and wish to escape busy city life. Montana, for example, is known for its open spaces and small population, not to mention stunning mountain views.
As an underrated city, Missoula boasts plenty of culture, including art museums and natural history centres. The landscape here also offers dense forests and the breath-taking Glacier National Park.
Where to road trip
Route 66 – Chicago to Los Angeles
One of the most famous roads in America, stretching over 3,900km.
Blue Ridge Parkway – Waynesboro to Cherokee
A scenic drive twisting through mountains and national parks.
Pacific Coast Highway – San Francisco to San Diego
Over a 1000km of sea views, including the Golden Gate Bridge.
Arizona State Route 89A – Prescott to Flagstaff
A 135km drive through stunning red rock formations.
Exploring The States
Make the most of America
Americans drive on the right-hand side of the road, and mostly drive automatic vehicles.
There are 58 national parks in the USA, all of which offer beautiful scenery. Some even offer drive-up viewpoints.
Tipping is customary in the United States, and you’re expected to tip between 10 and 20% of the bill. Some restaurants automatically include a tip as a gratuity fee.
When to visit
Similar to the UK, the further south you go, the warmer it gets. If you’re looking to holiday in January, the likes of Vegas, New Orleans and Miami will offer pleasant temperatures. If you travel between May and September hot temperatures are likely throughout the US.
Most festivals in America happen in spring and summer. Highlights are Coachella in California in April and Lollapalooza held in Chicago in August.
America is home to some of the most exciting theme parks the world has to offer.
Walt Disney World, Florida – covering 39 square miles and containing four individual theme parks and two water parks, this is a firm favourite for families.
Cedar Point, Ohio – labelled the rollercoaster capital of the world, Cedar Point boasts 17 rollercoasters and is an adrenaline junkie’s dream.
Hersheypark, Pennsylvania – Hersheypark was created for the employees of Hershey Chocolate Factory. If you enjoy roller coasters and delicious treats, this one’s for you.