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United States America Statue of Liberty New York
United States America Statue of Liberty New York
Los Angeles United States America Palm Trees
Los Angeles United States America Palm Trees
San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge United States America
San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge United States America

About United States of America (US)

Spread out over 9.63 million square kilometers (5.98 square miles), the United States of America is the world’s third-largest country. Every year, it welcomes over 70 million international visitors, who are drawn to its diverse cities and breathtaking natural vistas. Large metropolitan areas—such as Washington, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago—offer world-class museums, excellent restaurants and a range of cultural attractions.

Booking a car rental is the best way to see the United States, which is well-connected by a system of interstate highways. You can easily drive between cities, or plan an itinerary to discover the charms and idiosyncrasies of a particular region, such as the Southwest, the Rocky Mountains, New England, or the Pacific Northwest.

  Getting around

In general, the road conditions are quite good.; however, when you rent a car in the US, you may encounter the occasional pothole or road closures due to construction work. Depending on which part of the country you are in, and the time of year, you may need to keep an eye out for inclement weather conditions, such as ice or snow storms, heavy rains and flooding, hurricanes, and even tornadoes.

It’s important to check the typical seasonal weather patterns of the area you intend to visit beforehand, as the U.S. has multiple climate zones. Temperatures range from very hot (if you are in the Southwest or Texas in July) or very cold (if you are in the Midwest in January).

  Choosing your car

Some of the major car hire companies in the United States include Hertz, Avis, Budget, Alamo, Enterprise, Dollar and Thrifty. You can find a broad range of rental car options, including luxury cars, convertibles or trucks. Other popular rental options include SUVs, mini vans and 7—12 person people movers. Cheap car rental choices include budget compact cars, such as a Kia or Ford Fiesta.

  Tips and advice for renting a car in United States of America


In most cases, you need to be at least 21 years old to rent a car in the United States. Furthermore, drivers under the age of 25 are usually subject to a young driver surcharge.


It’s always a good idea to consider a supplemental car rental insurance policy; furthermore, if you are visiting from abroad, you may be required to buy one.


Read up on the rules of the road in the U.S. before you take the wheel. There are frequent speed controls on the highways, and you can get pulled over (and fined!) for other things too, such as a broken brake light.


Keep in mind that the speed limit is measured in “miles per hour” rather than “kilometers per hour.” In general, speed controls in the U.S. can be quite strict.


While you can generally pick up your United States car rental in one location and drop it off at another, it’s usually cheaper to return the car to the same place you picked it up. You can plan a great road trip by doing this, for example through the stunning national parks of Utah (a great starting point for such an itinerary is Las Vegas).


In some parts of the United States, there are sizeable distances between towns. Keep this in mind when planning your trip, as you do not want to run out of fuel in a remote area.

Are you driving a rental car in The United States of America?

Urban Speed Limit


Rural Speed Limit


Motorway Speed Limit


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Road Driving


Driving Age


21 years of age to RENT
Emergency Services


Documentation requirements



Here's some more in depth United States of America driving rules and guidelines for car renters:

Driving in a foreign country can be daunting, especially if you don’t know the rules. If you’re planning on driving while in the United States, read the basics guidelines below.


You’ll need to bring your driver’s license and proof of insurance. Check with your insurance company to see if it will cover you for driving in a foreign country; otherwise, you will need to purchase insurance when you rent a car. The U.S. Government recommends you bring an International Driver Permit (IDP). The IDP is just a translation of your license into 10 languages; you must get an IDP in your home country before leaving, as the U.S. doesn’t issue them to tourists from other countries.

Age Restrictions:

In the United States, laws vary by state, including the standard driving age. For instance, New Jersey makes kids wait until they are 17 to receive a license, while South Dakota allows kids as young as 14 to have a driver’s license (though it is restricted). On average, the legal age for a licensed driver is 16-years-old (or 16 ½), but check the laws for the states you’ll be traveling in to find out the legal age. Also, keep in mind that most rental companies won’t rent to young adults under 21 and have steep fines for those over 21 but under 25, so check with your car rental company for age restrictions.

Driving Rules and Regulations

  • Drive on the right hand side of the road
  • Give way to other cars on the left hand side of the road
  • Always use indicator while turning
  • Always give priority to emergency services vehicles
  • Everyone in the car must be wearing a seatbelt
  • Except hands-free system, mobile phones should not be used
  • Illegal to carry radar detectors
  • Always carry license while driving
  • Should obey traffic signs
  • Pedestrians generally have the right-of-way

Speed Limits and Fines

Speed limits also vary, but they are posted on roads in miles per hour. The normal speed limits on US roads are as follows:

  • 113 km/h (70 mph) on highways
  • 40 km/h (25 mph) in residential areas

School zones and construction zones often have lower speed limits posted, and fines can double or even triple in these zones. Fines can range anywhere from $30 up to $500, depending on where you are.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is illegal in all 50 states, defined as a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08mg/ per 100ml. However, you can incur increased penalties with higher BAC, from 0.15 to 0.25, depending on the state. It’s best not to risk it, as you can receive a hefty fine (up to $2,000) and possibly jail time. You also may need to go before the court on a charge such as Driving Under the Influence, which is not something you would want to deal with while on vacation.


Be aware of "no parking" signs. Generally, parking on the street will be marked, such as “2 Hour Parking.” However, never park at a red curb, as those are restricted to emergency vehicle use. Also, pay attention to places you need to pay for parking; your car can be towed if you park without paying.

Though laws vary by state, you’ll find that many laws are similar across the U.S. Most roads are well-marked, so you should do just fine on your next road trip if you pay attention to the road signs.

USA Driving Ideas Guide

Most places in the world cars are made for the streets, but in America streets are made for cars.  This is a driving nation with much of its history since the 1940s shaped by the automobile. Roads like Route 66, immortalized by actor legends such as James Dean and music groups like The Beach Boys, have spurred a passion for driving in the U.S.A.  So after a good night’s sleep in an American accommodation, let’s live a piece of the American Dream and hit the blacktop by heading on down the highway.


A common perception of America is The Wild West with cowboys, saloons and lots of horses.  Naturally the country is much more than just that, but undoubtedly it is a part of American history and a big attraction for many visitors.  To get a road feel in your American rental car of what it was like, take a trip along the Santa Fe Trail using Albuquerque, New Mexico as your base or starting point.

This town is the epitome of what you might expect in today’s American west with arid lands on the outskirts and a dramatic backdrop of plateaus and highlands. In the town’s old portion are adobe buildings retracing the area’s roots to the early 1700s and many of its inhabitants have Pueblo ancestry with a strong emphasis on heritage.  A visit to the town’s Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is recommended to experience the rich history of the area, followed by a trip on the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway that climbs over 3100 meters (10,300 feet) for an impressive view of the town and the Rio Grande Valley.  Albuquerque is also known as the hot-air balloon capital of America that is as good as it gets for an opportunity to Instagram your travels.

From Albuquerque, load up the wagon for a scenic drive of 105 km (65 miles) to Santa Fe, America’s second oldest city, and the famous Santa Fe Trail.  It has two portions with the Mountain Route, 303 km (188 miles), providing an excellent sampling of plains and canyons.  If you prefer a shorter trip, the Jemez Mountain Trail, 76 km (47 miles) from Albuquerque, can be done entirely in a day and your camera won’t be idle.


Everything (almost) in this town and the road leading north and south of it has to do with American music history leading to present day.  Here in the Mississippi Delta and along the banks of this river is the soul of what has made American music a leader in its sphere. Chances are excellent while in this town that a well-known singer or band will be performing.  When you’re not being entertained, the Gateway to the Blues Museum is a must for followers and aficionados to delve into the area’s rich musical past.

The Blues Highway, Route 61, goes through Tunica on its way from Nashville to New Orleans, a distance of 1058 km (657 miles), and has carried many blues, country and rock and roll singers on its blacktop such as Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Isaac Hayes, and Elvis Presley. Wherever you seem to go on this road, some rockobilia will be discovered in even the smallest towns with just finding it being an adventure. Memphis, 64 km (40 miles), has the famous Stax Museum of American Soul Music and where Elvis Presley had his estate. Nashville, 401 km (249 miles), is home for country music at the Grand Ole Opry, while New Orleans, 621 km (386 miles), is the epicentre of southern and Dixieland jazz.


Immortalized in John Steinbeck’s novel Cannery Row, this city nestled into California’s wild and magnificent coastline has everything you can imagine this state has to offer including trendy restaurants, exquisite wine tastings, live theatre and concerts.  You can also don your hiking boots and explore the coastline from one of the many trails in a regional, state or national park in the immediate area, or perhaps hire a trusty steed and gallop along a shoreline on a magical beach.

A nearby drive that is short but extremely photogenic is 17-Mile (27 km) Drive, 6 km (4 miles), which includes amazing coastal scenery and the town of Pebble Beach and its highly touted golf course. Monterey is also on the famous Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) that stretches along the coastline for 838 km (521 miles) ending at Los Angeles and on which many a movie and car commercial has been filmed.  In Los Angeles, the legendary eastbound Route 66 can be joined for another 5215 km (3,240 miles)…another trip perhaps.

Wherever you go on these great American roads you can drive and rest assured that you are saving money with Cheaperthancars and Cheaperthanhotels.  We really do believe that the less you spend the more you can do with the hard earned dollars when you get there.

Your Cheaperthancars Team


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Frequently asked questions about renting a car in The United States

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1. What is the best time of year to book a rental car in The United States?

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2. Is it possible for one way rentals in The United States?

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3. Should I rent a round trip or one-way rental in The United States?

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4. Which location should I rent my car from in The United States?

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5. Do I pay more fees and taxes for renting a car at the airport in The United States?

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6. What insurance do I require for driving a rental car in The United States?

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7. What is the best way to save money on rental car insurance in The United States?

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8. Should I prepay my rental car booking in The United States?

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9. What are the largest numbers of vehicle seats available for a rental car in The United States?

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10. What types of sports and special cars are available in The United States?

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11. Can I take my rental car across borders in

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12. How do I inform the rental company I will be crossing a border from The United States?