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  • Approx 9 hours
  • English
  • American dollars
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The United States of America, usually best known as the USA, is a vast country - the third largest in the world! It's also a country where the car is well and truly king, so booking yourself some car hire in the USA is a must, unless you're visiting a very public transport friendly place like New York. The good news is that hiring a car in America is pretty cheap, especially if you use our hand search to compare prices and book ahead!

This vast country has to be one of the ultimate holiday destinations for travellers and it most definitely has more to offer than any one visit could possibly include! There is such a huge diversity in destinations as well, from the beaches and laid back vibes of the Californian coast, to the shimmering skyscrapers and frantic hustle and bustle of New York, and from the gentle landscapes of the southern States to the Great Lakes.

The good news is - an American Road Trip is not just a film and tv show creation - with cheap car hire in the USA it can be your holiday reality too!

Hiring A Car In USA

It's easy to get hold of a hire car in America, because there will be rental outlets at all the airports as well as other locations in cities such as bus depots. It's a great idea to make sure you compare USA car hire prices well before you take the plunge - and to book in advance as well to get the best deal. If you're planning a road trip, look out for companies that will let you hire from one outlet and return to another for no extra charge, otherwise your expenses could really add up.

Of course, make sure that you have all the proper identification and insurance documents with you, but once you're on the road it should be no more difficult than remembering to drive on the correct side of the road and watching out for the speed limit, which is usually slower than in the UK

Since you're on holiday, think a little about how to avoid rush hours - all the major towns and cities have them, and they can be pretty terrible. Maybe spend breakfast in a little more leisurely fashion or stroll your local area.

Places To Visit In USA

There are so many destinations you can arrive into on cheap USA flights and pick up cheap USA car rental as soon as you land - it just depends on what sort of holiday you want. Why not check out our USA guide for ideas! To save money, it's a great idea to be flexible with dates and look into different stopovers for the best prices.

If you just can't pin yourself down to one or two destinations, then get to know the country by taking a road trip. Here are some of the tried-and-tested best on offer.

Pacific Coast Highway - Also known as Route 1, this is the quintessential US road trip - why not consider getting a convertible hire car for this American adventure! In total it runs for 656 miles, along some of the most breathtaking coastal scenery anywhere in the world, although some parts have been rerouted inland due to land slips. If you can't do it all, be sure to include Monterey to San Simeon in your itinerary.

Seward Highway - Alaksa is an often-forgotten part of America when it comes to taking a road trip. But the scenery is most definitely spectacular! This trip into the last frontier is best for adventurous types who want some back-to-basics holiday fun along the way from Anchorage to Seward.

San Juan Skyway - This is a loop, traversing around the San Juan Mountains. It's 233 miles long so could make a great trip in itself, or you could combine with more of the Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway. Expect stunning mountain views, quaint mining towns and sweeping roads. It would almost be criminal not to stop in Ouray for a dip in their hot-springs, whilst a detour to the incredible cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park will be well worth your time.

Olympic Peninsula Highway 101 - Taking in the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State in an almost circular route, this drive combines the snow-topped peaks of the Olympic Mountains with a bird-watchers' paradise in the lowlands, and the shores of Lake Crescent. Further on you'll hit the coast, as well as Hoh Rain Forest and Quinault Rain Forest. All in all, you'll see the rugged beauty of this part of the world, and you can add in a trip to cosmopolitan Seattle too!

Florida Keys Overseas Highway - This highway at the southern tip of Florida is not the longest of routes, but certainly one of the most photogenic. At 127 miles, it includes 40 bridges and takes you out to the farthest reaches of the Florida Keys, which are a string of practically tropical islands. Take your time here, enjoy the little villages, the seafood restaurants, the snorkelling and the slower pace of life.

Blue Ridge Parkway - This long road runs for 496 miles through the Appalachians, connecting Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. Expect plenty of nature - the main attractions here are the flora and fauna, the hiking trails and the little campsites, so you might consider hiring tents and other equipment shortly after you get your hands on your hire car in the USA if you're planning on following this route.

Deep South Musical Route - For all true country, blues and jazz fans this route may well be the trip of a lifetime. Running from Nashville in Tennessee to New Orleans in Louisiana, it's a mammoth 776 miles! Along the way you'll visit Memphis, Tunica, Clarksdale and Lafayette, and visit more important monuments to these musical genres than you could ever imagine.

General Advice on Hiring a Car

When you purchase car hire you are entering into a contract with your car hire company. Always check their terms and conditions before you buy to make sure you're aware of your responsibilities when you collect your car in United States, and any additional charges.


Here's a few things to watch out for:

  • Almost all car hire companies add a mandatory fee for drivers under the age of 25.
  • Check what level of insurance is included for the hire car in United States. In particular check how much the excess is (the amount you need to pay in the event of any accident) you may want to take out additional insurance.
  • Check what the fuel policy is with your car. Don't forget to fill up the tank before you drop it off if you've agreed to return it full!
  • Find out if there's a maximum daily mileage - especially if you're planning to do a lot of driving in United States!
  • You'll need to pay a deposit (or pre-approve one) to pick up the car. Most car rental companies will only accept credit cards for this.

  • If you'd like more advice on common charges (and what you can do to avoid them) read our complete guide to car hire.