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USA car hire deals

Top car hire deals for your road trip through the USA.

The USA has so many must-see landmarks across many different states that the only way to experience it fully is to hire a car and set out on the most exciting sight-seeing road trip ever.

If you are sold on the idea of road-tripping across the USA, we’ve got that all-important info you’ve been searching for including the best car hire deals and popular road trip routes.

Top car hire USA deals

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Road rules: What to know about driving in Hawaii

In the USA you’ll need to drive on the right side of the road. Other important road rules to be aware of include:

  • Prepare for toll roads: America is full of toll roads (aka turnpikes). Change is required for these with only some booths taking debit and credit cards.
  • Remember your roundabouts: When you come to a roundabout (known in the USA as traffic circles or rotary), drivers to the left have right of way.
  • Overtaking school buses is prohibited.
  • How to handle police: If you are pulled over by the police, turn off your engine and wait in the car until approached.
  • Overtake on the left: As in the continental USA, drivers occupy the right side of the road. In the event that you need to overtake another vehicle, you would pass on the left, so remember to check your rear-view and left-hand mirrors (as well as ahead of you) before doing so.

Popular USA driving routes

  • The Rockies: The American Rockies region boasts Native American history, wrangler heritage, and wildlife. The roads throughout are relatively quiet, allowing you to drive through the magnificent scenery without the crowds.The route takes you through famous national parks – includingYellowstone, home to Old Faithful.
  • The Southwest: Utah and Arizona's national parks are easily combined when road tripping the southwest.Travel through wild west towns and past huts selling road-kill jerky. Las Vegas is often the starting point for this drive and deserves a few nights’ stay before heading off to more unique and quirky parts of the open road.
  • Route 66: Route 66 is an iconic road that runs from Chicago to Los Angeles. Spanning over 2,300 kilometres, it passes through the heart of the US diagonally past flashy neon signs and remote truck stops.

Frequently asked questions about car hire in the US

Who offers cheap car hire in the USA?

Avis, Budget, Alamo, Thrifty and Enterprise have cars available for hire in the USA.

Can you hire a car without a credit card in the USA?

Most car hire companies only accept bookings with a credit card. This is so the final cost can be completely charged to you at the end of the hire, including any damages and fuel costs. Some offer the option to pay via debit card. When researching, check their payment options.

Do I need an International Driving License to drive in USA?

A valid driver's licence is required to drive in the US. Certain states also require an International Driving Permit (IDP). Check with the motor vehicle department of the states in which you wish to drive before leaving Australia to ensure you have the correct documentation.

I’m on a provisional license. Can I drive in the USA?

Unfortunately, provisional non-US residents are not permitted to drive on the roads in USA.

How does car insurance work?

Depending on which level of cover you opt for, car hire rental excess insurance is a great idea as it can reduce the excess payable to a more reasonable amount if you happen to need to make a claim, or it can even eradicate the excess fee completely.

Most of the time, USA car hire companies will offer you insurance when you come to book, and suggest the appropriate level of cover based on your own needs, though you always have the option to purchase insurance for your hire car through an alternate insurer if you prefer.

Can you hire a car from USA to Canada?

All major car hire companies let you drive across the US/Canada border. However, almost all will ask that you return the car to where it was initially rented, which means a round trip will be required.


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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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