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    Car rental in the USA at the best price

    Visiting the USA can be a thrilling experience for many - being such a large country, means that road trips are common practice, especially if you decide to grab a car rental in the USA and drive through the iconic Route 66. From San Francisco on the west coast, to Las Vegas and on to New York on the east coast – the USA is a mixing pot of cultural influences, traditions, history and people. Each State has its own distinct character, meaning you’re sure to find exactly the American experience you’re looking for.

    Breath-taking nature, amazing urban skylines and the contrasting peacefulness of wide open landscapes, all make for an unforgettable experience. In addition, we also offer our USA Gold Rate package – in essence saving you lots of money with three additional drivers and the first tank of fuel included.

    With over 60 year’s car rental experience, Auto Europe is well positioned to offer you great deals, from a large selection of vehicles. Having partnered with local, national and international trusted car suppliers, means you’ll be able to find a collection location exactly where you’ll need it. If you need help planning your trip or want to discuss your car rental needs, then contact one of our reservation agents.

    What are the most important driving rules in the USA?

    When planning to visit the USA it is advisable to become accustomed to some general road rules, for your safety and other road users. Some differences exist between states and even cities, so we advise consulting the rules of the state and city you wish to visit. There exist a number of main road rules and regulations that are constant throughout the country.

    • In the USA you need to drive on the right-hand side and overtake on the left
    • Seatbelts are compulsory in some states for the front seats, in others for front and rear seats, and in other states seat belts aren’t required. Some states enforce seatbelt usage for anyone under the age of 18 years. We advise checking your state law before you travel
    • It is prohibited to use a mobile phone whilst driving
    • Petrol stations are generally open 24 hours in cities, and from 6am to 10pm in more rural areas
    • Never overtake a school bus if it has a flashing red light
    • Yellow lines separate traffic coming in the opposite direction
    • Try not to use your horn unless you are in immediate danger
    • If police pull you over, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so. Never get out of your vehicle unless instructed to do so, and keep your hands visible on the steering wheel at all times
    • A valid insurance certificate, car registration certificate and a valid driving licence, including an international driving permit, if required, must be carried at all times.

    What to do in the USA

    The USA is a treasure trove of things to see and do. From the welcoming Statue of Liberty in New York, to the Golden Gate Bridge in the San Francisco, America has it all. A melting pot of English, Irish, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Native Indians and plenty of other cultures, makes the USA a truly interesting place to visit. Here are our own recommendations for when you’re visiting:

    • New York City: A magnet for tourists and residents, New York is a one of the world’s Alpha cities and a city that literally never sleeps. Admire the Grand Central station’s ceiling, take in a Broadway show, wander through Soho or little Italy, or simply stroll along Brooklyn Bridge, the list is endless. Experience the American dream first hand in a city where dreams and careers are made and broken.

    • Las Vegas: A desert city in Nevada, Las Vegas is an entertainers and gamblers paradise. Bright lights, colours and plenty of exhilarating fun are around every corner. You’ll need plenty of money and energy to keep up with this city’s fast paced atmosphere. An absolute world of adventure, with shows, sights and attractions available 24-hours per day.

    • Yosemite National Park: Visiting Yosemite is a great day out for the whole family. With giant thousand year old sequoia trees to an art gallery depicting the work of American photographer Ansel Adams, you surely won’t be bored. Mr Adams, dedicated most of his life to capturing the true spirit of this national park through black and white photographs – many of which are on display in this gallery.

    • Niagara Falls State Park: A mesmerising beautiful array of colours as the sun shines through the waterfall mist, often creating spectacular rainbows, is what could be in store for you when you pay a visit to Niagara Falls. In the Niagara Falls State Park you are presented with an observation tower and the Prospect Point viewing platform – which allows you great views of all three waterfalls. An aquarium can also be found here which is home to penguins, sea lions and seals.

    • The Grand Canyon National Park: Bearing witness to millions of years of geological changes, the Grand Canyon, with its layered red rock surface is a must visit when in the USA. Viewing points exist at Mather Point, Yavapai, Mary Colter’s lookout post and watchtower. The views are not only breath-taking but very inspiring and wondrous. The Havasu Falls are not to be missed either.

    Road trips with my car rental in the USA

    Going on a road trip through the USA is unlike any other road trip. The ever changing North American landscape dazzles you around every corner. With your car rental in the USA you’ll be able to use your time wisely and explore places public transport can’t reach. The mountains, canyons, deserts and lush thick forests all converge to make the USA a unique road trip. Following are our recommendations, if time isn’t of the essence, then why not try and fit in a visit to more than one of these places.

    • Southern Pacific Route: This journey successfully infuses Texan and Mexican cultures, amongst others, into an ever changing exciting adventure. Expect to encounter beautiful San Diego beaches, wide open deserts and drive through numerous states, such as Arizona, California, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Alabama.

    • Pacific Coast Route: Take the Pacific Highway - also known as the California State Route 1 – and pass through some world renowned cities. Commence your journey in San Francisco, with its Golden Gate Bridge and iconic trams, then drive towards Los Angeles and San Diego, enjoying the stillness of the Pacific Ocean.

    • Route 66: Originally forming part of the original US motorway system, Route 66 passes through some great places. Preserving most of the USA’s rich heritage, drive from Santa Monica and Los Angeles on the west coast, through Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, St. Louis and finish in the windy city of Chicago.

    • Atlantic Coast Route: A trip through American history along the Atlantic Coast and through New England is fundamental for anyone wishing to experience vintage scenery and scenic coastal towns, together with world famous cities such as New York. Learn all about the first American settlers in Massachusetts then head down towards the vibrant chilling city of Miami.

    How old do I have to be to rent a car in the USA?

    The majority of US states require drivers to have a minimum age of 21 years to rent a car. Any drivers under 25 years of age may be charged a young driver fee by the local rental supplier. Depending on your driving licence’s country of origin, you may require an international driving licence to drive in the USA. We advise consulting your voucher and our website’s “Info Icon” for further information on fees and requirements.

    Do I need to pay tolls when driving my car hire in the USA?

    The majority of US motorways have tolls, or in American English, turnpikes. There are just over 8000 km of pay for motorways crisscrossing the USA. Forms of payment can vary between toll companies and US states. Some accept cash paid at the booth or thrown into a basket. Other tolls you will have to pre-register your number plate and bank details before passing. An electronic toll transponder also exists, which is affixed to your windscreen and a fee deducted from your bank account every time you pass through a toll road.

    A Bit of History

    The United States of America consists of fifty states, with Alaska in the north and Hawaii in the South, the USA is a true melting pot of global immigrant cultures and native inhabitants. Its wide varied landscapes, from deserts, to lush forests and canyons, will awe you and makes this country one of the most varied in the world. The first settlement in North America was Spanish, but quickly other European nations followed, with each taking their own slice of the continent.

    In the 18th century, the British part of the continent gained independence and ushered in a new era in American history. The United States quickly started to capture land from the native Indians and expand westwards. The railroads helped settlers reach different parts of its vast territory quickly, which ultimately led to Native Indians being forced into reservations. One by one, other American regions belonging to other European countries joined the union, with some like Alaska, Florida and California being purchased by the US.

    Between 1849 and 1865, the American Civil War erupted between north and south. At its heart was the disagreement of slavery, amongst others. In the 19th and 20th century immigration from Europe boomed, with welfare and industrial reforms following. During both World Wars, the USA fought alongside the allied forces. The 1960s saw many political upheavals, with activists and protests against the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movements spurred on by Martin Luther King Jr. who was ultimately assassinated. Presently the USA is a global super power and an influential player on the world stage.

    What is the currency in the USA?

    The United States uses the US Dollar (USD) as its currency. It is a government backed issued currency. We therefore advise changing some of your money before you arrive. Currency exchange offices can be found throughout the country in major transport hubs. All major credit cards are accepted, including American Express, and money can be withdrawn from bank ATMs. You may however be charged an exchange fee plus administration if your main currency isn’t the USD.

    What time zone is the USA in?

    A total of six time zones exist in the USA – Eastern Standard Time, Mountain Time, Pacific Time and Central Time, Alaska and Hawaii Time. The American city of New York has the closest time difference to mainland Europe – with a -7 hour difference. The Central Time Zone has an -8 hour difference and the Mountain Time a -9 hour difference. San Francisco on the west coast is on Pacific Time with a -10 difference. Please consult this useful link, to view what cities fall under what time zones.

    Which are the most common phrases in the USA?

    The USA’s most common language is English, however some words defer from British English. These are some common differences between British and American English:

    Car hire - Car rental
    Excess - Deductible
    Voucher - Confirmation
    Petrol - Gas
    Boot - Trunk

    Some states and cities have Spanish as a common language on par with English – especially Miami and San Diego. We would advise learning these following common Spanish phrases:

    Where is the closest police station? - ¿Dónde está la comisaría de policía más cercana?
    Where is the closest hospital? - ¿Dónde está el hospital más cercano?
    Where is the closest ATM machine? - ¿Dónde hay un cajero automático?
    Where is [location]? - ¿Dónde está [location]?
    Can I pay by credit card? - ¿Puedo pagar con tarjeta de crédito?
    Can I pay by debit card? - ¿Puedo pagar con tarjeta de débito?
    How much does this cost? - ¿Cuánto cuesta?
    Thank you - Gracias
    Keep the change - Quédese con el cambio

    Electricity - Do I need a power adapter in the USA?

    The US uses 120 volts and a type A plug. The type A plug has two flat blades, so check how it defers from your country and if necessary use an adapter. Adapters can be purchased at all major transport hubs and supermarkets.

    Do I need a visa to travel to the USA?

    A visa is required for EU citizens when travelling to the United States. Often, you may be able to travel with a Visa Waiver Program. The ETSA program – Electronic System for Travel Authorisation – allows travel up to 90 days for tourism, business related or transit. Before travelling to the US, make sure you confirm with your home country what VISA is best suited for you. If you require consulate assistance within the US, then refer to your countries consulate.

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