Our Driving Tips series gives you the need-to-know advice for driving abroad!
Driving your hire car in the USA can be much different from driving back home in the UK and with a lot of ground to cover to get the most out of your holiday in the states, it’s likely you’ll be doing a lot of it! Make sure to read up on our guide of quick, need-to-know information before embarking on your USA trip!
Speed Limits in USA
Speed limits in the US vary depending on the state, so always read up on the differences depending on where you are visiting and travelling to. Generally, speed limits are clearly signposted so keep an eye out for what to stick to. You can find each speed limit by state here.
Important Road Signs
Road signs in the USA are different to what you’ll find in the UK. Below are some of the most important to be aware of before driving in the States.
USA Driving Rules and Regulations
Driving in the USA is complicated by variations in driving laws from one state to the next. You should also bear in mind interstate rules of the road.
- Road signs are colour coded. The two most significant are those which are red/orange as these mean danger or stop, and those which are yellow, as these mean caution.
- In every single state, driving is illegal with a blood alcohol concentration at or above 0.08. The USA takes DUIs (Driving Under the Influence) extremely seriously, so be very careful at all times. If you plan on driving shortly after landing, be careful about drinking on the plane.
- Driving while distracted is also serious, constituting a primary offence in many states in the USA. This means that you could be ‘ticketed’ (fined) on the spot.
- Be wary of driving on freeways until you’re used to driving on the right-hand side of the road.
- Ultimately the best tips for Driving in the USA is to drive carefully or defensively. This means being aware of the potential for hazards and anticipating them, rather than just reacting to them.
What to Bring Along
What you’ll need to hire a car in the USA:
- Full UK driving licence that is valid for the entire rental period. Whilst an International Driving Permit (IDP) isn’t a requirement for driving in the USA, the US government does recommend one as in the event of an accident an insurance company may insist upon seeing your IDP.
- Valid passport.
- Be at least 21 years of age. Drivers under the age of 25 will be restricted to certain car categories and will need to pay a young driver surcharge.
- Valid credit card that is issued in the driver’s name.
Rely on SIXT for your car hire needs in USA
When you’re planning on driving in America, our reliable car hire services will ensure you recieve a high quality rental that will get you from A to B and everywhere in between. Our branch staff will also be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about driving rules in the city or state you’re visiting.
In the United States, we have stations in major travel hubs and airports, and in cities such as Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Orlando, and much more.