Everything a tourist needs to know about car rental in the United States of America: cost, documents, insurance, traffic rules, toll roads, as well as major car rental companies in the United States of America.
Rent a car in the USA and cross the continent from east to west or from west to east, starting in New York or Los Angeles, following the route of Ilf and Petrov or choosing your own path — this is a dream trip! In English, renting a car will be rent a car. And where, where, and in America, finding a rental office is not difficult. The choice of cars, prices, conditions — for every taste and budget.
The approximate cost of renting a middle-class car with an automatic transmission (and only cars with automatic transmission are rented in the States) and air conditioning — 70 USD per day. Prices on the page are as of September 2018.
The car can be ordered directly on the website of the distributor or from brokers offering options from different companies. In the latter, as a rule, it is cheaper, and the choice is bigger. If an airport is indicated as a place to pick up a car, keep in mind that you will not find a car at the airport itself — you must first find a parking space for shuttles that take customers free of charge to rental offices.
Sometimes you need to get permission to export cars outside the state.
To rent a car in the States, you will need a passport with a valid visa, a driver’s license (our “plastic” is enough) and a credit card (it is a credit card, but since debit cards issued in Russia do not indicate that they are debit cards, but you can keep silent …). When ordering via the Internet, it is not necessary to specify the card data, only the full name, e-mail address, address and telephone number. The driver must be at least 25 years old (if so, you will have to pay the “young driver” fee). In some companies, rent is possible from 18 years, and in some only from 21 years.
The cost of renting a car in the US usually includes: insurance SLI + CDW (but often the initial price calculation does not include insurance), unlimited mileage (Unlimited Mileage), which can sometimes be limited to several states, local taxes. Additional charges: extra. insurance, second driver (often, if the spouse is the second driver, the surcharge is not taken), renting a navigator (if renting for more than a week, the navigator will be cheaper to buy), renting an EZ Pass (automatic payment card for toll roads, saves time on entry and departure), baby car seat.
Moving on cars in the US, it is worth remembering that the traffic rules and the size of fines, as well as the cost of gasoline and parking hours, differ from state to state. There are many nuances, but the basic rules of behavior on the road are unchanged.
Cheat sheet by type of insurance: CDW / LDW (collision / loss damage waiver) — an analogue of our CASCO, insures against theft and damage, it happens with a franchise and without, sometimes when renting a car on a gold category card and above such insurance is provided by the bank; SLI (supplemental liability insurance) — an analogue of our CTP, liability to third parties; PAE / PPP (personal protect plan) — medical insurance for the driver and passengers, is not needed if you have already purchased personal honey. insurance before entering the States.
The rental period is usually from 12 o’clock in the afternoon (12 am) to noon of the next day, that is, if you pick up the car, say, at 9 am or return late for more than 90 minutes, you will pay one more day for payment. Upon receipt of the car from the card prepaid plus 25-30% «for reserve» — the final payment is made upon delivery of the car.
Fuel and refueling
Gasoline in the United States is Regular, Midgrade, Premium (87th, 89th, and 92nd, respectively). Regular is suitable for most rented cars. Prices at the gas stations are for 1 gallon, equal to about 3.79 liters, in general, in the territory of a separate state, prices do not vary much. Refueling machines accept credit cards, the sequence of actions is usually indicated on the scoreboard. At some gas stations, it is required to indicate the zip code of the place where the card was issued, in this case it will not be possible to refuel yourself with a Russian card — use the cashier’s services.
The car is rented with a full tank — you must also return it with a full one, so get puzzled about finding the nearest gas station as soon as you get the car. Alternatively, you can pay in advance for the Fuel Service.
The cost of gasoline in the United States is 2.85 USD per gallon. Current prices for gasoline and diesel in the US can be viewed
Moving on cars in the US, it is worth remembering that the traffic rules and the size of fines, as well as the cost of gasoline and parking hours, differ from state to state. There are many nuances, but the basic standards of behavior on the road, of course, remain unchanged. Road signs are different from ours in that the characters are duplicated with inscriptions, and sometimes only with inscriptions and limited. The speed limit is indicated in miles and is accompanied by the caption Speed Limit. Other signs that are often found on the roads are: Road closed — the road is closed; Do not pass — overtaking is prohibited; One way — one-way traffic; Wrong way — it is forbidden to move in this direction; No motor vehicles — movement is prohibited; Road work ahead — road works ahead.
It is forbidden to transport children under 6 years old without a special restraint. In 26 states and the District of Columbia, seat belts must be fastened to everyone in the car. Dipped beam must be on at any time of the day. Talking on the phone while driving is prohibited, but not in all states. It is forbidden to carry open bottles with alcoholic beverages in the passenger compartment. It is forbidden to overtake the school bus, making the landing / disembarking of children; Moreover, seeing that the bus stopped at the side of the road and turned on flashing red signals, you should stop regardless of the direction of travel.
Speed limit in the USA. Locality (business / residence district): 20-25 mph. Motorway (freeway): 55-75 mph. Residential zone (alley): 15 mph.
If you are stopped by a policeman on the road, do not get out of the car and keep your hands on the wheel. A police officer will come to you himself, check the documents and / or voice a violation and issue a fine. Penalty invoices are paid online or through a bank. A police officer has no right to charge a fee «on the spot».
Allowable blood alcohol content in the USA: 0.08 ‰.
Some amounts of fines: speeding — from 70 to 500 USD; driving on the sidelines — 450 USD; disabled parking on site — USD 250; non-use of seat belts — 50 USD; drunk driving — deprivation of rights, a large fine and / or imprisonment; creating a safety hazard for a road safety officer — deprivation of rights.
Toll roads in the US are called toll roads, to pay for them, you need to move off the main road to the side track. Take the EZ Pass device at the rental office — it allows you to use toll roads without stopping for payment. The system reads the card data automatically and sends the bill to the rental company, and they will already write off the funds from your bank card, even if you leave the country by that time. The fare varies from state to state.
Parking in US cities
In the cities of America should be parked only in designated areas. Stopping at the curb, note the color of the curb: white — stop only for embarkation / disembarkation of passengers; green — parking is possible for a limited time (indicated on the sign or on the curb); yellow — stop only for boarding / disembarking passengers for a limited time; red — stop is prohibited; blue — the stop is allowed only for disabled people.
9 most expensive for parking cities in America: New York with its Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia, Seattle, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco. On average in the country (although it is very difficult to calculate such a value as average data for anything in all states) in the centers of large cities leaving the car for a couple of hours will cost about 4 USD, and for the whole day about 10-12 USD . Outside of business centers, free parking is often found at shopping centers or restaurants.