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    Car hire in the USA - Explore more with a rental

    Auto Europe is an international car hire broker that currently operates in more than 24,000 locations in 180 countries around the world. Thanks to our longstanding experience and cooperation with international and local rental car companies, we can offer our customers competitive prices on the global market. You've come to the right place if you are looking for car hire in the United States.

    Our customers can pick up their rented vehicle at most airports as well as at railway stations or in cities, which enables a nice and smooth start to your holiday in the States. The rent a car companies who we collaborate with offer a wide range of cars, from compact to luxurious ones, and in addition, you can also hire campers with us! The best price guarantee and the award-winning customer service are far from being our only assets. Have you already heard about our Gold Rate package in America and Canada? This unique offer provides various benefits: there is one free fuel tank, up to three additional drivers without any charge, and, if desired, a free GPS device included in the rental. With this ideal offer, you can rent a car in the USA and travel long distances across numerous countries, go on road trips and explore the continent, and you will definitely benefit from both additional drivers and free fuel.

    Whatever you decide to visit in the States, be it spectacular landscapes, iconic endless roads or modern megalopolises, it is certain that this road will be a long recollection throughout the country of a special blend of cultures. Look for a good rental car in our search engine in the USA or call our reservation staff - we are here to answer all your questions!

    What are the most important driving rules in the USA?

    • In the USA, cars drive on the right side of the road.

    • The limit on the content of alcohol in blood in the USA is 0.8%. Drivers younger than 21 must not have any alcohol in the blood.

    • The driver, as well as all passengers in the car, must have safety belts fastened at all times during the ride.

    • Drivers are required to have a driving license, proof of insurance and car registration during their driving.

    What to do in the USA

    Opportunities for sightseeing in the USA are literally endless. Given its immense size, you will need to be a careful planner if you would like to squeeze as much as possible into your holiday. Auto Europe has selected several must-visit places which rank as landmarks in the USA. You may want to include the following into your itinerary:

    • New York: Depicting New York City using only words is a difficult task as they can hardly convey the level of energy present in this iconic city. New York is a global trend-setter and its influence on trend development ranges from business matters to art and fashion around the world. Known as the city that never sleeps, New York is the place to experience great nightlife, intriguing museums and fusion of various traditions in its food scene. Roam the streets of Soho and Mahattan, visit Little Italy and Chinatown, take a photo on the famous Brooklyn Bridge and have a picnic in Central Park. New York is definitely a city where you’ll want to return!

    • Grand Canyon: One of the most scenic drives in the USA is a road trip in the Grand Canyon Region. Despite being well-known, well-documented and featured in every tourist guide in the States, hardly can these photos and descriptions prepare one for its gigantic appearance and the breathtaking play of colours and orange hues as far as the eye can see. Near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon there are two other Arizona’s landmarks: Antelope Canyon, a formation of sand dunes frozen in rocks, and Horseshoe Bend, a section of the Colorado River shaped like a horseshoe.

    • California: Where else to head for a daily dose of sun, fun and joie de vivre if not to California? California is the place to get spoiled and experience the lightness of life. With a car rental in the USA you will have a great head start for any road trip and remember that the States are ideal for such adventures, especially California! What’s in it for you? Beaches, nightlife, stunning nature, volcanoes, waterfalls, wineries and rugged mountains - to name only a few reasons to hit the road in California!

    • Hawaii: The gorgeous exotic island of Hawaii is a dream come true for every adventurer and nature lover out there. Spectacularly beautiful, this speck of land in the cobalt-blue ocean does not cease to amaze with its picture-perfect scenery, ancient traditions and some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the world.

    • Alaska: The diversity of the USA is apparent not only in its communities and ethnic groups, but also in its landscapes which range from stunning beaches and deserts to icebound landscapes. We are moving from Hawaii to Alaska, the land of mountain glaciers, wildlife and the Northern Lights. With plenty of sports activities ideal for an active holiday, you will have an excellent choice as to how to spend your time in Alaska!

    Road Trips with my car hire in the USA

    The USA is a superlative place for road trips. Miles and miles of roads will take you through picturesque landscapes, deserts and forests to large cities, long sandy beaches and magnificent national parks. Besides car hire in the USA, we also offer you a great selection of campervans from all leading motorhome suppliers. It’s time to start planning your road trip route! Cross-country road trips are extremely popular if you have enough time and include a multitude of sights on the way. Our suggestions are:

    • Route 66: Probably the most famous road around the world, also known as America’s main street, Route 66 is a diagonally-stretching road that connects Los Angeles on the West Coast with Chicago on the shore of Lake Michigan. Along the road you will find reminders of American past and heritage, cafés and motels as well as quirky attractions so typical of Route 66.
    • Southern Pacific: Another cross-country route popular with tourists leads you through deserts to San Diego. Experience the specific cultural mix of traditions along the way and enjoy Tex-Mex cuisine in local diners. Some of the stats this route traverses are California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arizona and Texas!

    • Pacific Coast: Imagine driving down the Californian coast in a convertible. The Pacific Coast motorway, also known as California State Route 1 is often recommended by visitors as a fantastic road with great panoramic views. Make picturesque San Francisco your starting point, drive along the coast and finish your road trip in San Diego after around 550 miles. A detour and a stopover at Sequoia National Forest and Mojave National Preserve will also be worth your time.

    • Atlantic Coast: A road trip down the Atlantic Coast will take you on a journey of discovery through the history of the USA, old towns, but also the modern lively ones such as New York. Start off at the Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts to deepen your knowledge of American heritage and the lifestyle in the 17th century. The route leads you further south through numerous places all the way to Miami where all the fun is!

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

    It is common for the young in the USA to start driving quite early. However, to rent a car you need to be at least 21 years old. “Young drivers” is a term used to denote the age group of drivers younger than 25, who are subject to additional fees known as “young driver” surcharge. You can find the necessary information for each rental on our website in the “Info Icon” section.

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

    Road tolls are uncommon in the USA. Each state varies in the number of toll roads they have and the cost for the use of such roads. It is recommended to note the toll roads of the states you are planning to visit. It is also advisable to pay with cash at toll booths in order to avoid complications arising from credit card transactions.

    Click here to see the full list of toll roads in the USA.

    A bit of history

    The history of the United States of America, as we know it nowadays, dates back to the 15th century, more precisely to the  year 1492 when the continent was discovered by Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer and navigator. Columbus found a flourishing Native American culture on the “New Continent” with several communities still present in the modern USA, including the Apache, Navajo and Lakota people. In his expedition, Columbus mistakenly believed he reached India following a new naval route. Following his arrival on the American land, the first European colonies were established with much effort and difficulty. Europeans had a hard time adjusting to the harsh living conditions, climate and previously unknown diseases. Slowly over years permanent settlements began to grow and in 1774 colonies declared war against Britain. On 4th July 1776 Jefferson’s American Declaration of Independence was endorsed by the Congress and the colonies declared independence from the British rule. The War of Independence and the American Revolution were led by George Washington, who was later elected the first president of the USA. In 1808 Atlantic slave trading was finally abolished but not slavery as such. The fight for abolishing slavery continued between the northern and southern states and had its pinnacle in the civil war. Abraham Lincoln declared all slaves free in 1863.

    Throughout the 19th century the USA was faced with a massive influx of immigrants from Europe, which subsequently formed the American nation. This was the time of a strong and rapid development on various levels especially in construction, finances, architecture and industry. The crime rate also rose with millions of people inhabiting large cities. In an attempt to reduce crime and enforce “purity”, the government prohibited alcohol sale. The Prohibition Era failed as an experiment as it triggered illegal alcohol production and consumption. The flourishing times of development came to an end when the big stock market Wall Street crashed between 1929 and 1933, causing a major economic crisis with over 13 million people left unemployed. This period of American history is known as the Great Depression. A government-funded recovery programme was launched by President Roosevelt and soon the USA took part in World War II and, afterwards, Cold War with Eastern Bloc. The United States of America are a diverse country with thousands of nationalities forming a unique American identity and with great power on an international level.

    What is the currency in the USA?

    In the United States of America the only and official currency is the American Dollar. Exchange bureaus are located in all major international airports and in cities. Credit cards are widely used while you may not be able to use European debit cards neither for payment nor for withdrawing cash.

    What time zone is the USA in?

    As a large country spreading across an area of almost four million square miles, the USA is divided into nine time zones. New York City is in the EST zone which is the closest to Europe with a time difference of five hours behind Dublin.

    Which are the most common phrases in the USA?

    In addition to American English, you will often hear Spanish spoken widely in cities such as San Diego in California or Miami in Florida. We bring you an overview of the most common phrases in Spanish:

    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 adaptor in the USA?

    For travelling from Ireland to the USA, you will need an adapter. The electrical sockets are type A with two parallel pins. It is usually more affordable to buy an adapter while still in Ireland. If you happen to forget it, you needn’t worry as you can buy it in almost any airport.

    Do I need a visa to travel to the USA?

    Irish citizens who have previously acquired ESTA approval, which stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorisation, may not need a visa to enter the USA as tourists. The Visa Waiver Programme is a special programme for selected countries whose citizens can travel to the USA for business or leisure, provided their stay does not exceed 90 days, without obtaining a visa. If you do not meet the necessary requirements for this programme, you will need to apply for a visa. Please contact the US Embassy in Dublin for more information.

    Can I hire a campervan in the USA?

    Absolutely! The USA is a fantastic place for a road trip in a campervan. Auto Europe’s offer includes campervan hire at some of the best prices on the market. Call us for more information!

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