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    Car Hire in the USA | Find Your Perfect Rental

    Explore the Land of the Free at your own pace with a car hire in the USA! Auto Europe provides quality car rental services at unbeatable prices. We have a wide selection of cars at your disposal at popular holiday destinations around the world. Our dedicated customer service team will cater to all of your personal needs and queries. Information on our current offers can be found on our website, or by speaking with one of our rental specialists on +353768887790.

    A car hire in the USA allows you to experience the American dream and discover the country where anything is possible. With fifty states to choose from, large and small, you will never be troubled for destinations. Pick up a car in New York and cruise along the former colonial strongholds of the East Coast. Visit California and enjoy the luxurious Golden State, or organise a car rental in Colorado and witness the breathtaking majesty of the Rocky Mountains. Travel around and immerse yourself in the vast, diverse regions of the USA at your own pace by booking with Auto Europe today!

    Take advantage of Auto Europe's special Gold Rate package. With this offer, you are going to save on fuel and additional drivers! Additionally, you can add a navigation system to the Gold Rate package and save even more! Click here for more details about the package!

    Traffic Rules and Driving Tips

    Driving laws and regulations in the USA differ from state to state as a result of the United States legal system. For this reason, it is highly recommended to study the driving laws of the state(s) you are planning to visit. Below is a list of general driving regulations for the whole of the USA.

    • Cars drive on the right side of the road.
    • To ensure that your driving licence is valid for the USA, obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP). This is an official translation of your licence recognised by the US Government. It is produced by the country that issued your licence. The IDP is not valid for use in the country of issue.
    • All speed limit measurements are made in miles (1 mile = 1.609344 kilometres).
    • The average speed limit on US motorways is 65 miles per hour (around 110 kilometres per hour) unless otherwise indicated.
    • Most cars in the USA, including rental cars, are automatic, and therefore have no clutch and gear shifting is unnecessary.
    • All US states require some form of liability insurance. Make sure you are sufficiently covered before hiring a car. Medical expenses in the USA can be extremely high in comparison to Ireland and other EU member states, bearing in mind that you may be liable to pay for medical expenses for drivers you have injured.
    • Highways are denoted by the letters "US", followed by a two-digit number (exception: the "10" in US 101 is the "first" digit). They are alternatively denoted as "routes", followed by the number. Interstate highways are denoted by the capital letter "I", followed by a number (e.g. I-47).
    • The driver and all passengers must wear seat belts. Though some states only require front seat passengers to wear seat belts, we advise that all passengers in the vehicle wear seat belts for insurance reasons and for your own safety.
    • Nearly all US states require young children to be wearing special child restraints.
    • It is prohibited in all states to text message while driving. The use of a handheld device while driving is permitted in some states, however for your own safety we recommend that you refrain from operating handheld devices while driving.
    • Overtake on the left side. If the car ahead of you is making a left turn, overtake on the right. Overtaking manoeuvres are only legal in a passing zone, designated by a dashed yellow centre line (passing is allowed in both directions) or a solid line with a dashed line next to it (passing is allowed for traffic adjacent to the dashed line).
    • The use of paper maps over GPS is recommended when travelling through rural areas.
    • If a school bus is flashing its lights, or has swung out a stop sign from the side of the vehicle, traffic in both directions of the road must stop.
    • Always make a complete stop at a stop sign. Proceed only when it is safe to do so.

    People in the USA have a different driving vocabulary compared to Ireland. A motorway is an "interstate highway" or "freeway" or "expressway", a junction is an "interchange", a carriageway is a "lane", a roundabout is a "traffic circle", an overtake is a "pass", a zebra crossing is a "marked crosswalk", a pavement is a "sidewalk", and petrol is known as "gasoline" or simply "gas".

    A guide to US road rules and regulations can be found on our easy to understand page.

    Road Tolls

    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.

    Age Restrictions

    In the USA, you must be 16 years and 180 days old to obtain a restricted licence. Furthermore, you must have had a learner's permit for 180 days. You must be at least 18 years old to receive a full driver's licence.

    In theory, you may arrange a car rental in the USA at any age after 18 (many rental companies set a maximum age of 70). However, it is common for car rental companies to deny drivers who are under the age of 25. More often than not, drivers under this age must pay an additional daily surcharge when renting a car. Younger drivers may also have a restricted selection of cars.


    The currency of the USA is the US dollar ($). Cash can be withdrawn from US cash machines and ATMs. Please note that your bank may charge you commission for making cash withdrawals abroad. Though it is common to pay for goods with credit and debit cards in the USA, be advised that not all shops may accept payment with them.

    Time Zone

    Because the USA is a vast country, there are four time zones on the mainland, and two additional time zones for Alaska and Hawaii. Some states are situated between two time zones, such as Maine and Kentucky. It is recommended to take note of the time zones of the states and cities that you are planning to visit.

    • Eastern Time (e.g. Florida, Michigan, New York) = UTC -05:00
    • Central Time (e.g. Arkansas, Illinois, Texas) = UTC -06:00
    • Mountain Time (e.g. Arizona, Montana, Wyoming) = UTC -07:00
    • Pacific Time (e.g. California, Nevada, Oregon) = UTC -08:00
    • Alaska Time = UTC -09:00
    • Hawaii-Aleutian Time = UTC -10:00


    The de facto official language of the USA is English. The second most spoken language is Spanish, accounting for 12% of the population, or 35 million people. Spanish is widely spoken in areas where there is a high Hispanic population: Southwestern United States near the border of Mexico, Florida, parts of California, District of Columbia, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York. Many street signs in these areas are written in both English and Spanish, while some predominantly Spanish neighbourhoods have only Spanish signs and Spanish-speaking people. Spanish is the official language of the territory of Puerto Rico.


    The voltage in US outlets is 120 Volts at 60 Hertz. A voltage converter is required if your electrical device does not accept this voltage. Outlets in the USA accept plugs with two round pins (most prevalent plug type in Europe and Asia). Appliances from the UK and Ireland will require an adaptor for use in the USA.

    Visa Requirements and Embassy

    There are two main ways for Irish citizens to visit the United States for tourism:

    • Application to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), an online application system introduced by the US Government to allow visitors to enter the USA under a visa waiver program. The visa waiver allows successful candidates to enter the USA for up to 90 days without a visa. Applications must be made at least 72 hours before the time of departure. This is the cheapest and quickest method of entering the USA, costing only $14 per application. A successful ESTA application is valid for 2 years. Please note that the ESTA is not a guarantee of entrance into the USA. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reserve the right to deny entry to travellers.
    • Application for a DS-2019 form an authorised sponsoring organisation, followed by a visa application to the US embassy once the DS-2019 is obtained (the type of visa you must apply for varies according to the purpose of your visit. Consult the US Embassy website for more information).

    Embassy of Ireland
    2234 Massachusetts Ave NW,
    Washington DC 20008
    Tel. + 1-202-462-3939

    Opening Hours:
    Monday to Friday 09.00-13.00 and 14.00-16:00

    Motorhome hire in the USA

    Auto Europe offers you a fantastic way of exploring the whole of North America. With our campervan hire the best road trip in the USA is guaranteed! There is so much to see in the USA, starting from majestic landscapes to be seen in national parks to some of the biggest cities in the world. Our partners for campervan hire in the USA are Apollo, Road Bear, Star RV and Cruise America.

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