17 July 2014
There are two ways of getting around the USA, either renting a car or taking public transportation. If you’re coming from outside the USA, you need to understand some basic facts so there’s no confusion while you’re on the road.
Cabs in the US are only available to hail off the street in large cities and near airports, hotels and popular entertainment destinations. If there isn’t one nearby, you may have to call one. Most cabs in the US are yellow and the boot is big enough to fit two large bags in so if you have a lot of luggage you may be better off with an SUV or a van. Just make sure to tell the dispatcher all the details so there’s no confusion.
Buses can be found throughout the US and they regularly travel between cities. There are also long distance buses available if you want to travel between states, they have toilets and comfortable seats to make the journey more enjoyable.
The first thing you need to know is that each state has its own regulations, and while many are the same, there are also some notable differences. Before you rent a car, ask the agent if there are any special rules you need to observe or if they can provide a guide. Just to be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to purchase a tour book with driving tips to help you.
The speed limit in most states is 110 km/hr (65 m/ph) except in areas where there are signs telling you otherwise. Speeding in any area is strictly prohibited and heavy penalties are imposed, especially where there is any road construction taking place.
Most states set the minimum driving age at 16, but with limited driving. Unrestricted driving is allowed at 18 years old,however the laws for car rental vary per state with some allowing those over 25 to rent a car. Some may rent to younger drivers with an additional charge or increased excess. The maximum age limit varies among states, but generally anybody over 71 will have a hard time renting a car. Also keep in mind that rental car services usually have different stipulations so read the contract carefully.
No matter how you decide to get around, it’s important to have the right travel insurance and you could wind up in unnecessary complications without travel insurance so it’s always best to be prepared.