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Old 24th January 2016, 09:11   #76
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Default Re: Rent a car in the US

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Originally Posted by rohanak1 View Post
I am on a trip to the US for 3 weeks in the end of December. I have planned to rent a car to drive to Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. This is the first time I would be driving in the US. I drive pretty well back home following all the rules. I have done lot of reading on US road rules, exiting and entering freeways etc.
Can anyone give me some advice on the driving conditions to Grand Canyon from Vegas? I will go for either Hertz or Avis. I am tempted to drive a bigger car. Any ideas on which one I should choose? I do not have an IDL. I checked the DMV sites of Arizona and Nevada and an Indian license is valid and no IDL is needed. It will be just me and the wife with only me driving. I plan to drive with my brother who stays in Atlanta for a few hours to get used to.

I am very excited but at the same time tense about breaking any rule or not properly merging onto freeways.
I am back from my US trip. As planned rented a car with Avis to go to Grand Canyon from Vegas. Had booked a Chevy Cruze and got upgraded to a Nissan Rogue . Was a fantastic drive with amazing roads. The indian license was good enough. I also did not have to pay extra for insurance. It costed me $111 for a full day.
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Old 25th January 2016, 07:36   #77
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Post Re: Rent a car in the US

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Originally Posted by im_srini View Post
Hello folks, need some urgent advice :
...
- Fly into NYC, which is ~500 Kms away from Portland
- Or fly into Boston, which is only ~180 Kms away
...
Documenting my experience for others who would want to do the same...

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Originally Posted by im_srini View Post
# For someone who's never driven outside of India ( been driving here since 1997 ), how feasible is this plan ?
It's definitely worth considering, renting a car & driving around was quite hassle-free.

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- Cash : How much would be considered 'safe' ( as to be able to handle exigencies )
Didn't need to carry any cash at all.

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Originally Posted by im_srini View Post
- Data Plan : For Google-Maps & such ( or would Sat-Nav be sufficient )
Enabling International-Roaming ( Airtel ) was enough, although had to upgrade within a couple of days to a better plan.

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Originally Posted by im_srini View Post
- Permits : Is an International-Driving-Permit absolutely necessary ? I would be crossing state lines, & Hertz say they require an IDP
Rented the car from Enterprise at Logan, my old Indian license was more than enough for the sleepy teen behind the counter.

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- Documentation : Is insurance or any kind of documentation required for the rental ?
Nope.

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Always rent a car with GPS and CDW (Collision Damage Waiver).
I did not get Sat-Nav, but did get the Collision-Damage-Waiver ( the clerk sort of scared me into getting it ).
A good thing was that I opted for the E-ZPass transponder ( saw the flyer on the counter ) - saved me a lot of hassle over the next few days.

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Originally Posted by guyfrmblr View Post
Fly to Boston directly.
...
You can also try Amtrak train services.
They have train services (Downeaster) from North Station, Boston to Portland.
Thanks to all the folks who were generous with their advice, in the end this is what I did :
- Flew into Boston rather than New-York
- Got a rental ( an Elantra ) at Logan & drove to Portland
- Drove around Portland for a week
- A week later, drove back to Boston to return the car
- Took the Down-Easter back to Portland

The cost for the weeks' rental was $ 685, other than the CDW & the E-ZPass I did not opt for anything else.
It was very easy acclimatizing to driving out here, not sure of how many miles were driven, but used up 2 tanks-full & the car returned an average of 35 mpg.
There were only a couple of glitches during the entire week with the Elantra :

- Outside Portland, pulled to the side of the road to check Google-Maps & what I thought was a hard shoulder was actually 2 feet of snow !
It was after dark, on a deserted road ( State Route 114 ), & on a Sunday to boot
Couldn't get the car out however much I tried, to complicate matters, froze my fingers trying to dig the snow piled up in front of the car
Thankfully, after about 15 minutes, a guy in a large Chevy pickup pulled up ( on his own, I wasn't flagging anybody down ) & dragged the Elantra out

- On the trip to return the car to downtown Boston, followed Google-Maps & ended up going the wrong way on a one-way street !
Two guys in oncoming cars stopped in their lanes & blocked traffic, & gestured me to turn around
At the next light they even pulled up & inquired if I'd been following Google-Maps

On both occasions, things could've turned really sour, but the kindness of total strangers saved the day
.

Last edited by im_srini : 25th January 2016 at 07:38.
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Old 25th January 2016, 21:43   #78
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Default Re: Rent a car in the US

Quote:
Originally Posted by im_srini View Post
- Outside Portland, pulled to the side of the road to check Google-Maps & what I thought was a hard shoulder was actually 2 feet of snow !
It was after dark, on a deserted road ( State Route 114 ), & on a Sunday to boot
Couldn't get the car out however much I tried, to complicate matters, froze my fingers trying to dig the snow piled up in front of the car
Thankfully, after about 15 minutes, a guy in a large Chevy pickup pulled up ( on his own, I wasn't flagging anybody down ) & dragged the Elantra out
Most of the shoulders appear like a hard shoulder but in reality it'll be snow mixed with mud. The other day a couple with a small kid in a Camry was in a similar situation in a remote location of Vermont without a snow shovel. They flagged me as there was absolutely no traffic or mobile signal to call emergency services. We tried to dig the snow with my snow shovel but it was of no use. We finally placed the rubber boot mat of my car under the front wheels and it gave enough traction for the car to move out of the snow.

Quote:
- On the trip to return the car to downtown Boston, followed Google-Maps & ended up going the wrong way on a one-way street !
.
Typical Boston roads. I still tend to lose the way in few situations even after extensively driving in Boston downtown for more than a year.

Last edited by guyfrmblr : 25th January 2016 at 21:54.
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