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Old 17th August 2011, 11:51   #136
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Default Re: Rentals and me - driving in US

A couple of tips about renting cars in the US:

Costco members can save on car rentals. Enterprise and other rental car companies offer a discounted rate (Enterprise also offers a free upgrade subject to availability. You could always check out with a friend in case you do not have a Costco membership.
Sites like hotwire.com or priceline.com are a good source to check out car rental prices. PriceLine's Name Your Own Price allows you to quote a price of your own, for a car rental.

American Express card holders can opt in for the Rental Car Protection Scheme which offers Rental Car Protection for a flat rate of USD 24.95 for up to 42 days of car rental. This works out to be much cheaper when compared to the Car Rental protection offered by Alamo/Hertz/Avis-Budget/Enterprise and other rental car companies.
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Old 17th August 2011, 14:15   #137
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Default Re: Rentals and me - driving in US

Another tip - Emerald Club by National. You can find links to enroll for free. In most of the airport locations, you will have Emerald Aisle - you reserve midsize, bypass the counter and walk up to the aisle and pick up any car which is there. You can get awesome cars for Midsize price. Considering most companies allow only upto midsize rental, you can land some awesome cars.

On my last visit, i drove a Dodge Charger (aweasome 290PS V6 powered RWD), Toyota Camry, Chrysler 300 & Ford Fusion all on midsize reservations.
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Old 16th May 2012, 16:27   #138
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Default Re: Rentals and me - driving in US

My query isnt US specific, i know in US for few weeks one can drive with Indian Driving license. This is about US, Europe (Italy) and HongKong.

Would someone traveling as a tourist need a IDP or an Indian Driving license is sufficient to rent a car in these countries?
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Old 8th June 2012, 16:15   #139
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Default Re: Rentals and me - driving in US

Got the bare bones Mazda 3 this time as rental. Have to live with it for a month at least.
Although its a 2012 model and has only 6K miles on the odo, its interiors look very old and shabby.
I do not like its interiors.
I like the sloping headlight design and the curves around them though. Somewhat Porschesque, maybe?
Rentals and me - driving in US-2012mazda316.jpg

Except that mine is old lady gray in color.

Last edited by amitoj : 8th June 2012 at 16:19.
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Old 8th June 2012, 17:16   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806
My query isnt US specific, i know in US for few weeks one can drive with Indian Driving license. This is about US, Europe (Italy) and HongKong.

Would someone traveling as a tourist need a IDP or an Indian Driving license is sufficient to rent a car in these countries?
Mainland Europe needs IDP in addition to the licence which should be in English.
England and Australia and NZ accept the Indian Driving Licence as long as it is in English.
HongKong I would suggest get an IDP. Safer to avoid disappointment.
Personally, I would not attempt to drive in Hongkong or China. Prefer cabs and public transport in such places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasoo

They do charge on the card. All fine, tolls etc are collected like that. I used to get the e-tolls charged on my corporate Amex card. A credit card is mandatory in most cases for booking a rental a car in US. You might end up paying by other means though.

Contesting this is difficult as in most cases they will have proof and the car was in your possession during the time.
Absolutely right. Same with the UK, Europe, Australia and NZ. Typically the rental locations dont accept cash even. And it is correct that all tolls, fines etc will get charged to the credit card along with a surcharge for inconvenience caused to the rental agency.

Last edited by Technocrat : 14th June 2012 at 19:49.
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Old 9th June 2012, 23:21   #141
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Default Re: Rentals and me - driving in US

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaguar.runs View Post

Guys, No offense! "Aircraft" is the general term used for both helicopters and airplanes.

Aircraft are vehicles which are able to fly by gaining support from the air, or in general, the atmosphere of a planet
.
Source: Wikipedia
I have seen a helicopter cop picking up someone few years back near Buffalo, NY. The heli cops came very close to the ground, asked the car infront of me to pull over via loudspeaker and then I saw a patrol car coming from the opposite side to this spot (possibly the cops radio'd their counterparts below)
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Old 14th June 2012, 17:59   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806
This is about US, Europe (Italy) and HongKong.
I'd rented in Rome in 2007. The lady couldn't care any less about my IDP. For her, Indian license was sufficient. I had a card and my FIL had a booklet printed in Marathi. Neither of us had to show our IDP. YMMV.
Hong Kong has cheap taxis.
At the Beijing airport I saw signs for car rental but I don't remember if they were for self drive. Moreover all the road signs are in Chinese. The public cab we took in Beijing was really nice. Thorough gentleman the guy was.
If you are taking a cab in China then brush up your pictionary skills

Btw, hope the reply is not too late.
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Old 21st June 2012, 15:56   #143
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Default Re: Rentals and me - driving in US

Time to brag a little bit ...

I've been living off rental cars in US for past 5years. I travel to US a lot and end up taking cars on rental often. Following are some of the cars I've driven
- Buick LaCrosse
- Ford Mustang
- Dodge Charger
- Chrysler 300
- Ford Escape
- Nissan Murano
- Chrysler PT Cruiser (yes, that wierd looking car)
- Chrysler Sebring
- Pontiac Grand Prix
- Saturn Aura
- Dodge Caravan
- Hyundai Sonata
- Hyundai Elantra
- Nissan Altima
- Nissan Maxima
- Infinity G
- Toyota Camry
- Toyota Corolla
- VW Golf
- Chevy Cruze

These are not counting the Pontianc G6, Ford Focus, Chevy Cobalt, etc that I would usually get on mid-size rental booking.

As much as I loved trying more cars, all of these are mid-segment. Usually cannot get a luxury segment car (as my company wont approve it).


My fav one? Hands down- Dodge Charger.
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Old 29th June 2012, 17:25   #144
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Default Re: Rentals and me - driving in US

I may visit US shortly. Have been there quite few times, but was bit scary due to the traffic rules. This time I am very much interested and ready to take the challenge. Will it be difficult to accustom to that conditions or can I give a shot.
What are the best practices to follow for new drivers to US?
Is the traffic rules differ state to state there?
Guys - Please advise

Last edited by RGK : 29th June 2012 at 17:26.
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Old 29th June 2012, 18:51   #145
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Default Re: Rentals and me - driving in US

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGK View Post
I may visit US shortly. Have been there quite few times, but was bit scary due to the traffic rules. This time I am very much interested and ready to take the challenge. Will it be difficult to accustom to that conditions or can I give a shot.
What are the best practices to follow for new drivers to US?
Is the traffic rules differ state to state there?
Guys - Please advise
no worries!

transition would be super easy. i suggest you go through the driver handbook for the state you are traveling to (such as, for IN: BMV: Driver's Manual). do not cut lanes, do not honk unless necessary, and drive within speed limits, don't use high beam; it would not take you more than 20-30 miles of driving to get accustomed – one thing you’ll have to keep in your mind for first few days is, not to drive in wrong direction (left side driving in India vs. right side driving in US).
99% traffic rules would be same, some rules (such as free right turn), change from state to state (and sometime depend upon city too).
if you are going to drive rental cars, make sure to take full insurance protection (or if you have an AMEX card, they'll cover it for you at a much cheaper cost if you enable that protection plan).
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Old 29th June 2012, 19:04   #146
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Default Re: Rentals and me - driving in US

Quote:
Originally Posted by infotech58 View Post
no worries!

do not cut lanes, do not honk unless necessary, and drive within speed limits, don't use high beam; it would not take you more than 20-30 miles of driving to get accustomed – one thing you’ll have to keep in your mind for first few days is, not to drive in wrong direction (left side driving in India vs. right side driving in US).
99% traffic rules would be same, some rules (such as free right turn), change from state to state (and sometime depend upon city too).
Good points you have put up there. I would like to add to remember to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. I know of a few people who have been caught by cops for not coming to a complete stop. Also, always use your signals while changing lanes. There is a new flashing yellow left turn signal in some states. Basically, it means to yield to oncoming traffic and take a left turn only when it is safe to do so. You can think of it as taking a left on a solid green in which case you also yield to oncoming traffic.
Please make sure to go through the driver handbook as mentioned by infotech58.

Last edited by carfreak77 : 29th June 2012 at 19:06.
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Old 29th June 2012, 19:47   #147
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Default Re: Rentals and me - driving in US

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGK View Post
I may visit US shortly. Have been there quite few times, but was bit scary due to the traffic rules. This time I am very much interested and ready to take the challenge. Will it be difficult to accustom to that conditions or can I give a shot.
What are the best practices to follow for new drivers to US?
Is the traffic rules differ state to state there?
Guys - Please advise
How long you will be here? I am so accustomed that now I can't drive in India anymore. I have lost the edge I guess
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Old 30th June 2012, 02:38   #148
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Default Re: Rentals and me - driving in US

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGK View Post
I may visit US shortly. Have been there quite few times, but was bit scary due to the traffic rules. This time I am very much interested and ready to take the challenge. Will it be difficult to accustom to that conditions or can I give a shot.
What are the best practices to follow for new drivers to US?
Is the traffic rules differ state to state there?
Guys - Please advise
I would like to add that be very clear and sure about the route you are driving. You cannot stop in the middle of the road or park along the curb to take a turn. You will have to take the designated lane to make a left or right turn.

The first time I drove alone in US, I had to take a left turn but I missed the designated left turn lane and stopped in the middle lane waiting for left turn signal. A lady driver who was behind me murmured something for blocking her way . Luckily the signal turned green without me causing further embarrassment.

Get a GPS ASAP. These days if I miss a turn, I keep going and then take the next U-turn.

May I know your intended location in US?

- Jose
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Old 30th June 2012, 05:26   #149
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Default Re: Rentals and me - driving in US

Quote:
Originally Posted by carfreak77 View Post
Good points you have put up there. I would like to add to remember to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. I know of a few people who have been caught by cops for not coming to a complete stop. Also, always use your signals while changing lanes. There is a new flashing yellow left turn signal in some states. Basically, it means to yield to oncoming traffic and take a left turn only when it is safe to do so. You can think of it as taking a left on a solid green in which case you also yield to oncoming traffic.
Please make sure to go through the driver handbook as mentioned by infotech58.
Also a few more tips for newbies.

- Do not pass a parked school bus with flashing lights. It is illegal. Also school districts have very conservative speed limits. Make sure you don't go over them.
- Do not drive in the carpool lane unless you have a passenger/2 passengers depending upon the rule.
- If a cop pulls you over, wait in the car with your hands visible on the wheel. Do not get out of the car and start arguing you may get shot .
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Old 30th June 2012, 22:43   #150
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Default Re: Rentals and me - driving in US

Thanks a lot. My period of stay would be around a month max (4 weekends) at Minneapolis and want to enjoy the "rentals" facility. Definitely I will go through the driver handbook and list down my doubts before my trip.

Last edited by RGK : 30th June 2012 at 22:46.
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