Tips for traveling by car and driving in the United States


Highway near Monument Valley in Arizona

U.S It is a country that is designed for the use of the car, so when considering a tourist trip along the west coast, the best option is undoubtedly rent a car to go to the different visits you are going to do.

We have done so on all our trips, and the experience has always been very positive.

The reason is that at travel with your own vehicle you combine the ease of driving on the roads of that country with the freedom that you have to have your own vehicle to go to the places that you are most interested in.

Nob Hill in San Francisco

Now, as in any other country, at drive in the United States You have to take into account various aspects, both when going on highways or roads, and when moving around the cities.

Then I will give you some Useful tips for your car trip in the United States.

All information in detail

  • Is it easy to drive in the United States?
  • How are the roads in the United States
  • How are the highways in the United States
  • What is the speed limit in the United States
  • Service areas in the United States
  • How is road marking in the United States
  • How to drive through the cities of the United States
  • Where to park the car in the cities

Is it easy to drive in the United States?

Driving on a trip through the United States It does not present any difficulty.

On all the main routes you have long highways with numerous lanes, which allows you to move (if you need it ...) quickly between the different cities.

How are the roads in the United States

When there is no highway and you have to take a state highway, they are usually in excellent condition, with smooth paths and wide curves, which facilitates overtaking and promotes safe driving.

San Francisco Golden Gate Suspension Bridge

In mountain roads, such as those of Yosemite National Park In California, you will also find them in quite good condition, with the logical tracing of curves of these types of roads.

How are the highways in the United States

In the highways there is usually enough traffic, especially in those that run along coastal areas, both on the east and west coast.

But they have so many and so wide lanes, that it is difficult for you to find great retentions.

You will be surprised to find trucks on the highways on the left lane at a contained speed, and in no case move towards the right lanes.

In the end you must overtake them on the right.

Road near Monument Valley in Arizona

Of course, the traffic jams they will be unavoidable in the vicinity of large cities and, above all, on holiday dates and peak times.

In any case, you will find much more traffic on the motorways of the East Coastfor example between New York and Washington, than on the west coast.

What is the speed limit in the United States

Eye to Speed ​​limitson the roads of the United States.

You will see that everyone respects them, so that it will be very common for you to drive on a highway with numerous lanes ... and all cars at the same speed traveling on the different lanes.

Service area in the United States


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The Speed ​​limits they vary according to roads and highways, so look carefully in each case what is the limit set.

A limit of 70 miles per hour is usually customary, which is currently established as a general criterion in more than 40 states of the country.

But since there are variations by states and by type of roads, here you can check what is the speed limit in the United States.

Service areas in the United States

During your road trip in the United States you will find numerous areas with all kinds of services: gas stations, several motels of various chains, several fast food restaurants ...

In short, you will have no problem when you need to refuel, eat, or choose where to sleep.

Rental car in the United States

However, the same does not happen when you drive on the inland roads of the west coast, visiting national parks of Utah or Arizona.

The service areas distance between 50 and 70 kilometers, so you should plan your needs well.

How is road marking in the United States

The highway and highway signage It is usually excellent, so it is easy to locate the places you want to visit.

Book hotel for your trip on

However, in the surroundings of the big cities you have to be very attentive to the signage as there is usually a very complex highway conglomerate.

How to drive through the cities of the United States

When it comes to accessing a large city in your rental car, you must be very careful to reach your destination, such as the place of a visit or the hotel.

Traffic in Manhattan in New York

You won't find it complicated in cities like San Francisco, Boston and Washington.

A separate case is Los Angeles, an incredibly large city where it is not so easy to get oriented and move around it.

Consequently, the use of a GPS device It can be highly recommended. If you do not have it, you can rent it by the car.

Where to park the car in the cities

Now, when you arrive in a city or a large population, the question of where to park the car.

Little Italy neighborhood in San Francisco

Logically in the city centers you have to use the paid parking.

In the United States large city parking lots It does not have a stipulated hourly price, but it works with a fixed rate according to the times to be used.

In this way short stays are damaged and long ones are privileged.

So, you can use these parking prices in the center of a city in the United States:

  • up to 20 minutes: $ 7
  • up to 1 hour: $ 12
  • from 1 hour to 5 hours: $ 30
  • all working day: $ 40

Of course, as you move away from the center (downtown), prices are falling drastically.

That is, a few blocks from the center you can find a parking lot with a flat rate price of, for example, $ 6 all day, and this is already much more reasonable.

In conclusion, the trick is to plan how you should park and find a little parking with the most appropriate price where to leave the car.

As a complement, these will be useful tips for renting a car in the United States.