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Driving in the US as a foreigner...

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Bling, Mar 10, 2013.

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  1. Bling

    Bling Tourist

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    ... a silly question I guess for the US members on here, but hopefully other visitors to the US can point me in the right direction.

    I've done loads of research on the actual trip activities and towns etc we are visiting but I haven't started my 'Driving in the USA' research yet! We've hired a car with Hertz (iirc) at McCarran for our trip to Vegas, LA and San Francisco.

    Before I start doing my homework, is there anything glaringly obvious I need to get sorted before we leave in 3 weeks? Do I need an 'International Drivers Permit' etc? Is insurance covered in our rental agreement? (I haven't yet studied the small print!)

    Can any kind people out there advise on what we need to get sorted and any mistakes not to make concerning driving in the US?

    Thanks in advance!

    Chris
     
  2. rgerards

    rgerards Low-Roller

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    pretty sure it depends where you are from. I never had any issues using my dutch drivers license.
     
  3. snowball

    snowball Low-Roller

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    Where are you from?

    I know that we (Canadian) don't need an international drivers permit unless we are going to Florida.
     
  4. blackjacker2

    blackjacker2 Low-Roller

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    Just note you can right turn on red in many states. It sounds crazy, but it is true.
     
  5. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    Where are you from? I'm American but lived in Europe for 5 years. This week I hosted 5 Aussies who had a rental car. It was different for them...they're used to turning left into a traffic circle.
     
  6. Bling

    Bling Tourist

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    Sorry guys, Wales in the UK...
     
  7. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    The hardest thing you'll have to deal with is everything being on the wrong side. Almost all rental cars are automatic, so that's not a problem (shifting with the wrong hand is almost impossible when you first try it.)

    US road signs are quite a bit different than european, but the important ones are the same, except for speed limit and one way (and one way is similar).
     
  8. Bling

    Bling Tourist

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    Thanks Mike. How about official documentation, do I need to apply for anything? Or just have my passport and UK driving documents with me?

    Chris
     
  9. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    Sorry, I don't know that one. I can find out on Tuesday when I see my Aussies again if nobody has an answer for you. But I've only done it the other way...I drove a lot in Europe.
     
  10. Bling

    Bling Tourist

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    No worries, thanks anyway for your help :) ... Better get my research done!
     
  11. BreakEven

    BreakEven Low-Roller

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    Only 2nd trip for year :(
  12. Bling

    Bling Tourist

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    Wow, thank you VERY much!
     
  13. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    You won't need anything else other than a credit card for a security swipe.

    Have you driven in mainland Europe before? It's not really any different. Oh, except for the fact that nobody in Vegas knows how to drive it the rain as far as I can tell so watch out if it does rain (not likely unless you are going in December).
     
  14. Bling

    Bling Tourist

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    Great stuff, thank you!
     
  15. atom

    atom High-Roller

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    A couple more tips for driving in Vegas... Avoid the strip when possible. Use the roads to the east and west of the strip to get north and south, then take a cross street to Las Vegas Blvd when you are close to your destination (assuming your destination is on the strip). It's often both faster and safer. If you are travelling a couple miles or more, route 15 is usually a good bet. Also, lanes are divided using "drunk bumps". Single bumps separate lanes, double bumps indicate tat a lane will end soon (usually in an exit). Good luck, and have a great trip.
     
  16. anonanon

    anonanon Low-Roller

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    Canadian DL here, never had any issues driving or renting a car in Vegas. They just swipe my DL and things are good to go.

    That said, Vegas drivers usually seem to not know how to properly drive (Probably as there all tourists lol) and I seem to get cut off a lot. Pisses me off, but hey it's Vegas....
     
  17. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    Bling, I would recommend booking your car through a UK agent to make sure you are adequately covered for insurance. We usually use rentalcars.com or netflights.co.uk. I was in line behind a young couple at the Dollar desk inside TI in October and they had problems with their booking. Basically, insurance was not included in their booking, and the additional charge for insurance was more than they bargained for. Check Dollar.co.uk too, not the .com site.
     
    First trip of 2017.
  18. Bling

    Bling Tourist

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    Awesome, thanks Pebbles. We did book through Expedia (.co.uk), so we may be ok? I need to go through the contract soon but (I think!) I recall seeing insurance was covered? Need to double check!
     
  19. gguerra

    gguerra Low-Roller

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    Many credit cards cover rental car insurance.. Read the fine print on yours.. You may be able to waive the insurance at the agency which will save you a substantial amount of money..
     
  20. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    Just remember to drive aggressively, then you'll fit right in!
     
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