Driving Restrictions in the USA
When you travel in the United States, some rules and restrictions may apply as to where you can take your vehicle. Here is a quick guide to some of the locations and other restrictions that car rental companies commonly prohibit their vehicles from being driven.
Are there restricted driving areas for car rentals in the USA?
- Rentals originating in the US: Suppliers may allow their customers to drive the vehicle only into specific countries depending on the original pick up country. The rental vehicle must be returned to a location within the country from which the vehicle was originally rented.
- Additional and/or Different restrictions may apply in certain US states: Take note that some vehicle rentals originating in the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Washington may only be driven within the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. This may also apply for vehicle rentals originating in the states of Florida as the rental car may only be driven within the state of Florida. Consult with your rental company, especially if you plan on driving in these states.
- Driving a rental car from the United States to Canada: Customers may be permitted by some car rental companies to drive their vehicles into Canada but some restrictions may apply. A passport is now required to enter Canada. In addition, renters may only drive in Canada for 30 days unless extension is requested from Customs at the time of entry. For more information about driving across the U.S. Border into Canada in a Rental Car, read here.
- Driving a rental car from the United States to Mexico: Most locations do not allow travel into Mexico but some car rental companies may permit their vehicles be driven if rented in certain states. Restrictions also apply as renters will be required to purchase additional insurance to cover the vehicle at the U.S. rental location. Click here to find out some important things that you need to know if you want to drive the vehicle from the United States to Mexico.
Are there any places you can't take your rental vehicle?
- Generally, rental vehicles in the US are to be driven only on regularly maintained roads. Taking the vehicle off-road is considered a violation of the rental agreement. If you ignore this prohibition you'll be liable for all damages to the rental vehicle.
- Standard rental vehicles are prohibited for traveling on gravel highways. You will need to book a Gravel Highway Vehicle if you are planning to drive on the Dalton Highway, Denali Highway, Elliot Highway past Livengood, McCarthy Road, Steese Highway past milepost 82, Taylor Highway, or the Dempster Highway, or places like the Dawson City, Coldfoot, Wiseman, Central, Manley, or Arctic Circle. Most car rental companies may be able to hep you find some great gravel highway vehicles.
- If you plan to drive in Alaska during the winter, it is recommended to get a vehicle that is well equipped and can handle icy roads and cold weather conditions. Click here to find the most popular winter rental cars in the USA.
Read more about Driving a Rental Car in the USA.