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Car Rental in USA Illinois
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Car Rental in Champaign: a charming university town in the Midwest
Together with its incorporated sister cities, Urbana and Savoy, Champaign is a university town that forms a comfortable metropolis just 150 miles south of busy Chicago. Champaign is an excellent city to visit to experience fine arts and dining in the midst of America’s agricultural heartland. Make the most of your visit to central Illinois by hiring a car. Book yours today!
Champaign has four distinct seasons each year. Winters typically linger just around freezing and summers are usually comfortably warm, though temperatures can rise to almost 31 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit). The humidity of the region can make the heat feel hotter.
The de facto national language of the United States is English, and the vast majority of Champaign’s residents speak English as a native language. About 6% of residents are native Spanish speakers. Languages from the Algonquin language family were the most widely spoken by indigenous people of the area before they were forced to move to Oklahoma in the 1800s.
Champaign is located in the Central Time Zone, UTC-6.
The currency throughout the United States is the dollar. Credit cards are accepted at the vast majority of businesses and ATMs are also quite easily found.
Car hire is available in 4 locations throughout Champaign, University of Illinois Willard Airport (CMI), downtown, and in the north and south parts of the city.
38 nationalities can enter the United States as tourists without applying for a visa, though if you are among these nationalities, you are still required to fill out the ESTA in advance. Visit esta.us for more information. Visitors to the United States will be fingerprinted and biometrically photographed upon entry. If your nationality is not included in the visa-waiver program, you will be required to apply for a B-1 or B-2 visa in advance of your arrival.
Driving in Champaign
As a whole, Champaign-Urbana is a very drivable city, except around University of Illinois’ campus, where the typical American grid devolves into curves and one-way streets that are difficult to navigate. Make the most of your visit by planning some road trips outside of Champaign as well!
- Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road throughout North America.
- In the city: 25 to 30 mph (circa 40 to 50 km/h)
- On urban highways: typically 55 mph (88 km/h)
- On interstate highways outside of city limits: 70 mph (112 km/h)
- Though traffic is typically not much of a problem in Champaign, you’ll want to avoid the roads during morning and evening rush hours (typically between 7 and 9 am and 4:30 and 7 pm) and on game days at the university.
- Parking is typically available throughout Champaign, though both street and lot parking is regulated by fee and time limits. In many cases, street parking is free after 5 pm.
- Your domestic driver’s license is valid in Illinois for up to 90 days.
- While there are no toll roads in Champaign itself, most of the highways in and around Chicago are tolled, so if you are planning on driving north to the city, ask your rental agency if your car has been equipped with an I-Pass to receive reduced toll rates.
- 18 is the minimum driving age in Illinois for an unrestricted driver’s license, though you will likely have to be at least 21 years old to rent a car, and drivers under the age of 25 are likely to be issued young-driver surcharges.
Cheap Car Rental in Champaign
Car hire in Champaign typically starts at around $30 a day, as long as your rental period is over a week long. Shorter-term rentals start around $50 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Champaign:
- Kia Rio (economy class) - $31 per day
- Nissan Note (compact class) - $32 per day
- Toyota Corolla (intermediate class) - $34 per day
- Toyota Corolla (standard class) - $35 per day
- Ford Fusion (fullsize class) - $37 per day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Champaign
For the most availability, book your rental car at the University of Illinois Willard Airport or in north Champaign, where rental car companies such as Alamo and Hertz compete to provide you the best deals. For shorter-term rentals, be sure to book at the University of Illinois Willard Airport to get the best deals on your rental car. Alamo’s location at the airport offers the cheapest prices for rentals lasting less than a week, beating Hertz’s price by around $50 a day!
However, you can save between $20 and $70 a day by extending your rental period to over a week. Longer-term rentals are especially affordable at Hertz, either at their airport or their north Champaign locations.
There is no seasonal variation in price for rental cars in Champaign. The best way to save money is to plan to explore the area for at least a week!