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Car Rental in Maryland
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Car Rental in Maryland: driving “America in Miniature”
Bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay—the world’s third largest estuary—and on the west by the Appalachian Mountains, Maryland is an excellent destination for lovers of all forms of the outdoors—as well as urban aficionados and US-history buffs! Indeed, some call Maryland “America in Miniature” for its comprehensive range of landscape and mixture of the rural with the urban. While the state’s major cities of Baltimore, Annapolis, and Salisbury have plenty to offer their visitors, don’t miss out on the best of Maryland by being stuck in a city. Automobile hire is the most convenient and inexpensive way to get the most out of your visit to Maryland!
Maryland is a great place to visit any time of the year, though you can expect a good deal of snowfall and extreme cold in December and January. Maryland receives its most visitors during Spring Break season, July, and August.
The native language of the United States is English and the currency is the US dollar. Currency exchange is highly available at airports and popular tourist destinations, and credit cards are accepted at the vast majority of businesses.
Most international travelers will fly directly to Baltimore via the Baltimore-Washington International Airport, though you can also fly into nearby airports located just over the border in Virginia. Renting a car is convenient throughout Baltimore and throughout the state, particularly in any city or town along Interstate 95. If you’re planning on driving outside of the city after arriving, book your car to be picked up directly at the Baltimore-Washington Airport.
Baltimore’s renowned Inner Harbor is located just 20 minutes away from the Baltimore-Washington Airport by car. Historic Annapolis is just 30 minutes from the airport. A visit to Cumberland in the Allegheny Mountains is also highly recommended during your stay in this small but sumptuous state; located 2 hours from the airport, the drive to historic Cumberland is as much a joy as your arrival there!
Driving in Maryland
With wide roads, plentiful parking opportunities, and an incredible array of landscapes, any visit to Maryland is improved by automobile hire. Get your most intimate with this historically significant state by renting a car; your drive from landscape to landscape and city to city is guaranteed to be as enjoyable as the activities you enjoy once you arrive!
- Traffic proceeds on the right-hand side of the road in Maryland.
- Unless otherwise marked, after coming to a full stop at a red light, you can turn right from the right lane if there is no oncoming traffic.
Typical Speed Limits
- In cities and residential areas: 30 miles per hour (circa 50 km/h)
- In school zones (sometimes just during school hours; signs will demarcate when school hour speed zones are in effect): 20 miles per hour (circa 30 km/h)
- On urban highways: 55 miles per hour (circa 90 km/h)
- On rural highways: 65 miles per hour (circa 105 km/h)
- Traffic in major Maryland cities will be especially bad in the hours around 8am and 5pm.
- Parking in most Maryland cities will be regulated by time and fee, though it certainly is available, and parking garages are particularly easy to find, especially in Baltimore.
- You can drive on your domestic driver’s license for up to 30 days in Maryland. An international driver’s license will be valid for one full year.
- There are numerous tolled expressways, bridges, and connectors throughout Maryland, particularly along Interstate 95, which follows the eastern coastline through Maryland, connecting Baltimore to Philadelphia in the north and Washington, DC in the south.
- While the minimum driving age in Maryland is 16, you will have to be at least 21 years of age to rent a car. Drivers under 25 are likely to be charged extra.
- 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. Everyone who enters the United States will be fingerprinted and biometrically photographed upon entry. If your nationality is not included on the visa-waiver program list, you will be required to apply for a B-1 or B-2 visa in advance of your arrival.
- Particularly because Maryland is a fairly small state, most rental companies in the area allow rental cars to cross state borders. Some fees may apply, however, so be sure to consult your rental company before heading off to Washington DC, Virginia, or Pennsylvania! If you’re headed into the Appalachians – which is highly recommended – be on the lookout for deer and other wildlife crossing the road. Dawn and dusk are particularly dangerous times of the day for wildlife road crossings.