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Car Rental in Charlotte

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Car Rental in Charlotte: the New York of the South

You might call Charlotte the New York City of the south, as it is a rapidly growing metropolis of one of the United States’ biggest banking centers. Charlotte has a lot to offer to business visitors and tourists alike, from great food to great entertainment, and a general diversity between neighborhoods. Book your rental car today to make the most of your visit to Charlotte and its surroundings.

The best time to visit Charlotte is in the spring (March through May) and autumn (September through November), when the weather is very comfortable, the flora is gorgeous, and you can move through tourist attractions with relative ease. Avoiding the summer and winter is advisable, as the summer months are quite hot and humid and the city is poorly equipped to deal with winter weather, making road travel hazardous.

The de facto national language of the United States is English. 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.

Charlotte’s airport, the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, is a major hub for domestic and international travel, making a flight to the city uncomplicated and typically inexpensive. Located about 15 minutes from city center (also called “Uptown”), the airport is an excellent place to pick up your rental car, as the building hosts a number of automobile hire agencies. Car rental agencies are also easily accessible throughout the city, particularly in Uptown and along any of the major state routes or interstates that intersect the city.

Charlotte is also a great base from which to explore North Carolina’s beautiful inland, whether you head to Raleigh, the wineries of the Yadkin Valley, or trek all the way out to the Atlantic coast, between 200 and 400 miles away.

Visa Regulations

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 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.

Driving in Charlotte

Given the wide diversity of neighborhoods and architecture that demonstrates the long and lively history of Charlotte, you will definitely want to be mobile during your visit to this bustling southern city. The typical wide roads and plentiful parking opportunities of American cities also make driving a joy. Book your car today to make the most of your visit!

Right-Hand Driving

  • Traffic proceeds on the right-hand side of the road throughout the United States.
  • 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 municipal and residential areas: 35 miles per hour unless otherwise marked
  • Outside of the city: 55 miles per hour unless otherwise marked
  • On rural freeways: 70 miles per hour
  • On urban freeways: 65 miles per hour
  • Expect traffic congestion in the hours around 8 am and 5 pm.

Other Regulations

  1. Street parking and parking garages are abundant throughout Charlotte. Street parking in the city center is regulated by time and fees, typically just until 6 pm, and is typically unregulated in residential areas.
  2. You can drive on your domestic driver’s license as a tourist throughout North Carolina, though if your license has been issued in a language other than English, having a notarized English translation on hand is recommended.
  3. The only tolled road in the state of North Carolina is the Triangle Expressway, located near Durham, 150 miles east of Charlotte. If you’re planning on travelling to Durham, consider asking your rental agency if your car is equipped with an NC Quick Pass.
  4. While North Carolinians can be issued a provisional driver’s license as young as 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, if they are permitted to rent at all.

Other Tips

  • Unlike most other American cities, the majority of Charlotte’s neighborhoods (with the notable exception of Uptown) are not built on a grid, but rather follow the contours of the landscape. This can sometimes make navigating the city a challenge; if you’re planning on spending a lot of your driving time in Charlotte’s outer neighborhoods, ask your rental company if your car is equipped with a GPS or satnav. When entering addresses into your navigation system, note that many street names repeat themselves throughout Charlotte; don’t forget to include neighborhoods or zip codes in your address entry!

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