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Car Rental in Milwaukee: explore Lake Michigan and the historic Midwest
While most visitors to the United States don’t have the city of Milwaukee at the top of their travel lists, it’s an excellent city to visit to dine on the best meals the Midwest has to offer (particularly if you love cheese and beer) while avoiding the dense pack of tourists. Moreover, with wide roads and little traffic, Milwaukee makes an excellent base for exploration of Lake Michigan, the state of Wisconsin, and beyond. Enjoy the quirkiness of this Midwestern college town while also enjoying the beauty of its natural surroundings—without the hassle of population density. Make the most of your visit to Milwaukee by booking your rental car today.
Summer weather is beautiful in Milwaukee, particularly from May through September.
The de facto national language of the United States is English, and English is also the native language of the vast majority of residents of Milwaukee and its surrounding towns. However, about 10% of the population speaks Spanish as a native language. Hochunk is one of the major original indigenous languages of the Milwaukee area, a Siouan language that is still spoken today, and Anishinaabe, the language that gave Milwaukee its name, also continues to be spoken in the area.
Milwaukee is located in the Central Time Zone, UTC-6.
The currency is the US dollar. ATMs are frequent, and currency exchange is readily available at airports and popular tourist destinations. Credit cards are accepted at the vast majority of businesses.
Automobile hire is available in 8 locations throughout Milwaukee, including the Milwaukee Airport (MKE), downtown, and at the railway station.
For a real taste of the historic Midwest, drive to Ten Chimneys (30 miles west) or Cedarburg (23 miles north).
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 Milwaukee
With wide, uncongested roads and great highway infrastructure, driving in Milwaukee is both easy and relatively inexpensive, including parking. Make the most of your visit to this unique area by staying mobile via rental car and be sure to explore the city and its surroundings in depth!
- Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road throughout North America.
- In the city: 25 miles per hour (40 km/h)
- On roads in city limits or uncongested towns: 35 mph (56 km/h)
- On rustic roads: 45 mph (72 km/h)
- On freeways or expressways: 65 mph (105 km/h)
- The closer you park to downtown, the more regulated street parking becomes. You can pay street parking fees at the meters with coins or a credit card. You can also request permission to park your car for free overnight on Milwaukee streets. Search for “Temporary Overnight Parking Permission” on the “Official Website of the City of Milwaukee.”
- It is recommended to travel with an international driving permit in Wisconsin, unless your domestic driver’s license has been originally issued in English.
- There are no toll roads in the state of Wisconsin.
- The minimum driving age for fully licensed drivers in Wisconsin is 18 years, though most rental companies will require that you are at least 21 years old to rent a car, and you are likely to face young-driver surcharges until the age of 25.
Cheap Car Rental in Milwaukee
Automobile hire in Milwaukee typically starts at around $30 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Milwaukee:
- Kia Rio or similar (economy class) – $32/day
- Nissan Note or similar (compact class) – $34/day
- Hyundai Elantra or similar (intermediate class) – $35/day
- Volkswagen Jetta or similar (standard class) – $36/day
- Ford Fusion or similar (fullsize class) – $37/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 Milwaukee
There is very little seasonal variation in price for rental cars in Milwaukee. Instead, you can save the most money by booking your rental car from the Milwaukee Airport, where companies such as Thrifty and Alamo can often beat other companies’ prices in the city by over $50 a day! Keep an eye out, in particular, for discounts of around 17% that make hiring a car in Milwaukee especially cheap.
If you plan to rent a car for over a week, alternatively, you are in luck, as Hertz offers longer-term rentals for $30 a day in locations across the city, including the airport, downtown, and at the railway station. Extend your rental period to 8 days and more in order save around $70 a day on your Hertz rental car in Milwaukee.