Car Hire in Chicago
This information is correct as of July 2015
Chicago, one of the main cities of the United States, is a city not to be missed in the Midwestern region. You will find here several landmarks, such as the Millennium Park, Willis Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Navy Pier. Going around different areas in the city, as well as the surrounding area, can make it convenient to rent a car for transportation.
Where to hire a car in Chicago
There are various car rental companies offering their services in the city centre and other parts of the city. Avis Car Rental, Budget Car Rental, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Hertz Rent A Car, and Thrifty Car Rental are only some of the companies to be found here, as several local operators also offer respective vehicle selections. Checking them out can be possible through various prebooking options, which you can learn more about when considering your options.
Once you have chosen a company, ask about the required documents you should submit. It is often the policy to check both the original licence from your home country, as well as an International Driving Permit (IDP). Some other papers might also have to be submitted, such as photographic IDs.
What to expect when hiring a car from Chicago
Driving in the city is not without its problems, such as the usual traffic jams. Such is the issue you will need to deal with, but you can manage with proper planning and the use of GPS. The rush hours in Chicago run basically around 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 7 pm on weekdays. Manoeuvring your arrival at midday or during the weekend is recommended to avoid the traffic jams during the week. The major highways leading to downtown from the north, south, and west can then make the navigating fairly straightforward.
Toll roads can be found in some parts of Chicago and Illinois itself, so be sure to prepare enough funds. The toll booths you will pass are South Beloit, East Riverside Boulevard, Illinois 173, Belvidere, Illinois 47 Entrance and Exit, Marengo-Hampshire, Randall Road, Elgin, Barrington Road, Illinois 31, Roselle Road, Illinois 25, Illinois 59 Westbound and Eastbound Exit, Illinois 53, Beverly Road, Devon Avenue, Arlington Heights Road, and River Road. Congestion charges are not yet implemented here, but there are plans to make it a part of the traffic regulations, so be sure to add it to your travel funds.
There are a number of one-way streets in some parts of the city, with cycling a usual part of the way of life here. You will have to be additionally careful, though, so you can keep alert and safe while on the road. Parking can be found in public garages and a number of on-street spots. A better option is to look for hotel parking slots for convenience.
Getting to your destination
There are a number of destinations to visit from Chicago. Some of them are:
A suburb in Chicago, Naperville makes a pleasant place to visit due to its various attractions. These can be found in the historical district of the town, which is comprised of 613 buildings. You can also see in Naperville the Moser Tower and Millennium Carillon, which features bell towers.
From Naperville, continue to I-290 W and then take I-88 W to 63rd St in Woodridge. Turn to the exit for 33rd St from I-355 S and then to Hobson Rd to Alder Ln in the city proper. The trip can take around 45 minutes, with toll routes along the way.
A village in Cook County, Orland Park flourishes with its large recreation and parks facilities. There are more than 60 parks in the village that offer plenty of options for recreation, from sports to hiking. You will also see here the Centennial Park Aquatic Centre and the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink.
Go from I-290 W and then take I-55 S to US-12 E/US-20 E/US-45 S/South La Grange Rd in Lyons. Take exit 279A-279B from I-55 S. Drive to US-45 S/South La Grange Road in Orland. The drive will likely last around 40 minutes if there are no traffic disruptions.
Arlington Heights, home of the Breeders' Cup Arlington Million, has several landmarks to check out. It has a Memorial Library, with one of the largest collections in the state. The racetrack is also another great attraction, featuring a six-storey grandstand.
To get here, drive from I-290 W and then follow it to S Arlington Heights Rd in Elk Grove. Take the Arlington Heights Rd exit from I-90 W and then follow S Arlington Heights Rd to E Euclid Ave in Wheeling. The estimated travel time can be 40 minutes, with toll roads to pass through.