Car Hire in Washington
This information is correct as of July 2015.
There are several scenic drives in Washington, including the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Pennsylvania Avenue. If you have plans of wandering to the neighbouring cities of Washington and all the attractions nearby, it is highly recommended to rent a car for your stay. Having a rental car is the best way for independent travel, as you're free to choose your destination and travel at your own pace. In addition, you won't have to worry about transportation to and from the airport and your accommodation. Use Skyscanner to scout the best car rental deals online prior to your trip, and make sure to make early reservations!
Where to hire a car in Washington
Many major car rental companies operate in Washington, including Advantage, Europcar, National, Sunnycars, Alamo, Avis, Hertz, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Dollar Rent A Car, Thrifty, Reston Executive Transportation, Chariot for Hire, and Budget Car Rental. Hertz has the most car rental offices (in ten locations) in Washington. These car rental agencies serve various pick-up and drop-off locations for your convenience, including the three airports serving the city, the city centre, the downtown area, and the Washington Union Station, to name a few.
What to expect when hiring a car from Washington
The streets in Washington are laid out in a grid pattern, divided into four quadrants. Most of the roads running north and south are named with numbers, while the roads running east and west are primarily named with letters. Several major interstates run through and near the city, such as Capital Beltway (I-495), I-66, I-95, I-395, I-295, and I-270.
Avoid driving in downtown, especially during rush hour. Rush hour in Washington is from 6:00AM to 10:00AM and 4:00PM to 8:00PM on weekdays. Street parking is limited to two hours and can be expensive. Parking restriction only applies during rush hour and some hours in the weekend. If you don't want to worry about time, park in a private lot or garage. There is free all-day parking along Madison and Jefferson drives, in front of the Smithsonian museums, and south of the Jefferson Memorial in East Potomac Park.
Getting to your destination
Alexandria is an independent city located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its historic centre is called Old Town, and is popular amongst tourists for its antique shops and theatres, restaurants, and boutiques. Several landmarks can be found within the city, such as the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, Gadsby's Tavern, Little Theatre of Alexandria, the Torpedo Factory Art Center, and Fort Ward Park and Museum. Alexandria features 70 major parks and 30 recreation centres.
Alexandria is accessible via I-395 S and George Washington Memorial Pkwy.
Baltimore is a popular tourist destination. The city is notable as the place where Francis Scott Key came up with the lyrics for the Star Spangled Banner. Baltimore today is a major centre for tourism. Major attractions include the Maryland Science Center, American Visionary Arts Museum, Westminster Hall and Burying Ground, the Maryland Zo, the original Washington Monument, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. As a predominantly African American city, Baltimore has interesting places relating to African American history such as the Great Blacks in Wax Museum and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Black History.
To reach Baltimore, take the Baltimore-Washington Pkwy and MD-295 N.
Philadelphia, or Philly, is a city in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The large city is organised into several districts, the most popular ones being the Center City, Old City, West Philly, and South Philly. Philly's many attractions include Fairmount Park and its statues, Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Franklin Institute Science Museum, Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia History, Please Touch Museum, and the Independence Seaport Museum.
Philadelphia is accessible via I-95 N.