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Driving Tips for U.S.

Driving in a foreign country can be daunting, especially if you don’t know the rules. If you’re planning on driving while in the United States, read the basics guidelines below.


You’ll need to bring your driver’s license and proof of insurance. Check with your insurance company to see if it will cover you for driving in a foreign country; otherwise, you will need to purchase insurance when you rent a car. The U.S. Government recommends you bring an International Driver Permit (IDP). The IDP is just a translation of your license into 10 languages; you must get an IDP in your home country before leaving, as the U.S. doesn’t issue them to tourists from other countries.

Age Restrictions:

In the United States, laws vary by state, including the standard driving age. For instance, New Jersey makes kids wait until they are 17 to receive a license, while South Dakota allows kids as young as 14 to have a driver’s license (though it is restricted). On average, the legal age for a licensed driver is 16-years-old (or 16 ½), but check the laws for the states you’ll be traveling in to find out the legal age. Also, keep in mind that most rental companies won’t rent to young adults under 21 and have steep fines for those over 21 but under 25, so check with your car rental company for age restrictions.

Driving Rules and Regulations

  • Drive on the right hand side of the road
  • Give way to other cars on the left hand side of the road
  • Always use indicator while turning
  • Always give priority to emergency services vehicles
  • Everyone in the car must be wearing a seatbelt
  • Except hands-free system, mobile phones should not be used
  • Illegal to carry radar detectors
  • Always carry license while driving
  • Should obey traffic signs
  • Pedestrians generally have the right-of-way

Speed Limits and Fines

Speed limits also vary, but they are posted on roads in miles per hour. The normal speed limits on US roads are as follows:

  • 113 km/h (70 mph) on highways
  • 40 km/h (25 mph) in residential areas

School zones and construction zones often have lower speed limits posted, and fines can double or even triple in these zones. Fines can range anywhere from $30 up to $500, depending on where you are.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is illegal in all 50 states, defined as a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08mg/ per 100ml. However, you can incur increased penalties with higher BAC, from 0.15 to 0.25, depending on the state. It’s best not to risk it, as you can receive a hefty fine (up to $2,000) and possibly jail time. You also may need to go before the court on a charge such as Driving Under the Influence, which is not something you would want to deal with while on vacation.


Be aware of "no parking" signs. Generally, parking on the street will be marked, such as “2 Hour Parking.” However, never park at a red curb, as those are restricted to emergency vehicle use. Also, pay attention to places you need to pay for parking; your car can be towed if you park without paying.

Though laws vary by state, you’ll find that many laws are similar across the U.S. Most roads are well-marked, so you should do just fine on your next road trip if you pay attention to the road signs.

Nashville Driving Guide - Spend less, do more

Situated in the state of Tennessee, Nashville is often called by its nickname, “Music City, USA”. This is the home of country music, and although everything in the city seems to revolve around that, Nashville is an important centre for both commerce and culture in the region.

Most of the notable attractions in the city focus on country music. These include the Grand Ole Opry (where many country stars hold concerts), the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Johnny Cash Museum.

The city also contains numerous other historical and cultural attractions including the Belle Meade Plantation, Belmont Mansion, Fort Negley and the Tennessee State Museum.

For those who might tire of the country music feel of the city, numerous excellent locations can be found outside of Nashville, each within a few hours driving distance by rental car.

Nashville to Dunbar Cave State Park

50 mins to Dunbar Cave State Park (46 miles) (74kms) via I-24 W

The Dunbar Cave State Park is just a short trip outside of Nashville. The park itself is like most of its kind in the United States and filled with outdoor activities. These include hiking trails, camping, fishing, and picnic spots..

One of the more popular locations within the park is the Dunbar Cave. This cave is over 8 miles long and is filled Ancient American Native cave art. Note the cave is only open from May to August.

Accommodation options around the Dunbar Cave State Park vary and include camping sites and RV sites while small inns and lodges can be found in the surrounding towns.

Nashville to Lookout Mountain

2 hour 30 mins to Lookout Mountain (144 miles) (231kms) via I-24 E

A lengthy trip but well worth the drive, the views from Lookout Mountain are nothing short of spectacular, but then again, the name gives it away doesn’t it!

But it’s not only about the views, Lookout Mountain is part of many attractions in the area specifically aimed at families. These include an incline railway, Ruby Fall and Rock City.

Ruby Falls is a spectacular waterfall located inside Lookout Mountain itself. It is found 1000 feet below the base of the mountain! Rock City is located at the summit of the mountain and includes gift shops, walking trails, ancient rock formations and over 4000 unique plant species.

Accommodation options near Lookout Mountain are best found in the nearby town of Chattanooga and include inns, hotels, motels, lodges, rental homes and bed and breakfast establishments.

Nashville to Lynchburg

1 hour 24 mins (73 miles)(117kms) via I-24 E and US-231 S

The town of Lynchburg is situated a short trip to the south of Nashville.

Lynchburg is perhaps most famous for the fact that the Jack Daniels Distillery can be found here. Be sure to stop in for a guided tour to see how this famous Whiskey is made. The town itself has many attractions from its old town square to other historic building such as the courthouse (built in 1885) and the Old Jail.

Mulberry House, a home built over 120 years ago is a perfect place to step into a bygone era. Be sure to stay and listen to tales about Jack Daniels and the history of the area.

Lynchburg is also filled with eateries offering traditional meals from the region. Not many are better than Miss Mary Bobo’s boarding house however!

Accommodation options in Lynchburg include cabins, bed and breakfast establishments, cottages and inns.

At Cheaperthancars and Cheaperthanhotels you will find great deals and a lot of choice on your car rental and accommodations. We really do want you to spend less and do more when you get there with the money you have saved.

Your Cheaperthancars Team

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