Why rent a car in Boston?
Boston, in Massachusetts, New England’s largest city, played a key role in the American War of Independence, and the Freedom Trail, is literally a walk through history. The two-and-a-half mile route from the elegant Boston Common to Charlestown trails through 16 of the city’s most historical sites, including Faneuil Hall Marketplace, the site of many impassioned speeches, Paul Revere House and Old North Church, from where Paul Revere’s ‘midnight ride’ was launched, warning people about the arrival of British troops.
Boston has a wealth of museums, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, and, a few blocks west, the Venetian-palace inspired Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with a private collection of Italian art. The city is also home to the prestigious Harvard University.
Boston is ideally located for exploring some of the greatest cities in the New England region. For visiting Rhode Island, Albany, Portland and New York all you need is a rental car in Boston.
How to get to and around Boston?
International flights land at Boston Logan International Airport, less than four miles from the centre. A free shuttle bus transports you to an underground (subway) station for a train journey of 10 to 15 minutes to downtown Boston.
With a Logan International Airport car rental, you can reach the centre just as fast, with the advantage of being able to enjoy the sights.
Hiring a car in Boston city centre
A car hire in Boston couldn’t be easier. You can use one of the rental services at the airport or at different points within the city centre.
For an extravagant hotel experience near the main sights, pop into the five-star XV Beacon, with an original 1903 Beaux Arts exterior and luxurious rooms featuring gas fireplaces and canopied beds. Its steak restaurant Mooo gets rave reviews. The contemporary Boston Harbour Hotel offers the best views of the harbour and is near the New England Aquarium and Faneuil Hall. Unbeatable for its historical value is the 150-year-old Omni Park House, a 15-minute drive from the airport. It’s hosted every American president, and it’s where Charles Dickens did his first US reading of ‘A Christmas Carol’.
Boston is full of construction sites and many parking spaces have thus been lost. It can be a challenge to find roadside parking space during the day, so using a garage may be the best option.
What brands are available?
Several car hire companies operate in Boston, some of which are listed below. Rental companies, such as Budget, Dollar and National, offer free GPS with their vehicles. Check out details on the Expedia car hire page, before you book your Boston rental car.AlamoAvisBudgetDollarHertzNationalThrifty
Must-sees within an easy drive of Boston
With a rental car in BostonRockport is less than an hour’s drive away, and has scenic beaches, shops and galleries on its rocky coastline and ultra-fresh seafood. In Newport, the ‘sailing capital of the world’, a one-and-a-half-hour drive, enjoy the sparkling waters, breathtaking shorelines and opulent mansions from the Gilded Age.
For a great hike there’s the 3,165-foot Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire, a trip of under two hours. It was featured in the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, and is one of the world’s most frequently climbed mountains. If you’d like to experience what it feels like to fly a plane, the New England Air Museum at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut (a two-hour drive) has a flight simulator with real pilots teaching you the basics and exhibits over 80 vintage aircrafts.
Tips and tricks for driving in the US
Driving in the US is on the right-hand side of the road. An international driving licence is not compulsory but recommended. Carry it always alongside your passport and your car insurance papers. Wearing a seatbelt is mandatory and use of mobile phones while driving is forbidden.
Speed limits vary from state to state; in general stick to 70mph on motorways. Beware that undertaking is not illegal in the US; don’t forget to signal before changing lanes.
Boston has narrow, winding streets and high levels of traffic. Its parking spaces are also small, so make sure you hire a small vehicle for easier parking. Pedestrian jaywalking is quite common in Boston; be extra vigilant and keep your speed low when driving downtown.
Ready to plan your Boston city break?
Ready to start planning your trip to Boston and other parts of the US? Use this city guide and the Expedia search tool to find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research your preferred attractions and activities.