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The beating heart of America’s jazz heritage, the streets of New Orleans are saturated with musical history – the result of a melting pot of European, Latin American and African cultures. The birthplace of hugely influential personalities such as musician Louis Armstrong and writer Truman Capote, the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (known locally as Jazz Fest) celebrates this city’s rich cultural heritage with one of the largest music festivals in America, bringing together music, food and the arts in celebration of this vibrant city’s contribution to the cultural fabric of America.
Food is just as important as music in New Orleans, and whether you’re wandering the streets with a beignet in hand (the city’s signature sweet, made from fried dough sprinkled with sugar) or tucking into some traditional Creole soul food such as jambalaya or gumbo, you’re guaranteed not to go hungry in this city. With a hire car at your disposal, the delights of New Orleans are yours to explore.
Fly into Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Kenner, around 13 miles west of the city. From there it’s a 20-minute drive down the I-10 E to arrive in downtown New Orleans. During events such as Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest, it may be cheaper to instead fly into Baton Rouge, 89 miles north of the city or Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi 77 miles east.
With a hire car you can easily drive to a host of interesting locations close to New Orleans, including the city of Lafayette (around two and a half hours’ drive) considered the centre of the Cajun and Creole culture that defines much of the deep south. Gulfport (the second largest city in Mississippi) is also an hour and 20 minutes away, and boasts a long strip of white, sandy beach and plenty of good weather to enjoy it in.
Choose from a wide selection of hire car providers in New Orleans to suit every budget and requirement, from Alamo and Dollar to Thrifty and Hertz.
Mardi Gras is one of the most lively celebrations hosted in New Orleans in February or early March each year. The city is awash with colour as giant floats wind their way through the streets, accompanied by exuberant dancing, live music and plenty of fun costumes. Royal Street is also a great visit – one of the oldest streets in the city dating from the French colonial era, lined with high-end antique shops and art galleries. If you fancy escaping the crowds, then the City Park provides some tranquillity, dotted with gardens and waterways as well as the New Orleans Museum of Art, containing excellent displays of African, Asian and Native American art which reflect the city’s multicultural history.
Further afield, your hire car can help you explore beyond New Orleans to destinations such as Houma (approximately an hour away), where the Wetlands Music Festival is held annually in October, or the capital of Louisiana, Baton Rouge (an hour and a half drive) – a city with over 300 years of history.
Driving in New Orleans, like much of America, is largely straightforward, with wide lanes and simple road layouts. Cars drive on the right hand side of the road and you can overtake on both sides. You can also perform a U-turn at the end of most junctions – it will be marked if you are not allowed to do so.
Most American cars are automatic, so remember to request a stick shift if you would prefer one.
Feeling inspired to start exploring New Orleans and other parts of America? Check out this city guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.
Remember that Expedia car hire comes with no hidden fees. The price you see is the price you pay!
In the past 7 days the lowest priced car rental is £37 in New Orleans.
On average, car rentals in New Orleans are £38.
When booking a rental car via Expedia you can easily compare a wide range of the most popular car hire companies and select the best option for you. There are no extra costs and no cancellation fees involved in booking a rental car with Expedia.
You can book a car rental on Expedia either online or over the phone. You may have the option to reserve now and pay now, or to reserve now and pay later. The payment option will be indicated at time of booking. To collect Expedia+ rewards points for your car rental, sign in to your account before you book or create an account on the Payment page.
Most rental car bookings are eligible for a full refund regardless of when you cancel with Expedia. Not all prepaid bookings qualify for a refund. Review your itinerary for details. If your prepaid booking qualifies for a refund, your booking must be cancelled at least 6 hours prior to pick-up for the refund. If you return your prepaid car rental early, you will not be refunded for any unused time.
To cancel your car booking, sign in or enter your email address and itinerary number. Then select Find itinerary. Under Manage Booking, select Cancel Reservation, then CANCEL THIS RESERVATION. Most prepaid car rental bookings are non-refundable. Pre-paid bookings must be cancelled at least 6 hours prior to pick-up to be eligible for a full refund. To change or cancel a car hire that you booked as part of a holiday, please contact us.
Booking your car from home with Expedia ensures thay you can choose the type of car. You can also compare the different offers and additional services in advance to get the best offer for you. Upon arrival you only need to collect the keys before beginning your trip. In addition, you do not have to start searching for a suitable provider after arriving or reading the terms and conditions at the counter. This will save you a lot of stress.
A comprehensive insurance is a good choice to avoid unpleasant surprises. That way you can enjoy your stay carefree and explore the area with your rental car.
We have a couple different options when it comes to paying for your car rental. Read on and see which is best for you. Reserve now, pay now: This option allows you to reserve your car rental and prepay at the time of booking. You’ll need a credit card to prepay, and can apply Expedia Rewards points to cover all or some of the booking cost. While some car rental companies may let you pay with a debit card, the driver still needs to present a valid credit card to cover the deposit upon pick-up. Reserve now, pay later: This option lets you reserve your rental car without paying in advance. When you get to the pick-up spot, just have whoever's driving present a valid credit card to pay the cost in full. The car rental company will also place a hold on your credit card in the amount of the car rental deposit.
When picking up your rental car, check for scratches or dents on the vehicle. Inspect the car carefully, make sure to take notes of potential damage and let the vendor know before driving off.
Rental car companies can usually be found at airports and various locations in the city centre.
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