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Explore Washington

Explore Washington with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!

Expedia car hire in Washington comes with No Hidden Fees

Why rent a car in Washington, DC?

Washington, DC is awash with stately buildings, grand walkways and impressive monuments, including the United States Capitol and the Washington Monument. There is also a host of fascinating museums, many of which are part of the Smithsonian Institution, so you'll never be short of educational activities for the whole family.

The capital city of the US is a big place, so it'll be worth your while to rent a car in Washington, DC if you want to get around in good time and get the most out of your stay.

How to get to and around Washington, DC?

You can easily get to Washington, DC by flying into either Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, 20 minutes' drive from the city centre, or Washington Dulles International Airport, a longer 50-minute drive with a Washington, DC hire car.

If you want to get out of town and explore some local hotspots, Arlington is a good place to start, and it's only half an hour's drive with a Washington, DC rental car. The home of the Pentagon, Arlington has a strong military connection, and this is reflected by a lot of the attractions, such as Arlington National Cemetery and the Marine Corps War Memorial.

Alexandria, a 40-minute journey when you rent a car in Washington, DC, offers such activities as a visit to Torpedo Factory Art Center, where local artists showcase and sell their works in a former naval munitions factory, and the atmospheric Gadsby's Tavern, a classic tavern serving traditional American recipes.

Hiring a car in Washington, DC city centre

When in Washington, DC, you can either rent a car in Washington, DC city centre, or at one of the airports, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport or Washington Dulles International Airport. Washington is a large city with heavy traffic, so factor this into your travel plans. There is plenty of parking around the city, and if you want to reserve a spot in advance or check where the spaces are and how much you'll need to pay, you can use a handy online service called Washington, DC Parking Finder.

What brands are available?

If you want to rent a car in Washington, DC, the following companies are available:

  • Dollar
  • Thrifty
  • Alamo
  • Hertz
  • Avis
  • Must-sees within an easy drive of Washington, DC

    Baltimore, an hour and a half's drive, is worth the trip in your Washington, DC hire car, offering art lovers plenty to choose from, including 18th and 19th century art at Walters Art Museum, and the American Visionary Art Museum, which specialises in sculptures and unusual art works.

    Rockville is a little closer to Washington, and takes around an hour to get to by car. Rockville is the perfect destination for lovers of the outdoors, with recreation areas including Rock Creek, Maryvale Park and Woodley Gardens Park offering a variety of activities from running, hiking and cycling to rock climbing, picnicking and riverside walks.

    Tips and tricks for driving in the US

    Drivers in the US must use the right-hand side of the road. The speed limit in Washington, DC is 55mph, or 25mph in the city unless otherwise signposted. US rental cars are generally automatic, so make sure to ask if you want a manual transmission car.

    Ready to plan your Washington, DC city break?

    To start organising your trip to Washington, DC and other parts of the US, use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.