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Car Hire USA and Canada

Car hire in the USA and Canada– Get your motor running across the USA

Rev up your motor, set the sat-nav and make sure you’ve got a tin of sucky sweets in the glove box — we’re heading off along the highways and byways of the USA and Canada. Car hire in the USA is the best way to see as much of this insanely big, brash, and complex country, and you can even hop over the border and check out its northern cousin, Canada. Car hire in America is also probably the most cost-effective way to plan a holiday, and with car rental offers and special deals, your dollar goes miles further.

What do I need to hire a car?

  • A driving licence would help — seriously though, you need to be at least 21 years old and have a full (and preferably clean) driving licence. Your car rental in Canada and the USA will come with insurance, so you don’t need to take out any personal cover before you head off.
  • A vague idea of where you’re going — or, not. In fact, unless you need to be somewhere specific we highly recommend doing the whole ‘I wonder where that road goes…’ method of navigation. After all, the journey’s just as much fun as the destination when you choose a USA or Canada car hire holiday.
  • Snacks – well, okay, these aren’t exactly essential because those legendary American roadside diners are as awesome as they look in the movies. Over in Canada you might not see quite so many, but the pancakes with authentic Canadian maple syrup are to die for.
  • A car — this is where we come in. At Virgin Holidays, we’ve teamed up with car rental USA giants Alamo/National to bring you a car hire experience you’ll never forget.

Hop over the border to Canada

If you thought a driving holiday in the USA was fun, just wait until you see its northern cousin! Canada is almost as big as the USA, but with fewer people, more moose, and a whole heap of potential road trips that’ll take you through some of the best scenery in the world. And no, it’s not always snowing in Canada – head to Toronto in the summer and you’ll be wandering around its charming Victorian streets in your t-shirt. Here’s a few top spots to check out if you decide to opt for Canada for your holiday:

  • Toronto – the largest city in Canada is also one of its oldest major settlements, so there’s plenty of history to explore here. It’s super-easy to get around, too, as the entire city is laid out in a grid pattern (similar to cities in the USA – apart from Boston, which is just nuts!). You’re in the epicentre of that most Canadian of traditions – ice hockey, where angry men with no teeth bash the heck out of a small puck while sliding around really quickly! The Toronto Maple Leafs are the home team, so park up, grab some popcorn, and cheer yourself hoarse for a while.
  • Calgary – not all of Canada is mountainous – the region around Calgary changes from rolling hills to open plains studded with little towns along the way. If you love antiques then this is a great place to go exploring, as you’ll often find ‘mom and pop’ antique stores at the side of the road. It’s snowy in the winter, but warm in the summer, so a great spot for a summer road trip with a difference.
  • Niagara Falls – you can’t hire a car in Canada and not visit Niagara Falls. In fact, if your car hire in the USA starts on the east coast in Boston or New York, it’ll be easy to simply hop over the border and combine the two countries into one epic road trip. This is one spot you have to tick off your bucket list.

Car hire in the USA – a continent full of possibilities

The USA is made for road trips. Miles and miles of tarmac takes you through the heart of the country, across mighty rivers and towering mountains, through chic cityscapes and sleepy rural backwaters. Here’s a few of our favourite destinations if you’re hiring a car in the USA:

  • Route 66 – let’s get the obvious one out the way first. Route 66 (which doesn’t actually exist as a single road anymore) takes you from Chicago to California, slap-bang through the middle of America. If you’ve only ever clung to the East or West Coast regions, or kept your holidays purely focused on Disney World Florida, then it’s time to discover the ‘real’ America. Cruise through Kansas, wander through Wyoming, and make tracks through Missouri.
  • The Rockies – magnificent, insanely big, and one of the true natural wonders of America, driving through the Rockies in a hire car is the experience of a lifetime. A word of advice – it gets cold up there so don’t go for a convertible; pick a saloon with a good heater!
  • City breaks – every city in the USA has its own unique personality. From the excesses of LA and the hippy vibe of San Francisco to the sophistication of Boston and the splendor of Washington DC, America’s cities are ideal for exploring. They’re laid out in a grid system too (apart from Boston), so they’re easy to navigate and very car friendly.

Ready to go exploring?

From Route 66 to the Pacific Highway, the Rocky Mountains to Vancouver, the USA and Canada offer you an open-road experience like no other. Every town is different, every view is worth a picture, and every gas station stop will make you feel like a true 21st century pioneer, discovering the marvels of this amazing continent for the first time.

Get your car hire sorted out as part of a USA holiday package and you’ve got everything you need for the ultimate Canadian or US road trip. What are you waiting for? Get that engine revved up and get going!

Why hire a car with Virgin Holidays?

  • Partnered with Alamo/National, we’re able to offer you car hire in over 280 locations within North America and Canada with award winning service
  • Dedicated Virgin Holidays area located at Orlando International Airport with car hire experts on hand to assist
  • One additional driver included as standard in our Fully Inclusive package
  • Receive 1000 flying club miles by simply getting your card swiped by Alamo upon arrival
  • No cancellation or amendment fees
  • 24/7 roadside assistance included in all of our car hire
  • Book your car hire in conjunction with a Virgin holidays package and access our exclusive Gold Plus package including a free GPS rental, Unlimited Child Seats, tank of fuel, up to 3 additional driver and underage driver fees included

​Key things to know​ »

Already booked?

Alamo online check in

Alamo’s online check in gives you the option to pre enter most/all of your details prior to travel saving you time upon arrival.

If you are picking up a car at one of the Choice airport locations you can complete ‘Skip the Counter’. This means that when you arrive you can head straight to the garage to the row of the car type you have booked and choose a car. Then you just drive to the barrier, show your rental agreement, driving licence and credit card to exit the garage and get on your way!

Alamo USA online check in is available at

Alamo Choice

Choice allows you to select the make, model and colour of the car you want from a row of the car group you have booked e.g Intermediate SUV, Minivan 7 seater etc. Choice is available at 42 Airport locations (including all our Virgin Gateways).

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