During a road trip in New England you will learn about the history of the US, visiting centuries old towns dotted along highways off the beaten path. An autumn road trip will also allow you the opportunity to go on a bit of “leaf peeping“, discovering the beautiful scenery these states have to offer. It is the season when roads are lined with golden and orange coloured trees and locals and tourists alike flock outdoors to immerse in some of the most breathtaking views in the Northeast. My first trip to this region was in mid October, arriving in Boston where I hired a car for a week. By then the trees had sufficiently turned red and yellow but the weather was still warm for a nice long walk at the occasional stops.

Road Trip Rental Basics

Rent in Advance – rent at least 2-3 months in advance to save on rental costs and make sure you get full insurance cover as most rental companies will charge for even the smallest scratch.

Choose Unlimited Mileage – you don’t want to be worrying about how much you can drive, so check the rental form before you book whether you are booking with unlimited mileage.

Pick Up Full Return Full – any other option will be a rip-off. Full-to-full means you pick the car up with a full tank of fuel and return it with a full tank. This gives you the flexibility of driving as much or as little as you want.

Other options include full-to-empty, which is probably the biggest rip off of all. You pick the car up with a pre-paid tank of fuel (charged at twice or three times the retail fuel price) and you have to return it empty otherwise you lose the fuel and you will not get a refund. I have made the mistake of once booking a car like this in Spain and it was very annoying – never again.

Take photos at the time of pick up – you want to be sure to have proof in case of a dispute. I would go even as far as recording the conversations you have, which is what I have done on a number of occasions.

Rent an EZPass – it will make your life a lot easier when driving on toll roads. Most rental companies have this at an added cost. You will receive a bill about two weeks after you’ve returned the car.

Driving Tips

Keep to the speed limit – there are police everywhere and also speed cameras checking your speed. The speed limit is posted regularly so you cannot miss it and the police cars have radars so they can tell how fast you are going from a mile away.

Check the signs – you can turn on red in most junctions although there are some where you cannot. A sign under the traffic light will show where you cannot turn so you won’t be able to miss it.

Look both sides when you are overtaking on the freeway – some people zigzag and if you don’t look you can have a pretty big crash.

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