Car Hire in Chicago
This information is correct as of June 2015.
Where to hire a car in Chicago
Chicago is a large city in the U.S. state of Illinois. The city features many great tourist destinations and an efficient public transportation system and car rental providers to make every tourist’s visit easy and comfortable. The city is serviced by various international car rental companies including Advantage, Budget, Hertz, Alamo, Dollar, National, Avis, and Enterprise. These companies are known worldwide for their efficient service, professional staffs, fleet of modern and well-maintained vehicles, and reasonable prices that come with every package. Other providers lending their services in Chicago are Thrifty Car Rental Chicago and CarRentals.com, an Expedia, Inc. company. Cars vary depending on the purpose of visit and the number of travellers in a group. Driving around the city is fairly easy and these companies make it even easier for their clients by providing each vehicle with reliable GPS navigation units.
What to expect when hiring a car from Chicago
Since Chicago experiences four distinct seasons, it would be wise to consider the season before picking a vehicle for hire. During winter, SUVs will prove to be a great choice. The vehicle will allow you to easily traverse the lake effect snow. During summer, enjoy a luxurious drive in a convertible. This type of vehicle will allow you to fully enjoy the lakeside breeze.
Driving in Chicago is relatively straightforward although traffic can still be experienced especially during rush hours. This basically occurs from 7-9 in the morning and 4-7 in the afternoon during weekdays. Better avoid these hours, plan your arrival and your trips around the city during mid-day or weekends. There are plenty of paid street parking and parking garages around Chicago. However, you should take note of the difference between prices of daytime and overnight parking in the downtown area. Chicago has many intricate parking rules like no parking on major streets if a snow of over two inches thick is evident, prohibited parking on the south side of major streets from 7-9 in the morning and from 4-6 in the afternoon on the north side, and the scheduled street cleaning from nine in the morning until three in the afternoon once a month.
Violating parking rules in Chicago can cost you a fine of up to $100 (135.21 Singapore Dollars) when your car gets towed after parking on private lots with “Violators Will Be Towed” signs, yellow tow zones, and spaces near fire hydrants.
Getting to your destination
Skipping the rush hours, driving around Chicago is, in itself, can be a great experience for tourists. Most attractions can be reached by cars and in summer season, the drive can be accompanied with a pleasurable lakeside breeze.
Willis Tower is arguably the most notable landmark of the city as it is one of the tallest buildings in North America. Formerly known as the Sears Tower, it is located in the downtown area where you can easily steer your car and see other attractions like the John Hancock Tower, Navy Pier, and Grant Park.
Located right in the city centre, Willis Tower is surrounded by W Adams St, S Franklin St, S Wacker Dr, and W Jackson Blvd.
Lake Shore Drive
Take your car along Lake Shore Drive and capture memorable photos with the stunning view of Lake Michigan as your background.
Lake Shore Drive is an hour away from Chicago. You can take I-90, IL-62 W, or I-290 to get here. Take note that all of the routes going to Lake Shore Drive have tolls.
Indiana Dunes National Beach and Mount Baldy
Indiana Dunes National Beach is located 47 miles east of Chicago and offers a natural wonder that stretches up to 25 miles along Lake Michigan. Here you can find Mount Baldy which is a 123-foot sand dune sculpted by glaciers. Tourists can hike Mount Baldy following marked trails.
You can take I-90 E or I-94 E to get to the area. The drive will take approximately one hour. Take note that both routes have tolls.
Approximately 80 miles from Chicago, you can enjoy water sports activities like boating, parasailing, water skiing, jet skiing, and wakeboarding at Lake Geneva in Wisconsin.
Getting to Lake Geneva can take one hour and 30-40 minutes. The quickest way would be via I-94 W. Alternatively, you can also go via I-90 W and IL-47 N or via I-94 W and US-12 W. All routes have tolls.