Exploring Oregon With a Hire Car: A Comprehensive Guide
Nestled in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon boasts diverse landscapes from rugged coastlines and dense forests to volcanic mountain ranges and vast deserts. Hiring a car is perhaps the most convenient way to traverse this geographically rich state. This guide will help you with the specifics of car hire in Oregon, ensuring a seamless journey for those visiting for the first time.
1. Car Hire in Oregon:
Types of Vehicles: Given Oregon's diverse terrain, consider your destinations before selecting a vehicle. For city explorations, compact cars are ideal. However, for mountainous terrains or coastal drives, an SUV or all-wheel-drive vehicle might be more suitable.
Age Requirements: Generally, renters must be at least 21 years old, but this can vary between rental agencies. Those under 25 might encounter additional fees.
Insurance: Oregon requires motorists to have liability insurance. We recommend purchasing our Premium Insurance Package.
2. Driving Differences & Tips:
Right on Red: After coming to a complete stop and ensuring the way is clear (and unless a sign indicates otherwise), you can turn right on a red light.
Self-Service Gas: Historically, it was illegal for drivers to pump their own gas in Oregon. However, recent laws have relaxed this in counties with populations under 40,000. In major cities, attendants will typically pump gas for you.
Speed Limits: Residential areas usually have a limit of 25 mph, while highways can range from 55-70 mph. Always observe posted signs.
Cell Phones: Using a handheld mobile device while driving is illegal. Ensure you have a hands-free system if you need to communicate on the move.
Alcohol: The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08%. Always designate a driver if you plan to drink.
3. Popular Driving Routes:
Oregon Coast Route (Highway 101): Travel along the dramatic Pacific coastline, stopping at viewpoints, lighthouses, and quaint coastal towns. Recommended duration: 3-5 days.
Columbia River Gorge Scenic Drive: Witness the majestic waterfalls, including the iconic Multnomah Falls, along this river route. This drive can be a day trip or extended with hikes and overnight stays.
Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway: Explore the wonders of Crater Lake National Park and the surrounding volcanic landscape. Recommended duration: 2-3 days.
4. Recommendations for First-time Visitors:
Portland: The state's largest city, renowned for its arts, brewpubs, and eco-friendliness. Don't miss the Rose Test Garden and Powell’s Books.
Willamette Valley: For wine enthusiasts, this region offers some of the best Pinot Noirs.
Bend: A high-desert city close to numerous recreational opportunities, including Mount Bachelor and the Deschutes River.
Oregon Dunes: Stretching for 40 miles along the coast, this national recreation area offers dune buggy tours and hiking opportunities.
5. Type of Car Hire:
Eco-Friendly Rentals: Given Oregon's emphasis on sustainability, we offer hybrid or electric vehicles.
Luxury Rentals: For those wanting a more upscale experience, luxury sedans and SUVs are available at major rental agencies.
Oregon, with its captivating landscapes and distinct culture, promises an unforgettable journey. Renting a car enables you to delve deep into its treasures at your own pace. Whether you're tracing the coastline, exploring verdant valleys, or scaling mountainous terrains, a personal vehicle enhances the Oregon experience manifold.