Driving in New York

America is still the most driver-friendly nation in the world, so it’s no wonder that many UK tourists choose car hire as the preferred way to get around. The only city that may stretch this statement is New York. Car Hire in the five boroughs, and Manhattan especially, brings with it a driving culture that can be intimidating to the first timer – the density of traffic alone on Manhattan is quite astonishing.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t drive or think about car hire in New York – it’s still a great way to get around. Here are some handy tips for anyone contemplating  driving the Big Apple:

First of all, forget the ‘turn right on red’ rule for the most part. It may be legal in every other US city, but here in New York it’s only alright if there is a sign specifically authorising it.

Enter grids at your peril! You don’t want to be the cause of gridlock, so make sure that you enter intersections only if you’re clear to get through to the other side. You may get honked at, but keep cool and observe the law – getting stuck in the middle is far worse!

Parking laws are as strict as any other city. Best to find an official parking lot, but if you do park on the streets, observe any street cleaning signs – be ready to move your car early the next day to make way, or face the consequences. Info is available on the DOT website.

Finally, a few DONT’S: It may be tempting, but don’t honk your horn unnecessarily – in some places, it is even forbidden, with a $100 fine for violators. It’s obvious, but don’t open your windows to strangers – you may encounter beggars at stoplights, but keep your wits about you, and keep your windows up

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