Car Rental in Houston
Houston is a sprawling city offering a wealth of famous landmarks and hidden gems to keep all kinds of travelers occupied for weeks on end. Known for its eclectic and multicultural flavor, Houston is spread out into various districts like the artistic North Loop area, the shopping hub of West Loop and the world-class cultural institutions in Downtown Houston. Renting a car is the best way to get around Houston and also opens up many day-trip opportunities.
Where to rent a car in Houston
There are plenty of leading international car rental providers at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, the main international airport serving Houston, including Enterprise, Avis, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty. You will need to catch a shuttle bus from the airport to the nearby Rental Car Facility to make all arrangements with your chosen company. If you don’t want to collect your vehicle immediately from the airport there are offices located across the city so you won’t have a problem finding a collection point.
Driving in Houston
Houston is served by an extensive network of highways which makes it easy to get all across the city. However, the traffic can get bad during the rush hour so try to stay off the roads from 07.30-09.00 and 17.00-19.00 or you can end up stuck in traffic for hours. The Downtown district is busy at almost all hours of the day but the rest of the city is ideally suited to exploration by car. There are so many interlinking highways, frontage roads and toll roads in Houston that foreign visitors can easily be confused, so it is advisable to get a satnav unit with your rental vehicle to help you navigate.
Parking in Houston
There are plenty of parking facilities available across Houston including street parking and parking lots, while most major attractions will offer their own ample parking facilities. Street parking in Houston is payable by the meter with a maximum of 3 hours permitted. Parking is free after 18.00 each day and for the entirety of Sunday. You will be able to pay for your parking at the meter by cash, phone or credit card. Parking lots are also plentiful across Houston with hourly and daily rates available. Most hotels in Houston will be able to provide parking for guests, although those situated in the Downtown district may not because of the scarcity of space.
Where to go around Houston
Houston’s wealth of attractions are spread out across the city so it helps to have your own rental car to get around, especially during the scorching hot summer months. Downtown Houston is home to many excellent theaters as well as Houston’s historic district, while in South Loop you will find the popular Rice Village area known for its colorful bars, restaurants and shops. Just an hour's drive from Houston is the popular coastal retreat of Galveston offering gorgeous beaches and family-friendly attractions. If you are traveling with kids you may want to consider driving out to the spectacular Schlitterbahn water park which is around 2 hours 30 minutes from Houston.
* This information is correct as of December 2018