Car Hire South Dakota

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Hertz Car Hire in South Dakota

From the dramatic Black Hills to the famed Mount Rushmore with its monumental carvings of former presidents, South Dakota is a state with a key place in American history. It sits in the mid-west and is a place of vast plains and prairies, few people and a landscape that seems ready made for the widescreen treatment.

We have pick-up locations across the Mount Rushmore State, including branches at the two main airports – Rapid City and Sioux Falls. Make the most of your visit by picking the perfect car for your visit from our collection – whether it’s a compact vehicle, something perfect for active families or even something a little more glamorous for a US road trip.

With some 83,000 miles of roads in South Dakota, it’s a stunning place to drive, and we’ll help you get in your car and out on the open road.

Driving in and around South Dakota

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As is often the case in most of the US, South Dakota is a state best explored behind the steering wheel of a car. And while there are small local differences – our branch team will happily answer any questions you may have – the rules of the road are similar to those in most US states.

You will, of course, be driving on the right-hand side of the road and overtaking on the left. Speed limits are clearly marked and strictly enforced, and vary from 30mph in built-up areas, 60mph outside of built-up areas and up to 80mph on interstate highways. There will be some school and business districts with 20mph limits.

Drivers and front seat passengers must wear seatbelts and under-fives should be in proper child restraint seating. At many gas stations you’ll have to pay for your petrol before you refuel.

The I-90 is the long road that cuts across the entire span of the state, linking Sioux Falls on the eastern border next to Minnesota and Iowa with Rapid City and Deadwood in the west, before it continues into Wyoming. The I-29 slices north to south through the east, heading up to North Dakota and down to Iowa. There is almost a grid-like layout to the roads in South Dakota, making it easy to plot your way across it.

From the state capital Pierre, you can drive north-east on the 14, then north on the 83 to Gettysburg before cutting west through the Cheyenne River Reservation on the 212. Follow this on to Belle Fourche in the west and you can proceed through to Wyoming and Montana. The roads might be long, but they’re liberally studded with tourist towns such as Deadwood, stop-offs and splendid vistas that demand to be photographed.

A quick guide to South Dakota

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Great swathes of American history played out in South Dakota – not all of it entirely glorious. This is where the Sioux lived and battled against Custer. The mountains that punctuate the landscape can be wonderful by day, portentous by night – but always stick in the mind. And with national parks, memorials and pretty, friendly towns waiting for you, you’ll soon be stuck on South Dakota.

City on the plains

Pierre might be the capital city, but Sioux Falls is the largest. It’s a pretty, appealing city that mixes natural beauty with a great food scene and modern city living. The Falls themselves might be shallow, but they certainly make an impact. Head for the Falls Park to watch the Big Sioux River as it plunges down, where you’ll also see 19th century buildings such as the Queen Bee Mill and Horse Barn. During winter the Falls become a Winter Wonderland, with enchanting light displays that will delight families.

The Presidents

Americans don’t just celebrate their former presidents on different dollar bills – they’ve also etched them into legend at Mount Rushmore. This national memorial – familiar from film and TV – soars 60ft with its faces of Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Millions visit the spot each year, and it’s easy to see why.

Even larger is the Crazy Horse Memorial, carved at the invitation of Chief Henry Standing Bear. Work started on it in 1948, with a handful of survivors from the Battle of Little Bighorn in attendance at the very first rock blasting. Already huge, it’s still a work in progress and will eventually be home to a Native Indian museum and Cultural Centre.

The Black Hills and the Badlands

The Black Hills are justly famous. It’s not just Mount Rushmore that lures visitors, but Custer State Park too. Here you’ll find cooling lakes, mountain drives and incredible wildlife. You’ll see bison, coyotes, prairie dogs and more.

Inside it, you’ll find Badlands National Park with its incredible spires and pinnacles, rare black-footed ferrets and haunting rock formations. It’s made for exploration by car, although you can also park up and explore some of the more interesting trails on foot. Make time for Devils Tower - known to everyone who has seen Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Wind Cave - the fourth largest known cave in the US with honeycomb rock formations.

A day, a week, a month – South Dakota’s natural beauty and the awe you might feel gazing up at the Cathedral-like rock formations can really suck you in. Tour its immense open spaces with car hire in South Dakota and you’ll want to see every inch.