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Our car rental service in Outer Banks boasts a hands-on and diligent customer service. From easy bookings to personalised recommendations of touristic gems such as the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, we ensure your satisfaction. Experience the unique beauty of the Outer Banks with seamless support to enhance your journey at every mile.

Car Rental in Outer Banks

Road trip guide through North Carolina's breathtaking barrier islands

City car, lighthouse, ocean waves, sand dunes, seashells, wild horses

Outer Banks, North Carolina, is a chain of barrier islands that stretch over 100 miles. Traveling by car is a wonderful way to explore its untamed beauty and discover the attractions that make it unique. From historic lighthouses and wild horses to pristine beaches and national parks, Outer Banks ensures an immersive experience in every mile.

Start your journey at the Upper Outer Banks, home to the Wright Brothers National Memorial, where aviation history was made. Just about a half-hour drive south, you'll encounter astounding sites like Bodie Island Lighthouse. And practically a stone throw’s distance away, you can explore the majestic Cape Hatteras National Seashore, strewn across 72 miles of coastal splendor.

Travel down further to Hatteras Island, a world-renowned for fishing and water sport paradise. A ferry (cars are allowed on board) will get you to Ocracoke Island, the southernmost point of the Outer Banks. This quaint village is one of the most remote yet charming locations on the Outer Banks and is only accessible by ferry, private boat, or plane. From Corolla in the north to Ocracoke in the south, it's about a 3-hour drive, without traffic. But given the number of scenic spots and attractions on route, the actual time taken would be much longer.

Car Rental in Outer Banks

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much does it cost to rent a car in Outer Banks?

Car rental prices in Outer Banks vary depending on several factors such as the type of car, duration of the rental, and the rental company. On average, you can expect to pay around $40 to $70 per day for a standard car.

2. What car model is the most demanded for rent in Outer Banks?

Given the Outer Banks' location with its beautiful beaches and natural reserves, SUVs and large family cars are the most popular options among renters. These models provide enough space for beach equipment and are practical for driving on sandy terrains.

3. Which are the most popular places to rent a car in Outer Banks?

Most car rentals in Outer Banks are located in major areas like Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, and Nags Head, as well as at the Dare County Regional Airport.

4. Is there a 24-hour pick-up and drop-off service?

Yes, most car rental companies in Outer Banks offer 24-hour pick-up and drop-off services. However, it’s always wise to check with the specific rental company.

5. Is there a minimum rental period?

Typically, the minimum car rental period is 24 hours. But, certain rental companies may offer hourly rentals as well.

6. How old do I have to be to rent a car in Outer Banks?

The minimum age to rent a car in Outer Banks is generally 21 years, but this varies by car category and rental company. Some charge a young driver fee for those under 25.

7. What documents do I need to rent or drive a car in Outer Banks?

To rent a car in Outer Banks, you will need a valid driver's license, a credit card in your name, and proof of insurance if you plan on opting out of the rental company's coverage.

8. When is the best time to visit Outer Banks by car?

The best time to visit Outer Banks by car is during the spring (April to June) or fall (September to November) when the weather is pleasant, and crowd levels are lower.

9. Where are the major airports in Outer Banks?

The main airports in Outer Banks are Dare County Regional Airport and Elizabeth City Coast Guard Air Station.

10. Can I pick up the car in one city of Outer Banks and return it in another?

Yes, most companies in Outer Banks do offer one-way rentals. However, be aware that there might be additional fees for this service.

Car Rental Reviews


Outer Banks – 23-11-2023. I rented a car from this company during my holiday in Outer Banks. I found the whole process smooth and easy. The car was efficient and the fuel consumption was low, which was a pocket saver with the current fuel prices. Overall,I loved the experience and recommend it.


Outer Banks – 12-10-2023. Being a first timer in Outer Banks, this car rental company made my vacation seamless. The staff was immensely helpful, guiding me on the region's must-visit spots. The car was pristine and its smooth ride made our beach hopping exhilarating! It was worth the cost.


Outer Banks – 20-08-2023. In Summer, we took a trip to Outer Banks and rented a car here. The pickup and drop-off were near the airport, which was pretty much convenient. Even though the price seemed a bit steep, the car was comfortable and served us well around the beaches.


Outer Banks – 30-05-2023. Utilized this car rental for my daughter's destination wedding and the service was commendable. We were amazed that, despite the peak season, the rental price was fair. The car was very functional and stylish, a perfect complement to the event.


Outer Banks – 04-04-2023. Needed to rent a car for some sightseeing around Outer Banks and this company came through for me. Car was in top condition and remarkably clean. Pain-free pickup and return process. Though the price point is on the higher side, I believe I got value for my money.


Outer Banks – 22-02-2023. Opted for this rental company during my winter getaway and it didn't disappoint. Sure, the rental price leaned towards the pricier side, but it was worth it. The loved its warm and comfortable interior which was a sanctuary against the biting Outer Banks weather. Thumbs up!

Outer Banks Gems

The most important cities in Outer Banks

  1. Nags Head: A popular tourist destination with numerous attractions and recreational activities.
  2. Kitty Hawk: Known as the location of the Wright brothers' first controlled, powered airplane flights.
  3. Kill Devil Hills: It offers a wide range of leisure activities and is the home of the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
  4. Manteo: With the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, it's a city filled with rich history.
  5. Rodanthe: Featured in the Nicholas Sparks movie 'Nights in Rodanthe', it's a city well-known for its scenic beauty.
  6. Corolla: Popular for its lighthouse, wild horses and upscale homes, it's a blend of history and luxury.
  7. Avon: Known for its fishing pier, it is a preferred city for those who love fishing; watch out for the car park.

Car Routes Guide

Outer Banks to Key Destinations

  1. Outer Banks - Wilmington: This route is approximately 362 kilometers and a journey of about 4.5 hours via US-17 S. The roads are well-maintained and scenic, making it an invigorating ride.
  2. Outer Banks - Raleigh: A 344 kilometers journey taking around 3 hrs 44 mins via US-64 W. This is a fast route with good quality roads.
  3. Outer Banks - Virginia Beach: This trip is about 158 kilometers and takes about 2 hours via US-158 W. The roads are in good condition, offering smooth driving experience.
  4. Outer Banks - Richmond: This route is around 284 kilometers along I-64 W. Expect about 3 hrs 33 mins of driving through well-maintained roads.
  5. Outer Banks - Fayetteville: With a distance of about 390 kilometers, this journey via I-95 S can take up to 5 hours. The roads are generally clean and safe.
  6. Outer Banks - Boston: This is roughly a 888 kilometers journey taking at least 11 hrs via I-95 N. It is a long ride, but the scenic views along the highway are worth it.
  7. Outer Banks - Charleston: A journey roughly 710 kilometers taking around 7 hrs 45 mins via I-95 S. Despite the long distance, the roads are in good condition.

Outer Banks Driving

Common Questions about Driving in Outer Banks

1. Which side of the road do we drive on?

In Outer Banks, as with the rest of the United States, you drive on the right side of the road.

2. What are the speed limits on Outer Banks roads?

In residential areas and business districts, speed limits are commonly set at 35 mph. On major highways, the speed limit may be up to 55 mph. However, drivers should look for posted signs to confirm speed limits.

3. Are there many speed cameras in Outer Banks?

While there can be some speed cameras in and around Outer Banks, it is not heavy. However, you should always follow the speed limit signs to avoid penalties.

4. Do I need a special driver's license to drive in Outer Banks?

No, if you have a valid driver's license issued in the United States, you can drive in Outer Banks. International visitors must have a valid license from their home country or an International Driving Permit.

5. Are there many toll roads in Outer Banks?

There are a few toll roads in North Carolina, but most notably the Triangle Expressway in Wake County, which is quite a distance away from the Outer Banks. Otherwise, most roads in Outer Banks are toll-free.

6. What are the general road safety rules in Outer Banks?

Rules for road safety in Outer Banks include but not limited to: obeying speed limit and traffic signals, keeping enough space between cars, checking for pedestrians especially in crowded tourist areas, and using turn signals when changing lanes.

7. Where can I find petrol stations?

There are plenty of petrol stations across Outer Banks. Major towns will have multiple stations, often open 24 hours. Your car rental company can provide a map or GPS location of nearby stations.

8. What are the common causes of traffic in Outer Banks?

Increasing tourist traffic, road maintenance and seasonal weather conditions may cause traffic in Outer Banks. Planning and checking local traffic reports may help avoid some congestion.

9. What is the quality of roads in Outer Banks?

While roads can be narrow, particularly in the northern barrier islands, overall roads in Outer Banks are well maintained.

10. Are there pedestrian-only zones in Outer Banks?

Some beach areas and tourist attractions in Outer Banks have designated pedestrian-only zones. Please look out for local signage for more detailed information.

11. Are there specific rules for coastal drives?

Always keep an eye out for weather conditions and be alert for wildlife on the road when driving along coastal roads. Some sandy areas may require lowered tire pressure for traction.

12. What's the parking situation like in Outer Banks?

Outer Banks has plenty of on-street parking, beach access parking, and public parking lots. However, during peak tourist season, finding parking can be challenging in popular areas.

13. Are there winter driving rules in Outer Banks?

While Outer Banks' winters are mild, in the event of a rare snow or ice storm, it is important to stay updated on road conditions and closures, as this region may not have extensive winter road services.

14. Are there carpool lanes in Outer Banks?

All lanes on highways and local roads in Outer Banks are open to regular traffic. There are no designated carpool lanes.

15. Any specific advice for driving in Outer Banks?

Always be alert and drive defensively, especially during the busy summer tourist season when traffic is heavier and pedestrians are more abundant.

Explore Outer Banks

Must-See Attractions

  1. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse: An iconic landmark, this lighthouse offers stunning views from the top.
  2. Jennette's Pier: Perfect spot to go fishing or simply enjoy the ocean sights.
  3. The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum: Gain insights into the region’s rich maritime history.
  4. Wright Brothers National Memorial: The birthplace of aviation, absolutely a must-visit site.
  5. Ocracoke Island: Accessible only by car ferry, it's a getaway within a getaway.
  6. Cape Lookout National Seashore: A haven for outdoor enthusiasts and beach lovers.
  7. Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge: A prime location for bird-watching and wildlife viewing.
  8. Jockey's Ridge State Park: Home to the tallest natural sand dunes in the Eastern United States.

Top Outer Banks Roadtrips

Discover the Best Scenic Routes by Car

  1. Bodie Island to Nags Head: A relaxed 16km drive brimming with picturesque beaches, plenty of historical landmarks, and the iconic Bodie Island Lighthouse.
  2. Cape Hatteras National Seashore: This 120km journey stretches from Nags Head to Ocracoke Island, offering breathtaking views of the open Atlantic Ocean and untouched sand dunes.
  3. Roanoke Island Tour: A leisurely 27 km drive includes Manteo's waterfront downtown, the Elizabethan Gardens, and the Roanoke Island Festival Park.
  4. Manteo to Kitty Hawk: Follow this 26km route along the NC-12 for an enlightening trip through North Carolina's aviation history at the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
  5. Ocracoke Island Exploration: A 38km loop showcasing the best of Ocracoke, including its historic lighthouse, sandy beaches, and idyllic fishing village vibe.
  6. Duck to Corolla Scenic Byway: An offbeat 27km journey through the upscale towns of Duck and Corolla, home to the magnificent Corolla Wild Horses.