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Driving in Boston

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Boston.
|-Driving in Boston

1. Understanding Boston’s Driving Culture

Boston is known for its aggressive drivers, often referred to as “Massholes”. The city’s roads are often busy and can be confusing, especially for newcomers. It’s important to be alert and patient while driving. Also, be prepared for sudden stops, as pedestrians and cyclists are common.

2. Choosing the Right Car

Compact cars are recommended for driving in Boston due to the narrow and crowded streets. Smaller cars are easier to maneuver and park. However, if you plan on exploring the New England area, an SUV might be more suitable for the varying weather conditions.

3. Parking in Boston

Finding parking in Boston can be challenging, especially in downtown areas. Street parking is often limited and garages can be expensive. It’s advisable to use public transportation or ride-sharing services when possible. If you do need to park, consider using an app like ParkBoston or SpotHero to find and pay for parking.

4. Cost of Parking

Parking in Boston can be quite expensive, especially in downtown areas and during events. Rates can range from $10 to $40 per day. Monthly parking passes are available and can be more cost-effective if you need to park regularly.

5. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in Massachusetts with a valid international license for up to one year. After that, you will need to obtain a Massachusetts driver’s license.

6. Obtaining a Massachusetts Driver’s License

To get a Massachusetts driver’s license, you will need to pass a written test, a driving test, and a vision test. You will also need to provide proof of residency, a Social Security number or an acceptable denial notice, and proof of signature, date of birth, and lawful presence. It’s advisable to study the Massachusetts Driver’s Manual before taking the tests.

7. Navigating Boston’s Roads

Boston’s roads can be confusing due to their irregular layout, which is a result of the city’s old age. It’s advisable to use a GPS or navigation app to help you find your way. Also, be aware that many streets in Boston are one-way, so pay close attention to street signs.

8. Dealing with Boston’s Weather

Boston’s weather can be unpredictable, with heavy snow in the winter and occasional rain throughout the year. It’s important to be prepared for these conditions. Make sure your car is equipped with good quality tires and always keep a snow brush and ice scraper in your car during the winter months.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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