California Car Rentals

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Car rentals in California: All you need to know

The California coastline is over 800 miles long, making California the third largest U.S. state. With coastal ranges kissed by the Pacific Ocean, the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, and the desert climate of Death Valley, this state is one of the most climatically diverse due to its great size. Reserve a California car rental and take in all the Golden State has to offer.

How can I get a cheap car rental in California?

If you follow our tips below, you’ll easily pick up a great deal on a car rental:

  • Compare rates and deals;
  • Select a non-airport rental location;
  • Know your fuel and mileage requirements; 
  • Book in advance;
  • Don’t add extra drivers.

What California car rental companies are good?

Sixt, Avis, Hertz, and Alamo are some of the big-name rental companies in this state, but you’ll also come across some other local suppliers with excellent deals. Read their reviews ahead of booking to get the most information.

What kind of car rental should I get in California?

There are lots of different types of car rentals available for your California vacation. If you’re planning plenty of road trips, you’ll want a big, comfortable vehicle like a minivan or an SUV. If you need a more compact car just for beach hopping, take a look at our range of economy models.

How old do I have to be to rent a car in California?

You have to be 21 in order to legally rent a car in California and, if you’re under 25, a young-driver surcharge may also apply.

Do I need insurance when renting a car in California?

Yes, you do. US citizens can get their insurance through CarRentals.com or their rental company of choice. You could also see if your car or credit card insurer covers car rentals.

Can I book with unlimited mileage when renting a car in California?

Yes, most companies offer unlimited mileage. There is lots to see in this state so, if you choose limited mileage, be careful not to clock up the miles and face extra charges.

Can I use a debit card for a California hire car?

Debit cards are not usually accepted by rental providers. Note also that prepaid cards and cash are not accepted for reservations.

Is it possible to hire a car one-way in California?

Yes, usually for a surcharge. Check with your rental company what their policy is.

Which sights and/or cities are must-sees in California?

Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge has got to be on the bucket list of anyone visiting California.

  • While you’re in San Francisco, take a tour of Alcatraz Island.
  • If you’re spending time in LA, head to Malibu beach for beautiful stretches of sand and celebrity spotting.
  • Further south, the renowned San Diego zoo in Balboa Park will be a hit with the kids.

What is a good road trip in California?

Surf and grab fish tacos in San Diego before heading up the coast. Drive to Los Angeles and snap a picture with the Hollywood sign, visit Sacramento, the state capital, and pack a jacket for a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. A California rent a car lets you travel from sleepy beach towns to bustling cities on your own time.

What activities is California especially good for?

California is perfect for more adventurous tourists, with its surfer beaches and vast forests. Venice Beach is a perfect example of the state’s variety, since here you’ll see street performers, swimmers, and roller skaters alike. The Redwood National Park offers a huge range of outdoor activities amongst its woodland wildlife and protected species.

Traffic tips to keep you safe

Cali was designed for cars and is not the most pedestrian-friendly place, so you’ll have better access to everything with a car rental. But there are a few things to remember to ensure your vacation runs smoothly:

  • If you want to park on the street, don’t leave your vehicle by a red curb, or you’ll find yourself with a parking ticket.
  • At four-way stop signs, you’ll see an All Stop sign. Here, if you’re first to arrive, you have right of way.
  • If you’re going to be doing a lot of desert driving, make sure you leave with plenty of water and food supplies in case you don’t pass a gas station for a while.