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Car rentals in San Mateo: What you need to know

San Francisco, California, is full of eclectic and exciting neighborhoods like San Mateo. It's in these places where you can get a true feel for a region like San Francisco. But once you're done exploring all the terrific things to do in San Mateo, you'll want some wheels to discover all that San Francisco offers.

You will have to follow a strict schedule if you try to save money by hopping on San Mateo's public transportation system. Taxis and rideshares can be more convenient, but the costs can add up. Moreover, they may not be readily available when you need them. Renting a car in San Mateo is the easiest way, so you can see the entirety of the neighborhood and the rest of San Francisco on your vacation. See below to find all that you need about car rentals in San Mateo.

Frequently asked questions

How can I get an inexpensive car rental in San Mateo?

Searching the best rates on a car rental? You are in the right place. To get the most savings on your trip to San Mateo you can do a few things:

  • Check the mileage policy to avoid any surprise expenses
  • Reserve your rental as far in advance as possible
  • Avoid airport pick-ups and drop-offs if possible; they tend to be more expensive
  • Compare weekly and daily rates; you may save more with a longer rental

Read the supplier's policy so you can understand the actual cost before you reserve your vehicle.

What kind of rental car should I get in San Mateo?

With a number of vehicle types to decide from, it can be tricky to figure out what car is the best for your visit. However, consider your needs and the number of you're driving with. Look at the table below to help you book the best vehicle for your trip.

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

The youngest age to rent a vehicle in most cities, like San Mateo, San Francisco, is 21. Please note that there is commonly an additional charge if you are under 25. Moreover, the age restriction may be different for premium, large capacity, SUVs, or other higher category vehicles. Check the rental car company's policy before you book.

Do I need insurance when I rent my San Mateo car rental?

In United States of America you do need to have insurance before you rent. You might also be able to buy additional insurance through the supplier for your trip, if you are concerned your insurance won't cover your rental.

Although most of the major card issuers, like Visa or American Express, offer some coverage, there are usually restrictions. For example, you may not be covered if you book a luxury or larger vehicle. Make sure to check the credit card company's policy before you decide. Additionally, as a United States citizen, you can also purchase Collision Damage Coverage with at checkout.

What is the fuel policy on my rental car?

At, we recommend a full tank policy. You pick up your rental with the needle at "F". However, if you return your rental with less fuel than you began with, the company may charge you up to 3X the current prices to refill it. To avoid any added expenses, you should fill up your tank before you bring it back to the supplier.

Can I reserve a one-way rental in San Mateo?

Many rental car companies offer one-way rentals. You may find it more convenient to drop off your car at a different location. Keep in mind that there is usually an extra fee for one-way car rentals. Be sure to check the supplier's policy to know the total cost.

Why should I get unlimited miles?

The majority of suppliers will offer unlimited miles, but you want to ensure it's part of the bundle that you are purchasing. It's helpful to know how far you want to drive and plan your trips in advance. Although most rental car suppliers offer unlimited mileage, if it isn't part of your rental agreement those miles can pile up and so can the extra cost. You may want unlimited miles if you're thinking of taking some road trips to see everything that is in San Francisco.

Are there any road trips I should take from San Mateo?

Once you've checked out San Mateo, you'll be happy that you have your own set of wheels available. There are some worthwhile stops around San Francisco that are just a drive away. You'll be excited you rented a vehicle because there are a few landmarks and museums to explore around San Mateo. Looking for something to fill an afternoon? Then hop in your car rental and drive to:

  • Interact with a bit of local history with a visit to the James C. Flood Mansion
  • Alexander F. Morrison Planetarium can give you an intriguing look into some California history
  • ALMA (Scow Schooner) is a California landmark that could make a good spot to start a day trip
  • Take in even more California culture at the Exploratorium

of course, there is a lot more to do in and around San Mateo. Jump in your car rental and find what's out there. has Your San Mateo, San Francisco Ride

Has a restaurant on the other side of San Mateo caught your attention? Do you need to get to an appointment on the other side of town? Don't miss out on one of San Mateo must-sees or be late to a meeting. When you have the keys to your own car, you can make sure your visit is on your time, and not have to adhere public transportation schedules.

Look through our selection of cars from the top rental car agencies in the nation and select the perfect car for your San Mateo vacation! The perfect ride is only a few clicks away.