Car rentals in California: All you need to know
You need a great vehicle to take you around California whether you're going for a business trip or a vacation. Check out the top sites around the city and pull up in front of the best restaurants in California. We've gathered the most frequently asked questions about car rentals in California. Find out which vehicle is perfect for your trip, and how to get the best rates.
How can I find a bargain rental car in California?
CarRentals.com makes it a breeze to get the cheapest deals. Just type in your travel dates and scroll down the list of rental suppliers, pick the top rental locations, and find the cheapest offers in California. You can also:
- Compare the rates for a few suppliers on the type of car you want
- Book as far in advance as possible. You'll usually get your vehicle of your choice and save more
- Check the mileage and fuel policies. This way you'll avoid any surprises on your final bill
- Decide the car you'll need for your trip. Don't get more car than you need
Just following even a few of these tips can help you save big on your California rental car.
What rental companies have outlets in California?
From budget-friendly brands like Payless and Fox to global names like Hertz and Enterprise, CarRentals.com has some of the best brands in the business. Look through the online reviews to get an idea of which one is best for you.
What type of rental car should I get for my trip to California?
That all depends on your needs and what you'll be doing when you visit California. If you're having a bit of trouble choosing, make sure to go over the chart below. We have compared the most popular types of cars for you:
|Car Type||Best for||Category Includes|
|Full Size SUV||Families or groups looking for adventure in the Maryland back-country||Ford Edge, Kia Sorento, or similar|
|Full Size||Planning a big trip with a large group of friends or family members||Infiniti Q50, Ford Fusion, or similar|
|Compact Car||Easy to park and have great miles per gallon||Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Spark, or similar|
What's the age requirement to rent a car in California?
Normally, the age limit for car rentals in California is 21—the same as it is across the rest of the USA. Additionally, many suppliers charge an added fee if you are under 25. Be sure to read the rental agreement to find what the exact price is before you rent your car.
Is insurance required to rent a car in California?
Almost all countries require the driver to have insurance. You may be able to buy interim insurance through the rental car supplier. Otherwise, as a United States citizen, you can also book Collision Damage Coverage with CarRentals.com at checkout. Many credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover) will offer coverage. However, there may be limitations, like not covering large vehicles like trucks or SUVs. Make sure to call and find out what kind of coverage is offered before you head to California.
What is the difference between all the fuel policies?
Most suppliers allow you to choose which policy you want. Below is a list of the most common ones.You will have to search for an open gas station close to your rental car supplier
|Policy Type||Policy Description||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|Full to Full||You'll have a full tank when you pick up your vehicle. Use as much petrol as you like and then refill the tank when you drop the vehicle off at the rental office. If you refill the tank before you return your car, you won't be charged a refueling cost||You only pay for the fuel you use. If you only use half of a tank, it's only necessary refill half of a tank, and therefore avoid paying for any you don't need. You can fill up at any station you want and you'll only pay service fees if you don't refill the tank|
|Full to empty (pre-paid)||You'll get the car with a full tank of fuel and return the car with an empty tank. Check with the provider to see if they will refund you for any unused fuel||You won't have to find for a gas station before you return your car||You usually pay more for a tank upfront then going to a local station|
|Empty to empty||You won't have a full tank when you pick up the vehicle, and you won't have to refill the gas before you bring the car back||You fill the tank yourself, so you won't pay more than local pump prices||You'll have to get some gas before you do any serious driving|
What type of fuel policy should I choose?
We advise a full to full policy. You receive the car with a full tank, and you will want to return it topped off. To avoid any added expenses, find a filling station before returning the car rental. Stations near or around airports or car rental places tend to have higher prices.
Should I get unlimited miles when I rent a car in California?
Unlimited mileage is a good option for anyone who don't want to worry about watching the odometer their whole trip. Just make sure that your policy really provides unlimited miles. Check the details on mileage limits before you book.
Before you leave the lot
Before you begin on your California trip, be sure you go over a few things prior to leaving the rental lot. It's worth the time to:
- Check out the car and be certain there is no dents or scrapes. If so, write it down on the paperwork
- Make you have a properly inflated spare tire, lug wrench, and jack in the trunk
- Familiarize yourself with the car. Adjust the mirrors and seats, and note how to turn on the lights and windshield wipers
- Figure out how to work the radio or entertainment features. It's best to limit any unnecessary distractions when you are driving around a new area
Book your California car rental today
Use CarRentals.com to get yourself the best wheels California has to offer. Before you know it, you'll be driving between the great restaurants, renowned landmarks, and all the marvelous sites in California.