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. Explore the famous sites around town and park in front of the best restaurants in California. CarRentals.com has collected the most frequently asked questions about car rentals in California. Keep reading to discover how to get the best rates on your ideal vehicle.
How can I find a great deal on a rental car in California?
We always strive to get you the best deal. However, you can try to do a couple things to keep your upcoming booking affordable. Make sure to:
- Take time to compare vehicle pricing
- Try to avoid airport pick-ups and drop-offs, which can cost more
- Determine ahead of time how much fuel/mileage you may use
- Search and book as far in advance as you can
Just following even a few of these tips can help you save big on your California rental car.
What rental companies have retailers in California?
From global names like National and Enterprise to budget-friendly brands like Dollar and Thrifty, CarRentals.com has some of the best brands in the business. Scan through the reviews to get an idea of which one is best for your next trip.
What type of rental car should I get for my trip to California?
Whether you want a roomy family vehicle or a low-cost economy car, the sheer wealth of options in this town means you're bound to find an automobile that is perfect for you. Some options include:
|Car Type||Best for||Category Includes|
|Full Size SUV||Those looking for a little off-road adventure||Ford Edge, Jaguar F-Pace, or similar|
|Full Size||Planning a big trip with a large group of friends or family members||Infiniti Q50, Hyundai Sonata, or similar|
|Economy Car||Easy to park and have great miles per gallon||Chevrolet Spark, Vauxhall Corsa, or similar|
How old do you have to be to rent a car in California?
Generally, to rent a car in California you must be at least 21—the same as it is across the rest of the United States of America. If you are under 25, you might also need to pay a surcharge. Be sure to read through the rental agreement to discover what the total will be before you rent your vehicle.
Will I need insurance to get a car rental in California?
Almost all countries require driver's insurance. You might be able to buy additional insurance through rental car company for your trip, if you think your insurance won't cover your rental. Otherwise, as a U.S. citizen, you can also book Collision Damage Coverage with CarRentals.com at checkout. Many credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover) will provide some coverage. However, many of them have restrictions, like not covering larger vehicles such as trucks or SUVs. It is best to call and find out exactly what your credit card will cover and how much before you head to California.
What are the different fuel policies?
Most suppliers allow you to choose which policy you want. Below is a list of the most common ones.You will need to find an open gas station near your rental car supplier
|Policy Type||Policy Description||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|Full to Full||There will be a full tank of gas when you collect your car. Use as much gas as you need and then refill the tank when you drop the vehicle off. Just make sure to refill the tank before you return the car to avoid a refueling cost||You only refill the amount of fuel that you've used. Used a half of a tank? Then you just fill it back up to full. You won't be paying for any gas you didn't use. You won't pay more than local fuel prices and you'll only be charged refueling fees if you don't fill up the tank|
|Full to empty (pre-paid)||You pay for a full tank of gas upfront and bring the car back with the tank empty. Several rental car companies provide a refund for any unused fuel. Be sure to verify with them beforehand||You won't need to find a petrol station near your rental drop-off location||The supplier usually charges a higher rate for the fuel than a local gas station|
|Empty to empty||You may not have a full tank when you collect the vehicle, and you won't have to refill the gas before you bring the car back||You refill your tank yourself, so you can shop around for the cheapest local prices||You'll have to get some gas before you go on a long trip|
What fuel policy should I get?
At CarRentals.com, we suggest a full to full policy. You should get into your automobile topped off. If you return your rental with less than the amount you received it with, most companies will charge a premium to top it back off. To avoid any added expenses, find a filling station before you bring your car back. 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?
If you wish to check out all that California offers, you are going to need unlimited miles. You won't have to worry about extra charges if you decide to drive all over California. Read the fine print to make certain they are actually "unlimited."
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 important to:
- Check out the car and be sure there is no dents or scratches. If you notice any, 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 unneeded distractions when you are driving around a new region
Book your California rental car today
Maybe you're traveling with your partner and kids, or carpooling with co-workers to and from the hotel to the conference center. Maybe you're traveling solo. No matter the situation, CarRentals.com has a vehicle that can suit your needs and not break your wallet.