Car rentals in California: All you need to know
A California car rental allows you to go where you want, when you want. You can explore all the sights, and even see what else the rest of the area has to offer. We've collected the most frequently asked questions about renting a car in California. Find out how to get the best rates on your ideal vehicle.
How can I find a bargain rental car in California?
CarRentals.com makes it easy to book budget-friendly rates. Just type in your travel dates and go down the list of rental car suppliers, select the top rental locations, and find the best offers in California. You should also:
- Compare and contrast the rates for a few suppliers on the type of car you want
- Book as far in advance as possible. You'll usually save more and get the car of your choice
- Check the mileage and fuel policies. You don't want to be surprised with additional costs
- Decide the car you'll need for your drive. Don't get more car than you need
These tips can help you save even more on your next car rental in California.
What rental companies have retailers in California?
From budget-friendly brands like Fox and Budget to global names like Enterprise and Hertz, CarRentals.com has some of the best brands in the business. Look through the online reviews to help you figure out which one is best for you.
What types and makes of rental cars are on offer in California?
That all depends on your needs and what you'll be doing when you visit California. If you're having a little trouble choosing, make sure to go over the chart below. We have compared the most popular categories for you:
|Car Type||Best for||Category Includes|
|Luxury or Premium-class||Business travelers who want a little luxury as they cruise California||Cadillac XTS, Infiniti Q50, or similar|
|SUV||Family vacations where you need additional room||Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Quest, or similar|
|Hybrid||Those looking for a fuel-efficient vehicle||BMW i3, Kia Optima, or similar|
What's the age requirement to rent a car in California?
Typically, the age limit for renting a car in California is 21. However, there might be an added charge if you're under the age of 25 or for larger or higher category cars in particular. Read over the supplier's terms to discover what any additional fees is before you reserve your rental.
Do I need insurance to rent a car in California?
When cruising through California or the rest of the U.S.A., you will need insurance. Many suppliers require that you show proof of insurance before you pick up your car. Most countries require the driver to have insurance. You might be able to purchase additional insurance through the rental car dealer, if you know your insurance won't cover your rental. Otherwise, as a United States citizen, you can also book Collision Damage Coverage through CarRentals.com during checkout.
The major credit card issuers (Discover, American Express, Visa, and MasterCard) will typically offer coverage. But many of them have restrictions, such as not covering large vehicles like premium models or some SUVs. It is best to find out exactly what your credit card will cover and how much before you travel to California.
What is the fuel policy for California rental cars?
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 car rental supplier
|Policy Type||Policy Description||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|Full to Full||The tank will be full when you collect your vehicle. Use as much petrol as you like and then refill the tank when you drop the vehicle off when you are done. 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. Used a quarter of a tank? Simply fill it back up to full. You won't need to pay for any gas you didn't use. You can fill up at any station you want and you'll only be charged refueling fees or service charges if you don't fill up the tank|
|Full to empty (pre-paid)||You pay for a full tank when you pick the car up and bring the car back with the tank empty. Many rental car companies offer a refund for any unused fuel. Be sure to verify with them beforehand||There will be no need to go searching for a gas station before you drop-off your car||You usually pay more for a tank upfront then you would going to a nearby gas station|
|Empty to empty||You won't have a full tank when you collect the vehicle, and you won't need to refill the gas when you drop it back off||You fill the tank yourself, so you can shop around for the cheapest local prices||You'll have to fill up before you do any serious driving|
What fuel policy do you recommend?
Many rental car suppliers offer a range of fuel policies. However, full-to-full is our stand-out choice. You simply bring the car back with the same amount of fuel you got it with. .
Should I get unlimited miles when I rent a car in California?
Unlimited miles is a great choice if you decide to do a bit of sightseeing or visit a lot of business associates all over California. You can drive wherever you want without incurring additional charges. Review your policy to find out if there are any restrictions.
Before you drive off
Before you begin on your California adventure, go over a few items prior to leaving the rental lot. It's important to:
- Check out the car and determine if there is any dents or scratches. If you notice any, mark it down on the paperwork
- Make you have a properly inflated spare tire, lug wrench, and jack in the trunk
- Get familiar with the controls of your car. Adjust the mirrors and seats, and note how to turn on the lights and windshield wipers
- Get comfortable operating the navigation and entertainment. It's best to limit any unneeded distractions when you are navigating a new city
Book your California rental car today
When you book with CarRentals.com, you can count on a perfect car that will leave you with extra money in the bank. Cash in on cheap deals on your ideal California rental car when you book with us. See you on the road.