Car rentals in California: All you need to know
You want a great vehicle to get around California whether you're traveling for a business or pleasure. Check out the top sites around town and pull up in front of the popular restaurants in California. We've collected your 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 do I get a great deal on a rental car in California?
CarRentals.com makes it a breeze to grab budget-friendly rates. Simply type in your travel dates and go down the variety of rental suppliers, choose the top rental locations, and find the cheapest packages California has to offer. You should also:
- Compare the prices of vehicles
- Try to avoid pick-ups and drop-offs at airports, which can be more expensive
- Know ahead of time the amount of fuel/mileage you may use
- Search and book as far in advance as you can
These tips can help you save even more on your next car rental in California.
What rental suppliers have outlets in California?
From budget-friendly brands like Economy and Budget to global names like Advantage and Hertz, CarRentals.com has some of the best brands in the business. Read through the online reviews to help you figure out which is best for you.
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 city means you're certain to find a car that is perfect for you. Some options include:
|Car Type||Best for||Category Includes|
|Premium||Business travelers who want a little luxury as they cruise California||Infiniti Q50, Chrysler 300, or similar|
|SUV or Minivan||Large groups who want to navigate California together||Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, or similar|
|Economy or Compact Car||Great for driving through congested cities||Chevrolet Spark, Vauxhall Corsa, or similar|
How old do you have to be to rent a car in California?
Typically, the age limit for renting a car in California is 21. But, you may find that there is an added fee if you're under the age of 25 or for higher category vehicles. Read through the terms to discover what the exact fee is before you reserve your rental.
Does California require rental car insurance?
Insurance is always needed, wherever you rent a car. With that said, you could already be insured by your existing car or credit card policies. Keep in mind, those policies may not provide total coverage, and you'll need to add it to your booking for California. Check in advance and, if it's needed, you can just include it at checkout.
Are there different fuel policies?
Most suppliers give you a choice of fuel policies. Here is a list of the typical policies.You will need to search for a gas station near your car rental 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 wish and top it off when you return your car. As long as you replace the fuel before returning the car, you won't face any extra fees||You only need to replace the fuel you used. If you only use half of a tank, you'll only need to 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 fill up the tank|
|Full to empty (pre-paid)||You'll pick up the car with a full tank of gas and return the car with the tank empty. Check with the rental car provider to see if they will refund you for any unused fuel||You won't have to search for a gas station before you bring back the car||You might pay a higher rate for the tank than you would filling up at a local gas station|
|Empty to empty||You will not have a full tank of fuel when you collect the vehicle, and you won't need to refill the gas when you drop it back off||You refill your tank yourself, so you can shop around for the cheapest local prices||You'll need to locate a gas station shortly after you collect the car|
What fuel policy should I get?
Many rental car suppliers offer a variety of fuel policies. However, the stand-out choice is usually full-to-full. You simply bring the car back with the same amount of fuel you got it with. Just be sure you make time to shop for the cheapest gas prices.
Is it worth getting unlimited miles?
Unlimited mileage is a good option for travelers who don't want to worry about incurring any extra charges with the distance they drive. Just make sure that your policy really provides unlimited miles. Read the fine print before you book.
Tips before you leave the lot
Before you get going on your California vacation, be sure you check a few items prior to leaving the car rental lot. It's important to:
- Check out the vehicle and be sure there is no damage or scrapes. Be sure to make note of it on the paperwork, or you may get charged for it
- 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 to your liking, and figure out how to turn on the lights and 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 city
Book your California rental car today
Use CarRentals.com to get yourself the best wheels California has to offer. Before you know it, you'll be going between the highly-rated restaurants, renowned landmarks, and all the marvelous sites in California.