Car Rental in California

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Driver's country of residence is United States of America (USA) and age is 30-65
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500+ Trusted Providers:

Cheapest Car Rental Rates

San Francisco South Car Rental
Economy
Kia Rio or similar
Kia Rio
  • 5
  • 1
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
SIXT
$29.79 per day
San Francisco South Car Rental
Compact
Toyota Yaris iA or similar
Toyota Yaris iA
  • 4
  • 1
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
SIXT
$30.01 per day
San Francisco South Car Rental
Intermediate
Kia Forte or similar
Kia Forte
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
SIXT
$30.22 per day
San Francisco South Car Rental
Standard
VW Jetta or similar
VW Jetta
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
SIXT
$30.42 per day

Most Popular Car Rental Deals

San Francisco South Car Rental
Full-size
Toyota Camry or similar
Toyota Camry
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
SIXT
$30.60 / per day
San Francisco South Car Rental
Premium
Mercedes-Benz A-Class or similar
Mercedes-Benz A-Class
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
SIXT
$36.13 / per day
San Francisco South Car Rental
Intermediate
Toyota Rav4 or similar
Toyota Rav4
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
SIXT
$36.29 / per day
San Francisco South Car Rental
Luxury
Mercedes-Benz C-Class or similar
Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
SIXT
$37.74 / per day
The above prices are only approximate and were last updated at 14:34 on 2022-05-15. Prices may vary based on the booking dates, length of rental, and car class.

Travel Information

Language
English
Currency
USD
Country code
1
Traffic direction
Right-hand
Speed limit out of town
72 - 120 km/h
45 - 75 mi/h
Speed limit within town
40 - 120 km/h
25 - 75 mi/h
Acceptable limit of BAC
0.05%
Rating
8.8

Why rent a car in California?

California, the most populous state in the US, is a large and diverse state with a plethora of tourist attractions. From Hollywood and Disneyland to San Francisco, there are a wealth of destinations that travelers from all over the world flock to. 

The Pacific Coast beaches are a surfing mecca, the mountains of the Sierra Nevada a climber's paradise, and the vineyards of Nappa and Sonoma Valley a wine lover's dream.

And of course, it is almost essential to have a car to be able to take it all in. Some of the best drives in the US (and perhaps the world) are to be found in the state. Chief among them is driving along the Pacific Highway overlooking the coast. 

USA - California Car Rental

One-way Car Rentals in California

Here are the most popular one-way rental options for pickup in California and drop off in another country:

  • From California to Nevada - 342 offers from US$ 40.52 per day
  • From California to Arizona - 68 offers from US$ 52.94 per day
  • From California to Colorado - 125 offers from US$ 81.91 per day
  • From California to New York - 120 offers from US$ 79.91 per day
  • From California to Texas - 27 offers from US$ 86.13 per day

Top ways to enter California

  • Los Angeles Airport: The busiest in California, second busiest in the US, and one of the largest in the world, LAX almost feels like a travel destination in its own right.
  • San Diego Airport: Despite only having one runway, San Diego Airport manages to serve more than 20 million passengers annually. 
  • San Francisco Airport: The busiest airport in North California, it serves not only San Francisco, but the larger Bay Area.
  • By land: It is also possible to pick up a car in a neighboring state and then drive to California. Some large airports near California are Las Vegas Airport in Nevada, Phoenix Airport in Arizona, and Portland Airport in Oregon.

Top cities and places to visit

  • Los Angeles. One of the most famous cities on the planet, L.A. is packed with attractions and excitement. There are too many to list them all, but no trip would be complete without visiting Hollywood, Venice Beach, and at least one of the major film studios. Los Angeles is also home to LAX, the busiest airport in California.
  • San Francisco. Most visitors associate San Francisco with the Golden Gate Bridge. While it might be the first thing that you see in the city (if you’re arriving from the north, anyway), it is only the beginning of things to see and do. Other attractions include famous neighborhoods like Fisherman’s Wharf, the Alcatraz prison, and the largest Chinatown in the U.S. 
  • San Diego. Located in the far southwestern part of the state, San Diego is another amazing city. Home to a number of famous beaches like Mission, Ocean, and Black Beaches, the city is also home to one of the best-preserved old towns on the U.S. Pacific Coast, as well as family-oriented attractions like the San Diego Zoo, often named among the best in the country.

Most popular rental car

The most popular rental car in California is the Nissan Versa, closely followed by the Hyundai Accent and the Hyundai Elantra.

Crossing Borders

California borders Mexico, and a trip south of the border is a popular thing for those visiting San Diego. Most rental companies, however, do not allow their vehicles to be driven to Mexico, though. You could, however, rent a separate car on the Mexican side of the border. 

While it's normal to think about including other states as part of a longer road trip, keep in mind that some rental companies only allow their cars to be driven to certain states. Midway, for example, only allows traveling to Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. The usual major rental companies (Alamo, Enterprise, Dollar, and Thrifty, for example) allow their cars to be taken to any state. 

Toll roads

There are a few toll roads in California in addition to express lanes and bridges (primarily in the Bay Area).

In the Los Angeles Area, there are a few toll roads in Orange County. While these roads don't have toll booths, you can preregister your rental car here and the tolls will be charged to your credit card. This means you don't need a FastTrak transponder and don't need to take any toll package offered by the rental company.

Los Angeles has express lanes on I-10 and I-110. They require a FastTrak transponder to use. If your rental car doesn't have one, or you want to not take the company's toll package, simply avoid these lanes.

In the Bay Area, all bridges are tolled. Some of them have tolls in both directions while others just in one direction. There are still toll booths at all of them except the Golden Gate Bridge. For the Golden Gate Bridge, you can register your rental car's license plate online. Keep in mind if you don't do this, the toll will be charged to the rental company which will then charge it to you with an additional administration fee.

While a FastTrack transponder would be convenient in the Bay Area, it is not necessary and you can get by without and save money by avoiding the fees the rental companies charge for use of it.

In other parts of the state, you won't have to worry about toll roads at all.

Most popular types of rental car

The most popular rental car type in California is an economy, followed by intermediate and compact.

Top driving routes

  • Yosemite National Park. California is home to a number of protected areas, but Yosemite might just take the prize as the most scenic one. A national park since 1864 and also a World Heritage site, it is known for the stunning Yosemite Valley. The park can be explored by car, though there is also a hiking trail network of about 800 miles (1,290 km). Yosemite National Park is about a three-hour drive east of San Francisco, three hours southeast of Sacramento, and less than five hours from Los Angeles.
  • Death Valley National Park. Very different from the likes of Yosemite, but equally impressive, the otherworldly Death Valley is a unique place. Made up of a large portion of the Southern California Desert and home to some of the highest temperatures ever recorded on our planet, its haunting landscapes and the surprising diversity of the desert flora and fauna will make for a memorable trip. Death Valley National Park is about 3 hours and 30 minutes from L.A., and less than two hours from Las Vegas in neighboring Nevada. Its southern neighbors, Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park offer similar experiences (if not quite the same desolation), and are closer to both L.A. and San Diego.
  • North Coast. Taking up the state’s Pacific shoreline from San Francisco in the south and the border with Oregon in the north, the North Coast is a wild and beautiful part of California. The region is characterized by rugged beaches and some of the most scenic coastal drives in all of the U.S., but also the stunning Redwood National Park which is home to the tallest trees on the planet.

Car Rental Prices

  • Convertibles - from $176 per day
  • Large cars - from $131 per day
  • Medium cars - from $119 per day
  • Vans - from $191 per day
  • Premium cars - from $152 per day
  • Small cars - from $123 per day
  • SUVs - from $161 per day

How can I save money on my rental car?

You can do a number of things to get a good car rental deal in California:

  • Compare rates of different rental car providers
  • Book your rental car well in advance
  • Plan your route before you go
  • Know your fuel and mileage requirements
  • Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting California is the cheapest in March when renting a car is about 21% cheaper than the yearly average and about 37% cheaper than renting a car in July.

Top 20 Most Popular Cities in California

  1. Car Rental in Los Angeles from $46.39 per day
  2. Car Rental in San Francisco from $151.12 per day
  3. Car Rental in San Diego from $63.26 per day
  4. Car Rental in Burbank from $94.33 per day
  5. Car Rental in San Jose from $104.19 per day
  6. Car Rental in Santa Ana from $56.72 per day
  7. Car Rental in Sacramento from $56.83 per day
  8. Car Rental in Oakland from $97.49 per day
  9. Car Rental in Long Beach from $103.24 per day
  10. Car Rental in Ontario from $56.72 per day
  11. Car Rental in Palm Springs from $95.05 per day
  12. Car Rental in Fresno from $121.48 per day
  13. Car Rental in Monterey from $151.12 per day
  14. Car Rental in Santa Barbara from $94.36 per day
  15. Car Rental in Santa Rosa from $145.26 per day
  16. Car Rental in Santa Monica from $101.25 per day
  17. Car Rental in McKinleyville from $78.86 per day
  18. Car Rental in Fulton from $166.37 per day

Map of Car Rental Locations

Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in California?

The cost of renting a car in California depends on the time of year. This graph compares price changes from month to month in order to find the best offer.
Average Rental Price in California
$47.39
January
$46.02
February
$41.62
March
$43.71
April
$51.09
May
$51.59
June
$66.65
July
$51.70
August
$52.43
September
$34.75
October
$42.39
November
$52.05
December
The cheapest month of the year to rent a car in California is October — prices start from $34.75 for an Economy class vehicle. This is 28% cheaper than the yearly average and 48% cheaper than renting a car in the month of July (when prices start at $66.65 for a Compact class). This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. The exact price for your trip will depend on the length of your rental and the number of days until your rental period begins. Just enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see exact prices and offers.

What’s the average rental length in California?

The average length differs from month to month. The longest rental periods are in June — an average of 8 days. The shortest are in February — an average of 6 days.
Average Rental Length in California
7
January
6
February
6
March
6
April
6
May
8
June
6
July
6
August
8
September
8
October
7
November
7
December

What’s the most popular time for renting a car in California?

Discover Cars users search for cars in a lot of locations daily. We gathered this information in order to analyze car rental popularity in California. The most popular month is January, while the least popular is August.
Popularity of Car Rental in California by Monthly Searches
254%
January
213%
February
231%
March
96%
April
54%
May
1%
June
1%
July
1%
August
43%
September
49%
October
139%
November
119%
December

Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers

Rental Agency Model Doors Luggage Type
Europcar Jeep Compass 4 3 SUVs
Ace Rent a car Kia Sportage 5 2 SUVs
GreenMotion Hyundai Accent 4 2 Small cars
Ace Rent a car Hyundai Santa Fe 5 4 SUVs
Ace Rent a car Kia Rio 4 1 Small cars
Europcar Toyota Yaris 4 2 Small cars
Avis Kia Rio 4 2 Small cars
GreenMotion Nissan Versa 4 3
Ace Rent a car Hyundai Accent 4 1 Medium cars
Ace Rent a car Toyota Corolla 4 3 Large cars

Our Customers Reviews

Because we want to make sure each review listed here is left by a real customer, we don’t have an option to post a review here. Instead, we ask each and every customer to leave a review after they return their rental. This way, you know that all reviews are authentic, verified, and trustworthy.

Mexico
Nissan Sentra
April 22, 2022
We stay at Hollywood area Hotel however we spent two days at Disney Parks, it would be better to stay closer to the parks and travel by car to the attractions at Hollywood or LA downtown, because you want to be at the parks very early and leave very late...
Italy
Toyota Yaris
March 31, 2022
The location was perfect and out of all the airport confusion. The office was clean and the service was very helpful. I would recommend using this service
United States of America (USA)
Nissan Versa
September 8, 2021
Contact by phone is horrible. Otherwise, everything was good. Tried to rebook and have a hard time finding website and same price.
Switzerland
Toyota Camry
September 2, 2021
Navigation System should not cost extra 150 dollar. That is additional half the care rent price. I did not make use of this offer becsuse i felt betrayed paying so much. The car covered with wax stripes also over the windows.
United States of America (USA)
Nissan Versa
August 21, 2021
It was a bit concerning at first when I landed, not knowing where and why we were going into an industrial off location type of area
Switzerland
Toyota Corolla
August 18, 2021
Folks were helpful and friendly.
Israel
Toyota Camry
July 19, 2021
We just visited our daughter at Los Gatos
United States of America (USA)
Toyota Yaris
July 9, 2021
Love Santa Monica. Hollywood..LA
United States of America (USA)
Fiat 500
March 29, 2021
Anthony at the car rental was helpful and a lifesaver!!!
United States of America (USA)
Toyota Corolla
October 26, 2020
First of all it was very quick, quicker than going to the airport & also finding a parking space & the airport you don't find that, also I like the fact that their is a shuttle waiting for you how awesome is that! You just can't beat that.
United States of America (USA)
Kia Sportage
September 23, 2020
Check out Fox Rental before booking another another
United Kingdom
Mazda 3
March 12, 2020
Travelled to LAX rather than Las Vegas from England as airfares were significantly cheaper. Hired car at LAX. Traffic to/from Las Vegas was good on this occasion, but traffic conditions in LA can be really bad and this is worrying if you have a plane to catch.
United States of America (USA)
Toyota Camry
March 11, 2020
Fun but very trafficy
Taiwan
Toyota Rav4
February 10, 2020
I am not sure why I have to use international driver license to rent the car. Other than that, I think you have an efficient system.
United States of America (USA)
Toyota Yaris
December 10, 2019
Honestly, I have a lot of memories to cherish from when I was younger back in the 1990's and in the early 2000's. I do not like how expensive, crowded and dirty the city of San Francisco is. The homeless and drug addicts need to be helped and not ignored.
United States of America (USA)
Hyundai Elantra
October 15, 2019
EST value and nice people
Canada
VW Jetta
March 28, 2019
Rent a car over Uber or Lyfting everywhere. It's much more pleasant and the Highway system in San Diego is amazingly fast literally EVERYWHERE you want to go.
United States of America (USA)
Toyota Camry
September 20, 2018
Love San Diego

Top 24 Suppliers in California in 2022

Alamo
Alamo
Exceptional 9 / 106 reviews
+18888266893
9020 Aviation Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301
SIXT
SIXT
Excellent 8.8 / 31 reviews
+18887498227
9000 Bellanca Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045
National
National
Excellent 8.8 / 17 reviews
+18888266890
9020 Aviation Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301
yesaway
yesaway
Excellent 8.7 / 53 reviews
+16504666123
1288 Old Bayshore Hwy, Burlingame, CA 94010
Working hours
Mon:10:00-18:00
Tue:10:00-18:00
Wed:10:00-18:00
Thu:10:00-18:00
Fri:10:00-18:00
Sat:10:00-18:00
Sun:10:00-18:00
Enterprise
Enterprise
Excellent 8.7 / 10 reviews
+13106495400
8734 Bellanca Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Hertz
Hertz
Excellent 8.5 / 11 reviews
3105685100
9000 Airport Blvd
Working hours
Mon:00:00-23:59
Tue:00:00-23:59
Wed:00:00-23:59
Thu:00:00-23:59
Fri:00:00-23:59
Sat:00:00-23:59
Sun:00:00-23:59
Dollar
Dollar
Excellent 8.4 / 26 reviews
+18664342226
9150 Aviation BlvdInglewood, CA 90301, USA
Advantage
Advantage
Excellent 8.4
8007775500
3355 Admiral Boland Way
Working hours
Mon:05:00-23:59
Tue:05:00-23:59
Wed:05:00-23:59
Thu:05:00-23:59
Fri:05:00-23:59
Sat:05:00-23:59
Sun:05:00-23:59
Airport Van Rental
Airport Van Rental
Excellent 8.4 / 2 reviews
+13104915448 / +13172487251 / +12137848585
5235 W 104th St, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Working hours
Mon:08:00-16:00
Tue:08:00-16:00
Wed:08:00-16:00
Thu:08:00-18:00
Fri:08:00-18:00
Sat:08:00-16:00
Sun:08:00-16:00
Rent a Wreck
Rent a Wreck
Excellent 8.4
+16612486707
49717 Peace Valley Rd
Working hours
Mon:08:00-17:00
Tue:08:00-17:00
Wed:08:00-17:00
Thu:08:00-17:00
Fri:08:00-17:00
Sat:08:00-13:00
Avis
Avis
Excellent 8.4 / 102 reviews
+13103429200
9217 Airport Boulevard
Working hours
Mon:00:00-23:59
Tue:00:00-23:59
Wed:00:00-23:59
Thu:00:00-23:59
Fri:00:00-23:59
Sat:00:00-23:59
Sun:00:00-23:59
NextCar
NextCar
Excellent 8.3
+16618437866
1601 Skyway Dr, Bakersfield, CA 93308
Working hours
Mon:08:00-17:00
Tue:08:00-17:00
Wed:08:00-17:00
Thu:08:00-17:00
Fri:08:00-17:00
Sat:08:00-13:00
Budget
Budget
Excellent 8.3 / 12 reviews
+17075282195
2266 Airport Boulevard
Working hours
Mon:08:30-19:00
Tue:08:30-19:00
Wed:08:30-19:00
Thu:08:30-19:00
Fri:08:30-19:00
Sat:09:30-18:00
Sun:09:30-18:00
Routes Car & Truck Rentals
Routes Car & Truck Rentals
Excellent 8.1
+18447772882
5250-105 West Century Blvd Suite 105. Los Angeles, CA 90245
Working hours
Mon:08:00-20:00
Tue:08:00-20:00
Wed:08:00-20:00
Thu:08:00-20:00
Fri:08:00-20:00
Sat:08:00-20:00
Sun:08:00-20:00
Elita Rent A Car
Elita Rent A Car
Excellent 8 / 15 reviews
+13234844242
5250 West Century Blvd, Suite 109, Los Angeles, Ca, 90045
Working hours
Mon:08:00-18:00
Tue:08:00-18:00
Wed:08:00-18:00
Thu:08:00-18:00
Fri:08:00-18:00
Sat:08:00-18:00
Sun:08:00-18:00
Priceless
Priceless
Excellent 8 / 4 reviews
+14159284414
349 Mason Street San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
Working hours
Mon:08:00-15:00
Tue:08:00-15:00
Wed:08:00-15:00
Thu:08:00-15:00
Fri:08:00-15:00
Sat:08:00-15:00
Sun:08:00-15:00
Thrifty
Thrifty
Very good 7.9 / 35 reviews
+18772830898
3400 Tahquitz Canyon Way
Working hours
Mon:08:00-20:00
Tue:08:00-20:00
Wed:08:00-20:00
Thu:08:00-20:00
Fri:08:00-20:00
Sat:08:00-20:00
Sun:08:00-20:00
Midway
Midway
Very good 7.8 / 12 reviews
+13108609047
8931 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Working hours
Mon:08:00-18:00
Tue:08:00-18:00
Wed:08:00-18:00
Thu:08:00-18:00
Fri:08:00-18:00
Sat:08:00-16:00
Sun:08:00-16:00
FOX
FOX
Very good 7.8 / 197 reviews
+14087092950 / +18002254369
1659 Airport Blvd.Car Rental Center San Jose.
Working hours
Mon:07:00-23:59
Tue:07:00-23:59
Wed:07:00-23:59
Thu:07:00-23:59
Fri:07:00-23:59
Sat:07:00-23:59
Sun:07:00-23:59
Europcar
Europcar
Very good 7.6 / 107 reviews
+17148745322
325 Baker St E, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Working hours
Mon:06:00-23:30
Tue:06:00-23:30
Wed:06:00-23:30
Thu:06:00-23:30
Fri:06:00-23:30
Sat:06:00-23:30
Sun:06:00-23:30
NUCarrentals
NUCarrentals
Very good 7.4 / 18 reviews
+16506517145
1409 Rollins Rd, Burlingame, CA 94010
Working hours
Mon:08:00-16:00
Tue:08:00-16:00
Wed:08:00-16:00
Thu:08:00-16:00
Fri:08:00-16:00
Sat:08:00-16:00
Sun:08:00-16:00
MEX RENT A CAR
MEX RENT A CAR
Very good 7.3 / 374 reviews
+16192559094
1002 West Juniper Street
Working hours
Mon:08:00-18:00
Tue:08:00-18:00
Wed:08:00-18:00
Thu:08:00-18:00
Fri:08:00-18:00
Sat:08:00-18:00
Sun:08:00-18:00
Ace Rent a car
Ace Rent a car
Good 6.7 / 122 reviews
+17075683387
2200 Airport Blvd Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Working hours
Mon:08:00-22:00
Tue:08:00-22:00
Wed:08:00-22:00
Thu:08:00-22:00
Fri:08:00-22:00
Sat:08:00-22:00
Sun:08:00-22:00
GreenMotion
GreenMotion
Good 6.6 / 129 reviews
+19497526664
3195 Airport Loop Dr. D-2, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Working hours
Mon:07:00-17:00
Tue:07:00-17:00
Wed:07:00-17:00
Thu:07:00-17:00
Fri:07:00-17:00
Sat:07:00-14:00
Sun:07:00-14:00
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