Car Rentals in San Diego- A Complete Guide Before the Ride

Renting a car in San Diego is a common phrase used when it comes to exploring the city best. Most tourists here choose the rentals cars for their transportation around the city, but with so many options to choose from, it can get overwhelming. Before booking a car rental in San Diego, you need to ensure that you have the right price and all the necessary documents. Below is the list of some of the best car rental options and all the information you need to rent a car in San Diego.

Best Car Rentals in San Diego

  1. Enterprise, 2305 Pacific Hwy

    Price: Starting at $41/per day          

    Where to book: Visit the official website for reservations or and further details.

  2. Alamo, 3355 Admiral Boland Way

    Price: Starting at $35 per day

    Where to book: Visit the official website for reservations or and further details
  3. Avis, 3355 Admiral Boland Way Suite R175

    : Starting at $24/day

    Where to book: Visit the official website for reservations or and further details
  4. Hertz, 6609 Mira Mesa Blvd

    Price: Starting at $37/day

    Where to book: Visit the official website for reservations or and further details

  5. Thrifty Car Rental, 3355 Admiral Boland Way

    Price: Starting at $57/day

    Where to book: Visit the official website for reservations or and further details

Documents Required at Car Rentals in San Diego

Driver license
To be able to rent a car in San Diego, you have to be at least 21 years of age and carry a valid driver’s license. It doesn’t have to be from California as the law permits you to use your home country’s driving license. Some rental companies may ask for an extra charge if you are between 21 and 25 years of age, and some cars may even be restricted for you if you are under that age group. However, check out the company’s policy before picking up your car as they might need some additional documents like proof of reservation.

Types of Cars for Rent in San Diego

Types of cars
On average, renting a car in San Diego costs $42 per day. The best way to enjoy the city’s coastal roads and its scenic beauty will be to go for a convertible car. It allows you to ride along the coast when the weather permits. The cost price is different for different types of cars. For instance, an economy car can cost $36 per day on average, $32 for a compact car, and $41 for a standard car. If you are looking for budget-friendly choices, brands like Costco and Mohsen are some good options.

Things to Know Before Renting a Car in San Diego

If you have started renting cars recently, go through the below suggestions that might help you save money and other difficulties that often surface while booking a rental car.
  1. Avoid renting a car at the airport
    Renting a car at the airport might look like the most convenient and fuss-free option to go for, but booking a car from somewhere else will save you a lot of money. The amount of tax these airports charge is double compared to the charges from somewhere else. Moreover, some airports can even go up to 30% of the tax on your rental.

  2. Go through all the pricing options
    Many car rental companies offer a cheaper cost if you book it for a longer period of time. Compare the price of all the rental periods before making a decision and not just looking for the rental period you need it for as the price can be significantly low if you book it for two more days. Do your math and then come to a decision.

  3. Look for any defects before driving away
    It’s a smarter choice to check that all its functions are running smoothly, like the lights or odometer, and if you find any scratches or defects to the car, report to the company at once.

  4. Don’t pay for unnecessary accessories
    The salesperson at the company will try to make you pay more by presenting you with various offers like the navigation system, insurance, fuel package purchases, and many more. But before agreeing to any of these, make sure whether you actually need it or not. For example, your Smartphone already has a GPS so getting their navigation system is not useful for you.

  5. Fill up the tank before returning the vehicle
    Some companies have the policy to return the car with a full tank or the amount of gas there was when you left. If you fail to do so, they will ask you to pay extra money for it. And these car rental companies charge way more for gas than the local gas stations.

Road Regulations in San Diego

Although exploring San Diego through driving is the best option to opt for, it’s essential to be aware of the laws regarding driving in this city. Knowing all these regulations will help to prevent getting any tickets or fines.
  1. Park carefully
    Finding a free space for parking can get tricky in this city, especially in its popular tourist spots. However, once you find a space, make sure to read all the surrounding signage. Some of the signs may look complicated; hence make sure to know all of their meanings. There are also colored curbs used for specific situations like red means no parking, and white means parking allowed only for a short period of time. Disabled people who carry a displayed legal handicap placard can park to blue and green curbs without charge but not more than 72 consecutive hours. 

  2. Avoid holding a phone when driving
    California laws are particularly strict about the usage of cell phones when you are driving. It is against their law to talk, text, read messages, or doing anything on your phone unless you are using a hands-free setup. Moreover, you can also get into trouble if you are simply holding the phone when driving.  Also, anyone under 18 cannot use a phone even with a hands-free setup.

  3. Littering is a strict NO
    Considering the recent wildfires in California, cops from all over the state have become stricter on anyone who throws litter while driving, especially cigarette butts. If caught, you have to pay a fine of $1000.

  4. Turn right on the red light
    Drivers can take a right turns on red signals after stopping and checking carefully if it is clear. However, there can be exceptions that will be stated on a sign.

  5. Call 911 for emergency
    If you witness any emergency, including a crime, unsafe driver, fire, or accidents, feel free to call 911, which is open 24 hours a day. You might have to provide your location, name and other details asked.
San Diego has the perfect combination of cheap and luxury cars for rents from various rental car agencies. All you have to do is do a little planning and compare the prices to get the best deals. Getting a rental car is a far better option than using public transport for a fuss-free vacation.

This post was published by Konika Datta

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