Car Rental in San Francisco

Rental companies may charge extra for drivers under 25, normally payable when you pick up your car. Age restrictions may apply in certain locations. Check the rental company's website before making your reservation.

San Francisco, the cultural centre of Northern California, is an unforgettable destination that attracts thousands of tourists and new Bay Area residents every year. This is largely due to the numerous sights, parks, and beaches in the area; in addition to the city's famous architecture and culture.

Car Rentals From San Francisco International Airport

Like the rest of the city's transportation systems, the airport is very well organised. The car rental agencies in the airport are centrally located and accessible via the AirTrain Blue Line — an automated transport system that connects to all terminals and parking garages.

From the Blue Line, passengers disembark at the on-site agency hub and can rent from Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Fox, Hertz, National, or Thrifty. The Blue Line also connects to a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station to reach some off-site agencies, including Advantage, Airport Van Rental, EZ Rent a Car, Payless Car Rental, Silvercar, and Sixt.

San Francisco Driving and Parking Tips

Parking in the city often requires careful parallel manoeuvres or extra cash to pay for a spot in a parking garage, so it's important to plan ahead. Here's a quick overview of some general rules for driving and parking in San Francisco:

  • If no other time restrictions are posted, drivers can only remain in one spot for up to 72 hours. However, drivers must remember to follow all signs indicating when and where parking is allowed.
  • Vehicles that are parallel parked must be within 46cm of the kerb and face the same direction as the flow of traffic.
  • Front tyres should be turned toward the kerb when facing downhill and away from the kerb when facing uphill. It's also important to use parking brakes when parking on a hill.
  • Drivers should check that they are not blocking driveways when parking kerbside.

The best way to make the most of a visit to the city is to plan ahead to allow for parking when creating an itinerary.

Navigating The City by the Bay

There are three entry points to the city: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge (Interstate 80), and Interstate 280 or Highway 101. Take a scenic drive across Golden Gate Bridge and into the Golden Gate National Recreation Area or beyond. Though it's a longer trip (approximately 5.5 hours), a drive up Highway 101 to Redwood National and State Parks is well worth it. This route goes along the coast near Eureka, making it a particularly gorgeous experience.

Back in San Francisco, Alcatraz Island, Golden Gate Park, Fisherman's Wharf, and Muir Woods National Monument are well-known popular tourist destinations. Boulevard Restaurant or Gary Danko are excellent options for a romantic dinner, while guests travelling with family will love Park Chow or Pacific Catch.

There are so many great things to see and do in the city, and exploring is so much more convenient with the flexibility of a rental car. Download Skyscanner's app for great deals on car rentals, hotels, and flights to San Francisco.

Budget
Enterprise
Europcar
Sixt
Hertz
Avis

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