What you should know before hiring a car in Los Angeles
Los Angeles city centre
Car hires in Los Angeles: practical information
Where to rent a car in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is a HUGE city and like most American cities, it's just practical to have a car to get around in. While the city centre can be walked, many of the tourist sights in L.A. aren't in the city at all! The most convenient place to pick up your rental car in Los Angeles is at LAX. You'll find all the major international car hire companies there. The offices are located outside the airport however, so you'll have to take the free shuttle to get there.
The entire Los Angeles area is dotted with car hire companies, even most major hotels in Los Angeles have car hire services on location. Whether you pick up your rental car at the airport or in the city, make sure you compare.
Driving in Los Angeles: parking and other tips
Traffic in Los Angeles is as bad as any city but if you can avoid peak hours then it's fine. Since the Greater Los Angeles area has so many cool and interesting neighbourhoods, it's a lot easier to explore them with a car. Along those lines, parking is different in every part of the city as well. Some areas have better parking options than others. In some cases you're better off parking on the street for short-term parking. Most beaches have nearby lots while shopping areas like Beverly Hills will definitely have enough space in car parks, just mind not to scratch the Jaguar you park next to.
The best tips for parking, at least on the street, is to carefully read the signs. In some more residential areas there may be no signs, but you'll still need a resident's parking sticker on your car to park from 2:30-5:30am. It's tricky so it's better to be safe than sorry and use a car park that offers you an all-day rate. Don't let this deter you from planning a holiday in Los Angeles though, just be smart about parking!
Road trips from Los Angeles: what to do, what to see
San Fernando Valley
San Fernando Valley... otherwise just known as "The Valley" is a very cool place to check out in the northern part of Los Angeles. That's where you'll find all the movie-making magic happening. Huge studios are set up there including NBC Studios, CBS Studio Center, Universal Studios, Walt Disney & Warner Brothers Studios, among others. If you've ever wondered where the famous "Valley Girl" in pop culture comes from... it's right here!
West Los Angeles
There's no place like the West Side... and that's the truth! You'll find the rich and famous shopping on the ritzy boulevards in the popular Beverly Hills, the beach bums and surfer-wannabes hanging out in Malibu, the artists and funk crowd in trendy and hipster Venice and all the rest in Santa Monica. The great things about Los Angeles' neighbourhoods is that there's something for everyone, no matter what your style. It's all about fashion, class and creativity in these parts.
Heading to the beach? Try the sands in Orange County... forever eternalized by Zach Braff's teen hit film with the same title. It's all up-scale homes around here but the beach vibe is surprisingly laid-back and relaxing. Bring your own cold drinks and picnic lunch to avoid paying premium prices for a warm can of Bud.