Car hire San Diego: tour the city in style and at ease with a rental

What you should know before hiring a car in San Diego

San Diego city centre
Lindbergh Field (SAN): 2 mi from city centre

Car hires in San Diego: practical information

Where to rent a car in San Diego

Most visitors will hire a car when they plan a holiday in San Diego; it’s the easiest way to get around the city. Pick up your San Diego car hire at the airport. You’ll find all the international brands in the arrivals lounge. Local brands tend to be cheaper and negotiating prices is always a good idea.

Alternatively, you can use the free direct phones in the western terminal to call car hire agencies in the city centre who will offer a competitive price and arrange a courtesy bus to pick you up from the airport.

Driving in San Diego: parking and other tips

Driving is the most efficient way to get around San Diego. On-street parking is available throughout the downtown area and beach neighbourhoods, just remember to put some coins into the metre! It may also be worthwhile to purchase a pre-paid Meter Card to use for the duration of your holiday in San Diego.

Road trips from San Diego: what to do, what to see

San Diego to Balboa Park

Balboa Park

This is the centre of San Diego’s tourism area. It’s an expansive campus of museums, parks, gardens and arboretums. The highlight of course is the San Diego Zoo, a world-famous establishment with more than 100 acres of displays and habitats. There are some creatures here that aren’t visible in any other zoo in the world.

San Diego to Mission Bay

Mission Bay

Mission Bay is an area of San Diego that is a destination in its own right. Mission Bay is the ideal place to go sailing and windsurfing. Once you’re tired of the water, take a stroll through Belmont Park and take a ride on the famous “Giant Dipper” roller coaster. The boardwalk is the perfect place to spend the evening, just as the neon lights are turned on.

San Diego to Tijuana


San Diego is probably the best city in the States for making a quick trip to Mexico. Tijuana is just across the border. Avoid the queues by parking on the American side and walking across the border. From there, it’s a mere 5 minute walk to Tijuana’s city centre. Bet you didn't think you could pair a Mexican adventure with your flights to San Diego, did you?

The best car hire deals in San Diego

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  • August 2020
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  • price
  • popularity
Alamo Rent a Car
£11 per day Verify
  • 2
Chevrolet Spark Economy, 4/5 Door, Manual
Alamo Rent a Car
£16 per day Verify
  • 2
Nissan Versa Intermediate, 4/5 Door, Auto
Mex Rent a Car
£20 per day Verify
  • 5
  • 2
Hyundai Accent Economy, 2/4 Door, Auto
£20 per day Verify
  • 3
Chevrolet Aveo Compact, 2/4 Door, Manual
£20 per day Verify
  • 5
  • 3
Mystery Car Compact Special, Special, Auto
Ace Rental Cars
£21 per day Verify
  • 5
  • 3
Volkswagen Jetta Standard, 2/4 Door, Auto
£24 per day Verify
  • 5
  • 4
Ford Fusion FullSize, 2/4 Door, Auto
FOX Rent a Car USA
£24 per day Verify
  • 3
Toyota Corolla Intermediate, 2/4 Door, Auto
£27 per day Verify
  • 2
Ford Fiesta Economy, 2/4 Door, Auto
FOX Rent a Car USA
£31 per day Verify
  • 7
Ford Explorer 5+2 FullSize, SUV, Auto
£53 per day Verify
  • 5
Mercedes-benz Cla Premium, 2/4 Door, Auto
£86 per day Verify
  • 5
Chrysler 300 FullSize, 2/4 Door, Auto
£95 per day Verify
  • 7
Dodge Grand Caravan Mini, Van, Auto

The best hotels in San Diego