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

What you should know before hiring a car in San Francisco

Distance from
San Francisco city centre
11 mi
11 mi
39 mi

Car hires in : practical information

Where to rent a car in

After a long flight from London, the first thing you'll want to do at the airport is pick up your affordable car hire in San Francisco and head to your hotel for some rest. There are several car hire companies to choose from including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Fox, Hertz, National and Thrifty. Nearby is Payless, location just outside of the airport.

Apart from the airport, you'll find just about all the car hire companies in San Francisco there are. The Bay Area won't disappoint in that regard. Unlike other cities, you're likely to find the rates at the airports better than those in the city. It's also strongly recommended to book your rental car in advance to ensure you get the lowest rate possible. Remember, there is usually a sales and service tax (8.5%) to be paid as well.

Driving in : parking and other tips

The city centre of San Francisco is notoriously a nightmare the drive in. Hills, one-way streets, expensive car parks, parking officers keeping eagle eyes on the streets... The best is to park your car hire in San Francisco outside the city centre at a Park & Ride station and take a trolley or bus into the city. Apart from the price of parking, free spaces tend to be few and far between. Expect to pay $20-30/day to park downtown. Ideally your hotel will offer parking facilities to its guests, something you can arrange when you plan your trip and book your flights.

San Francisco is a city of hill. When parking, ALWAYS remember to use your parking break and to turn your vehicle's wheels so that the tires are against the side of the road and there is no risk of your car rolling away! If you're hoping to get away from the buzz of the city during your holiday in San Francisco, then you're definitely going to need a rental car.

Road trips from : what to do, what to see

Berkeley

San Francisco to Berkeley

Berkeley is a student town, home to the University of California. It's also one of the most liberal and progressive cities in the country, given its history in political activism over the last couple of decades. Have a look around, the city centre has some excellent restaurants as well. As for city sights, UC Berkeley tops the list followed by Berkeley Art Museum, Marina and History Centre.

Napa Valley

San Francisco to Napa Valley

Napa Valley is just a jump away, your ticket to tasting some of the best wines produced in the USA. In a day you can visit a number of wineries in California's Napa Valley. Just make sure you remember to designate a responsible driver! It takes a little more than an hour to get there, providing you don't run into city traffic on your way out.

Yosemite

San Francisco to Yosemite

If you head east for about 200 miles you'll reach one of the country's most famed national parks, Yosemite. While it makes an incredibly long day-trip it is definitely worth seeing if you've gone to the trouble of getting a cheap car rental in San Francisco. Don't miss the great hikes and the incredible Giant Sequoia trees!

The best car hire deals in San Francisco

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  • Compact
  • Compact Elite
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  • Economy Elite
  • FullSize
  • FullSize Elite
  • Intermediate
  • Intermediate Elite
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  • Mini Elite
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  • June 2020
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  • December 2020
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  • May 2021
  • price
  • popularity
Thrifty
£22 per day Verify
  • 5
Ford Focus Special, Special, Auto
Dollar Rent a Car
£22 per day Verify
  • 2
  • 4
Dodge Ram Premium, Pick Up Regular, Auto
Dollar Rent a Car
£22 per day Verify
  • 5
  • 2
Ford Fiesta Economy, 4/5 Door, Auto
Dollar Rent a Car
£22 per day Verify
  • 5
Chevrolet Malibu FullSize, 2/4 Door, Auto
Thrifty
£22 per day Verify
  • 5
Chevrolet Silverado Standard, Pick Up Regular, Auto
Thrifty
£23 per day Verify
  • 4
Chevrolet Spark Economy, 2/4 Door, Auto
Dollar Rent a Car
£23 per day Verify
  • 5
Chrysler 200 FullSize, 4/5 Door, Auto
Thrifty
£23 per day Verify
  • 4
Mitsubishi Mirage Economy, 4/5 Door, Auto
Hertz
£23 per day Verify
  • 5
  • 3
Nissan Versa Compact, 2/4 Door, Auto
FOX Rent a Car USA
£24 per day Verify
  • 5
  • 2
Toyota Yaris Economy, 2/4 Door, Auto
Dollar Rent a Car
£24 per day Verify
  • 4
Managers Special Special, Special, Auto
Thrifty
£24 per day Verify
  • 5
  • 3
Mystery Car Compact Special, Special, Auto
Avis
£25 per day Verify
  • 5
Ford Fusion FullSize, 2/4 Door, Auto
Hertz
£25 per day Verify
  • 5
  • 4
Toyota Prius Hybrid Intermediate, 4/5 Door, Auto
Sixt
£30 per day Verify
  • 5
  • 2
Kia Rio Economy, 4/5 Door, Auto
BC Car Rentals
£32 per day Verify
  • 4
Managers Choice Special, Special, Auto
BC Car Rentals
£33 per day Verify
  • 5
  • 4
Toyota Corolla Standard, 2/4 Door, Auto
Budget
£34 per day Verify
  • 5
  • 3
Volkswagen Jetta Standard, 2/4 Door, Auto
Alamo Rent a Car
£35 per day Verify
  • 4
Toyota Rav4 Intermediate, SUV, Auto
Europcar
£48 per day Verify
  • 7
Ford Explorer FullSize, SUV, Auto

Find a cheap flight to San Francisco

Aer Lingusoutbound: 04-Aug-2020
1 stop (16h55m)
Aer Lingus
Aer Lingusreturn: 18-Aug-2020
1 stop (14h30m)
Aer Lingus
Lufthansaoutbound: 16-Aug-2020
1 stop (26h15m)
Lufthansa
United Airlinesreturn: 02-Sep-2020
1 stop (13h10m)
United Airlines

The best hotels in San Francisco