Car hire in Los Angeles
Getting a rental car is almost necessary to be able to experience Los Angeles. Getting around by bus or taxi is very time consuming and almost always ends up more expensive. There are plenty of car rental offices around the city, but the easiest and best way of renting a car is at the airport upon arrival.
Car hire upon arrival at the airport (LAX)
Since Los Angeles is a city where you really need a car, it’s best to pick up your rental car directly after landing at the airport. Once you’ve arrived, follow the signs for “ground transportation” and then hop on a bus that takes you to the rental car centre. Keep the name of your car rental firm handy so that you don’t get on the wrong bus!
Returning the car at the airport
You must return the rental car at the same place as you picked it up, if you’ve chosen this option. The different car rental companies are not in the exact same place, although they are close to each other. After dropping off the car, a free shuttle bus will take you to the different terminals of the airport.
Addresses of the major car rental firms
- Dollar: 5630 West Arbor Vitae.
- Alamo: 9020 Aviation Blvd.
- Hertz: 9000 Airport Blvd.
- Thrifty: 5440 W. Century Blvd.
- National: 9419 Airport Blvd.
Avoid rush hour traffic
Los Angeles’ traffic problems is a well-known problem, but with a little bit of planning one can usually avoid the worst of the queues. Rush hour is in the morning between 7 and 10 a.m. and in the afternoon between 4 and 7 p.m., on weekdays. However, smaller traffic congestions are not uncommon outside of these times. Use Google Maps to avoid ending up in unexpected queues!
Universal Studios in Hollywood is a very popular theme park. It is easily reached by car as it’s located outside the central parts of Los Angeles. Taking a taxi works as well, but taxi services are quickly becoming a more expensive alternative than renting a car for a few days. Universal Studios is, as mentioned, extremely popular. Because of this, you might want to consider getting a front line pass, especially if you are visiting during the summer.
Road trip in the U.S.
Starting a road trip in Los Angeles is a great choice if you want to drive around and explore the western parts of America. The city is the end point of the famous Route 66, which goes past Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. The popular and beautiful Highway 1 also runs north of the city, along the coast. Don’t miss the opportunity to get a one-way car hire if you want to end your trip in Las Vegas or San Francisco instead!
Distances and driving time from Hollywood in Los Angeles
- San Francisco: 380 miles, about 6 hours.
- Las Vegas: 280 miles, about 4.5 hours.
- San Diego: 125 miles, about 2 hours.
- Death Valley: 250 miles, about 4.5 hours.
- Santa Monica Beach: 15 miles, about 30 minutes.