A rental car will get you around faster, but you will have to pay for the car, gas, and parking. Overall, public transit is cheaper, and rental cars are faster.
For me, if I have limited time, I like to pick up a rental car.
In many cities, you can also use taxis and Uber, but in LA those will cost you about as much as a rental since the city is so large.
Before getting a rental car, make sure your accommodations have parking available or there are good parking lots nearby.
If you’ll be flying into LAX, I would suggest arranging to rent a car in the airport.
This way you can skip the hassle of figuring out how to take public transit to your hotel or the expense of getting a taxi or Uber (which in LA just isn’t cheap).
If your goal is to fly into Los Angeles and then drive to another city in Southern California, then a rental car is a necessity.
In this situation, it wouldn’t make any sense to pick your rental car up anywhere else other than at the airport.
Make sure you double-check the instructions for picking up your rental car at the airport, including what time you want to pick it up.
You don’t want to accidentally end up waiting for hours at the airport for your rental to be read!
Whether you choose to book a car rental at the airport or somewhere else, make sure you know the full details of where you’ll be picking it up and dropping it off.
Which type of car you pick out depends on what kind of itinerary you have planned. Going to the beach?
Maybe you want a convertible to enjoy the sunshine or a car big enough for your surf equipment!
Heading out on a grand California or cross-country road trip, make sure your rental has USB ports so you can keep your phone charged while you navigate.
Spending most of your time in the city? Get a smaller car that you can park in any available space.
In California, the legal minimum age to rent a car is twenty-one, but rental car companies will typically charge a fee for anyone renting who isn’t at least twenty-five years old.
You need a valid driver’s license and a credit card to rent a car in California.
You also need to bring whatever card you used for your reservation, even if you plan to charge the car on a different card.
If you are an international tourist, you need to bring your driver’s license from home as well as your passport.