John Wayne Airport car rental



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Prior to our rebrand from Airport Rentals and Motorhome Republic
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Explore Orange County with a car rental from John Wayne Airport

Orange County has a little bit of everything, known especially for its long sunny days, gorgeous beaches, trendy shopping, and theme parks. Get to know this beautiful part of the California coast by hiring a car at John Wayne Airport—ready to go as soon as you land! Explore the highlights of Santa Ana, Anaheim, Laguna Beach, and more in this sunkissed section of the USA. 

Picking up rental cars at John Wayne Airport 

You might hear John Wayne Airport (SNA) referred to as Orange County Airport or even Santa Ana Airport. In 1979, it was renamed John Wayne Airport after the late actor who lived in nearby Newport Beach.  

It’s a major airport, so you can fly to and from major cities like Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Seattle, and more.  

Once you’re ready to pick up the keys for your rental car, proceed to the rental counter of your chosen brand located on the Arrival (lower) Level, between Terminals A and B, across from the John Wayne statue. The pick-up and rental car return signs are just around the corner and will lead you to the lower level of Parking Structures A2 and B2.

A child running from the approaching tide at the beach.

Getting around Orange County in your airport car hire

  • John Wayne Airport is located right in the heart of Orange County, so it’s easy to access all the nearby cities. It takes about 15 minutes to drive from the airport to downtown Santa Ana. Or, you can head north on the I-405 to Los Angeles, northeast on the State Hwy 55 to Anaheim, or head down State Hwy 73 to San Clemente.  
  • In cities like Santa Ana, you can find downtown parking on the street or in parking buildings. Some spots even offer one hour of free parking, so check the local signage. Be sure to carry your bank card and spare change so that you can pay if needed.  
  • Traffic is famously heavy on the freeways so ensure that you are prepared with a navigational aid such as a GPS or a phone app like Google Maps or Waze—and set it to the destination before you start driving. Using your cell phone while driving is a traffic violation. It must be mounted to the left or right of your windshield and must not obstruct your view.  
  • Exits can come up quickly so map out your route in advance and be mindful of what lane you’re in at all times. If you wish to travel in the carpool lanes there must be at least two people in your vehicle.  
  • Be aware that motorcyclists can legally cross into and share your lane.  

Hit the highlights in your John Wayne Airport rental car  


A hand holding two disneyland tickets. No trip to Orange County is complete without a visit to Disneyland. The sprawling theme park and resort is only about 14 miles from John Wayne Airport, so you can get to the world’s happiest place in no time.  

Knott’s Berry Farm 

If you’re a theme park enthusiast, you can’t miss a visit to Knott’s Berry Farm, another one of the USA’s most iconic entertainment attractions.  

Newport Beach

Head to the home of John Wayne himself with a visit to the energetic city of Newport Beach. There are oodles of eateries and shops, as well as endless activities for outdoor enthusiasts including sailing, surfing, hiking, and cycling.  

Crystal Cove State Park

Miles of golden-sand beaches, amazing underwater features, and thousands of acres of wilderness to explore, Crystal Cove is full of natural wonders. It lies just off Pacific Coast Highway and is nestled between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach.  

A palm tree lined beach.

Top tips for Orange County car rentals

For a quick rundown, here are some ideas for hitting the road in your ​car rental from Santa Ana Airport:

  • Choose the right car rental for your needs. If you’re heading out on the open road or taking a longer trip, you might want a larger, sportier vehicle for comfort. If you’re just zipping around downtown Santa Ana or Anaheim, a smaller, more maneuverable vehicle could be better suited for urban streets and parking. 
  • If you’re taking a summertime road trip, make sure you’re familiar with your rental agreement conditions. Some car hire companies do not insure travel to locations like Death Valley due to the risk of extreme heat.  
  • Take the opportunity to make your California dreams come true and rent a convertible or a luxury vehicle. They are not available in every city and will make the trip that much more fun!  

Not sure where to head your USA car rental after exploring Orange County? You can easily reach other airport locations in major USA cities such as Fort Lauderdale or Las Vegas in a car rental. Or see more of the USA and go on a hire car trip in Phoenix or Seattle. GoSee has got you covered for your car hire needs in any location worldwide.

What our customers say

The booking process is easy and the filtering is well detailed and allows one to only look at cars one is interested in.
Sean William Cummins
Very helpful and knowledgeable
no waiting person very good and new her job
Michael Carr
Couldn't get through on Web site. Rang & Amy helped me with booking my rental car in Cairns Australia. The phone dropped out at the last minute & Amy rang me back with the final information. Great service!
Glenn Fabar
Very clear communication and professional team.
Prompt service in a different time zone.
Majella Finn
It was just straight forward and easy. The only thing, which I may have missed, is how the payment works. Do you just hold my card, or do you take the full payment straight away?


Jason Campbell
Easy to change my booking and find a cheaper price.
Dezlee Masters
Your staff are super calm and friendly and sorted problems for me. I love the way the double check everything!
It made it easy to pay by afterpay love it
bronwyn Simon

John Wayne Airport car rental: Frequently asked questions

See all of our FAQs

How much is a rental car per day from Orange County, CA Airport (SNA-John Wayne)? 

The cost of car rentals at John Wayne Airport depends on the time of year, availability, and type of vehicle. Do a quick search here to get an up-to-date comparison and choose from brands such as Avis, Alamo, Hertz , Enterprise, Thrifty, Budget Car Rentals Orange County Airport, and many more.  

How old do you have to be to rent a car from Orange County, CA Airport (SNA-John Wayne)? 

You need to be at least 21 years of age to rent a car from Orange County John Wayne Airport. There may also be an additional surcharge for young drivers under the age of 25.  

What do you need to rent a car from Orange County, CA Airport (SNA-John Wayne)? 

To pick up your rental car from John Wayne Airport, you’ll need to bring with you the following:

  • Driver's license of all the named drivers. You may use a US driver's license or a valid driver's license from your home country with an English translation. Temporary driver's licenses may not be accepted. Please note that only the permitted drivers allowed to drive the rental car.
  • Credit card in the name of the renter. This should have enough funds to cover the security deposit.
  • Passport / I.D.

Can I rent a car for a month or longer from Orange County, CA Airport (SNA-John Wayne)? 

Planning a longer stay? You can rent a car from John Wayne Airport for a month or longer. Use our booking tool to see which cars are available for longer-term rental and compare prices on a large range of vehicles.  

For longer trips, there might be accidents that might happen. Please ensure you have enough insurance coverage provided for your John Wayne Airport car hire. Once you have selected the perfect vehicle, make it a habit to read the terms and conditions, especially on third-party liability insurance coverage topics such as owner rental vehicle third-party liability protection/third-party liability claims, statutory minimum underlying limits, minimum financial responsibility limits, or anything about the insured's insurer obligations before you complete your booking.

What are the kinds of rental cars available at John Wayne Airport (SNA)? 

Choose from many different kinds of vehicles when you rent a car in John Wayne Airport. Cruise around town in an economy car or compact vehicle or enjoy the comforts of an SUV—and everything in between. There are even premium and luxury car hire options available, so use our booking tool to see what’s on offer for your travel dates.  

Which car rental companies in Santa Ana have updated their vehicle cleaning and safety policies because of Coronavirus (COVID-19)? 

Most of the car rental companies at John Wayne Airport have updated their health and safety requirements for the Covid-19 pandemic, including Avis and Hertz. Check with your chosen car rental provider if you have any questions.  

What is the cheapest car rental company in Santa Ana? 

Rental cars at John Wayne Airport can vary in price depending on season, availability, and demand. However, Hertz is one of the most consistently cheap car rental companies on offer in Orange County.  

What is the most popular rental car in Santa Ana? 

Economy cars, such as the Mitsubishi Mirage, tend to be the most popular type of John Wayne Airport car rental.  

Is it possible to book one way at Santa Ana Airport? 

Yes, you can book a one-way car rental at Santa Ana Airport. Simply input your desired pick up and drop-off dates and target locations into our booking tool to see which vehicles are available. A one-way booking option may incur an additional fee.

Will my Santa Ana rental car have unlimited mileage? 

Santa Ana Airport car rental companies usually offer unlimited mileage, but check the individual vehicle listing to be sure. If unlimited mileage is not offered, the company will list rates for any additional miles.