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California dreaming with a San Diego car rental
Jump in your San Diego car rental and explore the best of sunny Southern California. Soak up the rays at its many beautiful beaches and parks, or enjoy its urban art galleries, museums and shops. From Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo to its incredible harbor and whale watching opportunities, there’s something for everyone in this part of SoCal!
Picking up your car rental from San Diego Airport
San Diego International Airport (SAN) was previously known as Lindbergh Field. It has a number of features including shops and restaurants. There is also a visual and performing arts programme that showcases local talent and culture.
Picking up your car rental at San Diego Airport is straightforward and easy. All pick ups and drop offs take place at the Consolidated Rental Car Center. There are various suppliers on-site including top car rental companies such as Alamo, Avis, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget, and National Car Rental. To get there, free dedicated consolidated bus service/shuttle runs continually between the airport terminals and the Rental Car Center at 3355 Admiral Boland Way.
Getting around in your San Diego rental car
Take note of these driving tips before you hit the road in San Diego!
- San Diego International Airport is just a short drive of a few miles to the downtown area.
- If you are travelling in or out of the city on the I-5, which is a common long-haul freight route, be aware of large trucks sharing the road with you.
- There is one toll road in San Diego, the South Bay Expressway, also known as State Route 125. You can pay with cash (you will need exact change) or a credit card at exits when travelling southbound and all entrances when travelling northbound, or you can make a payment online.
- You can park in downtown San Diego using metered street parking or a parking garage. Parking times are strictly enforced, so ensure you read the signs before leaving your rental vehicle.
Check out the highlights in your San Diego Airport car rental
Wander 1,200 acres of parkland at Balboa Park. Not only is it full of gardens and green spaces, but it also boasts museums, theatres and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
Take an Old Town Trolley Tour
Trolleys can be a fun way to explore a district. Jump on a two-hour historic city tour aboard a fun themed trolley and learn about San Diego’s story.
La Jolla Cove Beach
San Diego has many beautiful beaches, but this small cove is particularly picturesque. It is part of a marine reserve, so is great for snorkellers and divers.
Torrey Pines State Reserve
If you love hiking and beautiful scenery, this coastal reserve is hard to beat. It’s home to wildlife including bobcats, skunks and coyotes, and, sometimes, even spouting whales can be spotted from the cliffs.
Top tips for San Diego car rentals
- If zooming down the California coast in a convertible has ever crossed your mind, this would be the time to do it. Several top car rental companies offer Ford Mustangs in their range, and you definitely don’t see that in every city.
- You can use the filters on our booking page to narrow down the kind of vehicle you’re after. Specify the type or size of vehicle, rental car company, transmission type and much more as you make your search. Or, if you want to see all the options, you can skip the filters and scroll through the whole range.
- Rental cars in San Diego are in high depend, particularly during holiday periods. Make your vehicle reservation in advance to secure the best cheap car rental deals. As soon as you know your travel dates, get booking!
- Take whatever flyers they hand out in the rental office, as these may contain discounts for local fuel prices aside from reminders on rental locations policies.
If you prefer to start your holiday in a different location, other popular options in California include car rentals in Los Angeles or San Jose. Get the best car rental deals when you book with GoSee today.
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Car rental San Diego: Frequently asked questions
How much is it to rent a car at San Diego Airport?
San Diego Airport car rental prices vary depending on availability and demand. Use our booking tool to see up-to-the-minute car rental deals, and book early to get the best rate.
Which car rental companies are at San Diego International Airport?
Car rental companies that operate out of the San Diego Airport Car Rental Center include Ace Rent A Car, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Fox Rent a Car, Hertz, Mex, Thrifty, and National Car Rental.
How much is it to rent a car for a week in San Diego?
Rates for San Diego rental cars are dependent on availability and demand, so use our search feature to see the best car rental San Diego Airport deals for your travel dates. Or speak to our customer service representative for additional support.
How old do you have to be to rent a car at San Diego Airport?
You need to be at least 21 years of age to rent and drive a rental car. Drivers under the age of 25 may also need to pay an extra "young driver" fee and may have fewer vehicles they are permitted to rent. Select your age when searching for car rentals to ensure you are presented with the options available to your age group.
Which car rental companies in San Diego have updated their vehicle cleaning and safety policies because of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
All suppliers of car rentals in San Diego have adjusted their cleaning and safety policies in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. These should be outlined within your booking form but if you have any questions or requests, check with your chosen rental car company.
Is it cheaper to rent a car at the airport or off site?
You can use our booking system to compare the latest prices between different San Diego car rental pick-up and drop-off locations. Often it is cheaper to book away from the airport due to additional taxes and fees, but renters should consider the convenience of an onsite rental when comparing costs.
Where are the car rental counters at San Diego Airport?
You can find all the San Diego Airport car rental counters at the consolidated rental car facility. There are regular shuttles between the airport terminals and the rental car center.
What should I bring with me when I collect my car at San Diego Airport?
When you collect your San Diego Airport car rental, make sure to bring your valid driver’s license, a credit card in the name of the renter, and your passport/ID. If you want an additional driver to be registered, make sure they have their license too.
Can I collect a car from San Diego Airport and return it somewhere else?
Yes, you can book a one-way rental vehicle from San Diego Airport, whether you are dropping off at another airport location within California, such as San Francisco or John Wayne, or at other car rental locations in the USA. Use the search and booking tool to see which car rental company, pick-up and drop-off locations are available. Do note this type of booking will likely incur a one-way fee.
What is the speed limit in San Diego?
The speed limit in San Diego’s residential areas is 25 miles per hour (mph). Other streets are generally 35mph while freeways can be 55-65mph. Pay attention to local speed limit signs to make sure you aren’t breaking the law during your rental car road trip.