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Explore San Jose with San Jose Airport car rentals
‘’Do you know the way to San Jose?’’ sang Dionne Warwick in the 1960s, crooning about the virtues of this beautiful northern Californian city. It certainly lives up to its sparkling reputation, with highlights ranging from the ultra-modern Silicon Valley to historic Spanish settlements. Jump in your San Jose Airport car rental and GoSee everything this city has to offer.
Picking up your car rental from San Jose Airport
San Jose Airport (SJC)—or Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport—is the major terminal servicing the Silicon Valley region. It boasts a large range of services and facilities such as restaurants, shops, EV charging stations, bicycle racks, pet relief areas, public art exhibitions and much more.
To pick up your San Jose Airport car rental, head to the Rental Car Center, which is located directly across from Terminal B. To get there, Terminal B passengers can walk across Airport Drive at the crosswalks from baggage claim, while Terminal A passengers can jump on any Airport blue shuttle bus (just request the driver to bring you to the rental car shuttle stop).
Getting around in your SJC car rental
Before you start driving around San Jose and the Bay Area, make sure you take a peek at these driving and parking tips.
- The San Jose Intl Airport (SJC) is just a few miles from the downtown area. As you leave the terminal, follow the Airport Boulevard south, then join Route 87 (the Guadalupe Freeway). Turn left on either West St James Street or West Santa Clara Street to head straight into downtown San Jose. This trip takes around 15 minutes in regular traffic.
- Bay Area traffic is notoriously hectic. Beware of rush hour traffic and plan ahead - hiring a GPS unit with your USA car rental can help spare you the stress of getting lost. Using your cellphone while driving is illegal in all of California so if you plan to use your mobile for navigation, ensure it is mounted to the dash and the directions are set before driving.
- San Jose has a number of bike lanes, so be aware of these and look out for cyclists.
- San Jose features ample metered street parking as well as parking garages. The Convention Centre car park can be a good option as it’s close to a number of central city attractions.
Check out the highlights in your San Jose Airport car rental
The Winchester Mystery House
Check out this historic—and bizarre—mansion, on which construction started in 1884 but didn’t stop until 1922. Its 160 rooms feature many mysterious elements such as doors that open to walls and staircases that lead to the ceiling!
This bustling street boasts trendy shops, a diverse array of bars and restaurants, eclectic accommodation, and fabulous entertainment including live music.
San Pedro Square Market
Love to dig into amazing eats when you’re on a car rental San Jose trip? Head to this market that features everything from pizza to Latin American food, craft beer, sushi, fusion hot dogs, and more.
Take a tech tour of San Jose’s Silicon Valley businesses, which include Adobe, Cisco, Netflix, eBay and more.
Top tips for San Jose car rentals
- The Bay Area is bustling with activity so you’re going to want to make sure you get the right SJC car rental for your needs. If you’re just zipping to and from the office or around downtown San Jose, opt for an economy vehicle that is easy to park. If you’re here to hit all the coastal highlights, secure an SUV for more space and comfort.
- Book your rental car as early as possible to get the best deal. Prices and availability depend on demand and the time of year, so if you’re going to travel during popular times such as national holidays, it’s even more important to get in quick.
- Consider a longer road trip to make the most of other nearby regional highlights. Sonoma and the Napa Valley offer incredible vineyards and wine-tasting, while Yosemite and Lake Tahoe are perfect destinations for outdoor enthusiasts. Other incredible California adventures to consider include a car rental journey in Los Angeles or San Diego.
- Bring the free handouts given out by the rental providers! These may contain up-to-date info about places you want to check out and even discounts on local fuel prices, restaurants, and some other shops.
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Car rental San Jose Airport: Frequently asked questions
How much does it cost to rent a car at San Jose Airport?
The cost for a San Jose Airport car rental depends on many factors including the time of year and demand. To find out up-to-minute prices from top brands such as Enterprise San Jose Airport and Budget Car Rental San Jose, use our handy booking tool.
How do I return my rental car to SJC?
San Jose Airport rental cars are to be returned to the same parking area you picked them up from upon arrival. Follow the signs to the Rental Car Center as you re-enter the airport, or check with your individual car rental agency before you leave. Also, many rental depots have after hours services, allowing you to return your car to the return area at the airport even after regular business hours.
How old do you have to be to rent a car?
While some SJC car rental companies will rent a car to those as young as 19, most will require you to be at least 21. In addition to this, drivers under the age of 25 may be charged a ‘’young driver’’ surcharge and may only be able to rent lower-powered vehicles. Make sure you select your age range when searching for vehicles to see exactly what is available to you.
Which car rental companies in San Jose have updated their vehicle cleaning and safety policies because of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Most major airport car rental companies have updated their cleaning and safety policies for the Covid-19 pandemic. However, check with your individual rental car company if you have any questions about this.
What is the cheapest car rental company in San Jose?
The cheapest car rental company in San Jose can vary due to the time of year and demand, but Europcar and Amigo offer consistently cheap car rentals in San Jose. Use our booking tool to see which company has the best deal for your San Jose trip.
What type of car is recommended for driving in San Jose?
The type of San Jose car rental you choose will depend on your own needs, but if you are just zipping around downtown, an economy or compact model can be recommended to make navigating city streets and parking easier. You may prefer an SUV or sports model if you are heading further out of town to explore or opt for a luxury vehicle for a more comfortable experience.
What should I bring with me when I get my car in San Jose?
To pick up your San Jose Airport rental car, you should always bring your full and valid driver’s license, a credit card in the name of the renter, and your passport/ID. If you want to add any additional drivers to the booking, they will need to bring their license as well.
Can I collect a car from San Jose Airport and return it somewhere else?
Yes, many San Jose Airport car rental companies offer one-way returns, where you can return your vehicle to another nearby terminal such as San Francisco Airport, upstate to John Wayne Airport, or clear across the USA to another city at the end of a one-way road trip. Use our search tool to see which drop-off rental car locations are available. Do note that your chosen rental company will likely charge an additional fee for a one-way booking.
What is the speed limit in San Jose?
Speed limits in San Jose may be as low as 15 miles per hour (mph) in a school area, or 65 mph on a freeway. Make sure to look out for speed signs as you drive to ensure you’re obeying the law.
Who can drive a rental car San Jose Airport?
The minimum driver's age to drive a rental car in San Jose is 21 years old. Make sure that you always bring with you your valid driver's license (minimum validity for the last three years). For non-residents of the US/foreign nationals - the absence of a US driver's license would mean the home country driver's license must be brought at all times along with an international driver's permit. Temporary driver's licenses are not accepted.
Please be aware that aside from the renter, only the permitted additional driver is allowed to drive the rental car. Additional authorized drivers must also satisfy the driver's license requirements which are applicable during the entire rental period, from the time of pick up from the car rental facility, to that time the vehicle is brought back to the car rental return at SJC airport.