The cultural and financial centre of California, San Francisco, has some of the steepest streets in the country. This doesn’t deter tourists to hire cars to see the sights of San Francisco by driving around on their own.
Thrifty, National, Enterprise, Dollar, Budget, Avis and Alamo counters are located on the fourth floor of the SFO car rental counter. Fox and Hertz on the first floor and off-site ones are located at the rental car centre accessible via the AirTrain blue line.
###Car rental companies at TFS
Alamo, Avis, Dollar, Budget, National, Thrifty, Hertz, Fox, and Enterprise provide car rental services at SFO airport.
###Rates and reservations
Eligible drivers can hire hatchbacks, sedans, and vans. If tourists book their cars via the car rental company website, the rates are lesser. The rates listed are base rates for 1 week for an average A/C 5-seater car such as Ford Focus/Volkswagen Jetta with boot space for 2 bags. For more information, tourists can access the car rental companies’ websites. All prices are correct as of August 2015.
Alamo: 198 USD
Dollar: 198 USD
Hertz: 250-290 USD
Avis: 215 USD
Enterprise: 230 USD
National: 280 USD
Budget: 210 USD
Fox rent a car: 160 USD
Thrifty 198 USD
###Driving from SFO
San Francisco International Airport is 12 miles south of San Francisco City centre. The Bayshore freeway is the quickest way to get across, and it also features beautiful views of San Francisco bay.
Driving is on the right side of the road and the steering wheel is on the left hand side of the vehicle.
San Francisco’s steep streets are not meant for easy driving or parking, especially when one needs to stop/park on the slope. Also, streets are congested, narrow, one-way in many places, have turn restrictions, and also have time restrictions for parking.
Driving tourists need to watch out for streetcars, trains, buses and bikes because all of them have right of way, even if you have a green light.
Do not park in a red spot/driveway, or a Muni’s end will be crashing into your car. Parking in hotels is expensive, so most places have metered parking with time restrictions.
###Car renting tips
Tourists should rent cars from an offsite location instead of the car counter at the airport in order to avoid airport surcharges.
Tourists should also ask their hotel beforehand about their parking charges and also find out cheap garages nearby. That will help them determine for how long they can afford to rent a car.
Tourists should assess their needs and comfort while renting cars. Also, they should find out and research about the kind of car they can drive on the narrow streets and steep hills of San Francisco.
Weather in San Francisco can get foggy, so don’t forget to talk to hotel staff before starting for the day.
Tourists need to be of 18 years of age, need to possess a valid overseas driving licence and their International Driving Permit.
###Places to visit
Walking along the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf are some of the things to do in San Francisco. The various microclimates of San Francisco weather due to the sea and topography makes these walking tours a very pleasant experience. Other places to visit are University of San Francisco, San Francisco Zoo, Chinatown San Francisco and the famous Alcatraz Island where the popular Hollywood thriller ‘The Rock’ was filmed. Use Skyscanner Car hire page to rent a car and kick-start your memorable holiday.