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If you're looking for eclectic culture like no other, look no further than San Francisco. Famed for it's free-spirited cultural openness, you'll be hard pressed to turn a corner without seeing something unique to this wonderful corner of America. The best way to enjoy this vast, hill-ladened city is by car. Take to the road, put the top down, and enjoy one of the most diverse cities in the world.

With Holiday Extras you can find great deals on car hire throughout San Francisco using our simple online booking engine. This includes car hire at San Francisco Airport, so you can hit the road as soon as you land.

3 steps to cheap car hire

  • Search - fill out your details above and click search to compare
  • Select - choose the car you want to hire
  • Book - with our secure payment system

How it Works

Once your payment has been authorised you will receive an email confirmation with your booking reference number. Keep all this information close to hand, as you will need this when collecting your car. We also have a useful checklist to make sure you have everything covered before you set off.

If you wish to speak to an advisor, you can contact our dedicated car hire team on 0800 804 7362. Alternatively you can contact us online here with any queries you may have.

If you're looking simply for transportation to your resort upon arrival, Holiday Extras provides competitive deals on resort transfers. As well as this, we also offer premium holiday insurance, giving you further peace of mind should anything happen on your holiday.

At Holiday Extras, we want to make sure you hit the road as happy and hassle-free as possible. If you're flying from a UK airport; we could also help you save up to 60% on airport parking, airport hotels and airport lounges.

*The prices quoted are based on one driver, aged 25, with a full UK driving licence hiring a car for 3 days, picking-up and dropping-off at San Francisco Airport. Prices correct at time of writing. Subject to change according to availability. Free cancellation applies to most rentals up to 48 hours before pick up, however some suppliers may charge. Please check supplier terms and conditions carefully.

Driving on America's roads**

Driving in the States, in a car that is not your own, may be a daunting experience. The cars are bigger, the roads are wider and they drive on the other side of the road. While you'll be familiar with the local language, you may want to brush up on some of the driving laws. Take a look at our top tips on how to tackle America's roads once you land in San Francisco.

  • Left hand drive - Drive on the right-hand side of the road, overtake on the left.
  • Automatic gearbox - The majority of car hire vehicles will have an automatic gearbox. If you are not confident or cannot drive an automatic be sure to call the car hire company before you book to organise a manual car.
  • Minimum car hire age - 18 years old. Under 25's may have to pay a young driver surcharge.
  • Seatbelt/safety belts - State law requires all drivers and front seat passengers and all minors under the age of 18 to wear a seatbelt/safety belt.
  • Child restraints - Every driver must ensure that all children under 5 to be properly secured with a US government approved child restraint or car seat.
  • Fuel types - Gasoline and Diesel
  • Petrol/gas stations - Many gas stations will require you to pay before you fill up, either at the pump or inside the station. Most major credit cards are accepted but it's always worth carrying enough cash, just in case.
  • Mobile phones - While it is not illegal to make calls using a mobile phone, you can receive a ticket if you become distracted while doing so. Texting while driving is illegal.

Road safety laws

Speed limits*

  • Limited Highways - 70mph
  • Highways - 55mph
  • Business and residential areas - 30mph
  • School zones - 20mph

Driving too slowly is also against the law. You can be issued a ticket for driving too slowly. Drive with the flow of the traffic and within the speed limit.

*Although these are the standardised speed limits, there may be local variations so please be careful to check the road signs.

Drinking and driving

It is a crime in all states to drive with more than 0.08milligrams of alcohol in your blood. In San Francisco, you can have your licence taken from you and the vehicle you are driving may be impounded. It is also illegal to have any containers of alcohol open in the car.

It is important to note that drinking alcohol and then driving may invalidate your car rental insurance, irrespective of local drink driving laws. Check your policy for full details.

Driving licence

Important Information - Changes to the UK Driving Licence

Do I need an International Driving Permit?

Although an International Driving Permit (IDP) is not legally required to drive in the USA, in the event of an accident, authorities will often ask for this in addition to your driving licence. As such we recommend obtaining one before you travel.

**This information should be considered as a broad overview of things to remember when hiring a car. It is therefore very important that you read the rental terms and conditions and associated policies for your own specific policy as well as doing your own research into the motoring laws of the country in which you will be driving.