Getting Around Los Angeles in a Rental Car

driving tips in los angeles

You could easily spend weeks exploring the glamorous City of Angels and still not see everything. From the lively streets of Hollywood to the laid-back coastal suburbs, there is plenty to see in Los Angeles. If you are planning to explore the city in a rental car, we have put together a guide to help you make the most of your time.


Where to drive your rental car in Los Angeles

  • Hollywood: Famous for its celebrity culture and star-studded Walk of Fame, a visit to Los Angeles would be incomplete without cruising along Hollywood Boulevard. 
  • Beverly Hills: Walking the palm-tree-lined streets of beautiful Beverly Hills will be an unforgettable experience. Stop in at some of the high-end stores along famous Rodeo Drive. 
  • Santa Monica: The start of the iconic Route 66, and the home of the colorful Santa Monica pier, there are a lot of reasons to visit this seaside neighborhood.
  • Downtown LA: The high-rise city center of Los Angeles features a number of famous entertainment venues such as the Nokia Theater and Walt Disney Concert Hall.
  • Anaheim: Just 30 minutes south of Downtown LA is the perfect, magical destination for a family holiday. Pay a visit to exciting Disneyland while you're exploring the area. 

Driving tips in Los Angeles

  • Los Angeles is a big city, and it will take you a long time to cross from one side to the other. Allow plenty of time to make your journey, and if possible avoid driving during peak periods.
  • Familiarize yourself with the major roads of the city. The I-10 crosses from west to east, from San Bernardino to Santa Monica. Use the I-5 for travel between Los Angeles and Anaheim, and stay on CA-1 to explore the coastal neighborhoods.
  • If you're unfamiliar with the area, a GPS will come in handy. With so many different neighborhoods, major freeways and city roads, it is easy to get lost.
  • For international visitors, keep to the right on Los Angeles roads. The roads may also be wider with more lanes than what you are used to. Los Angeles caters for a high volume of traffic, but the major roads are well-signed.

Parking in Los Angeles

There is plenty of street parking available in Los Angeles. Depending on which location you are planning to park, street parking is often timed or metered. Some popular tourist attractions offer designated parking spaces to make it easier for you to navigate. Many shopping malls over the city offer free parking for specified amounts of time.

Toll roads in Los Angeles

There are a number of toll roads in the Los Angeles area and in other areas of California. There are no cash booths on any of the roads, so visitors will need to pay online within five days of using the road.

In Los Angeles, there are express lanes on the I-10 and the I-110 that you will need to pay for using. There are also a lot of toll roads in operation across Orange County.

Driving distances

  • Los Angeles to San Diego: 1hr 50mins
  • Los Angeles to San Bernardino: 1hr
  • Los Angeles to San Francisco: 5hr 50mins

Fuel

  • United Oil, 11748 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles
  • Sunrise Energy, 1300 N Western Ave, Los Angeles
  • Shell, 12401 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles
 Highlights
There is a lot to see in the City of Angels! Start your holiday on Hollywood Boulevard, and follow the Walk of Fame to the famous Chinese Theater. Families might prefer a day trip to Disneyland or Universal Studios, or enjoying a swim at Santa Monica. If you're a fan of shopping, you will find plenty of high-end brands in Beverly Hills. Don't forget to drive to the Griffith Observatory for the best view in the city.



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