Search Cheap Car Rental in San Francisco
Car Rental in San Francisco at unbelievable rates. Book San Francisco car hire from as little as £16 per day* and get around to see some of the best sights San Francisco California has to offer.
Hire cars range from small budget hire cars to 7 seater and 9 seater people carriers to luxury hire cars. Whatever your main purpose for travelling to San Francisco be sure to find a hire car to suit your needs.
Why book Car Rental in San Francisco?
Here are a few reasons why you should use car hire in San Francisco
- Cheaper than buying travel tickets for the whole family.
- Great way to get around and see the sights
- Easy way to travel to the beaches
- San Francisco is a huge city and you can get to drive along the famous Golden Gate Bridge
Where can I pickup my hire car?
We have numerous places throughout San Francisco where car hire is available including, Valencia Street, O’Farrell Street, San Francisco Airport, the convention Center and various others.
San Francisco Locations
San Francisco Car Rental Requirements
For car hire in San Francisco you will need to meet the mimimum age requirement of 21, hold a valid driving license and a current credit card. Additionally you will need to produce your passport or photocard ID when collecting your car along side your car hire voucher. You will receive your voucher after booking car hire in San Francisco online.
Carrentalchoice not only has cheap car hire in San Francisco but throughout the USA. Read more about cheap usa car hire and find out why we offer great rates.
The AT&T Stadium
Go and visit the home of the world famous San Francisco Giants baseball team. Although tickets are hard to come by (just 500 are released to the general public via lottery), you can go on a guided tour of the stadium and venture behind the scenes. The tour takes you to the press box, the dugouts, the suites, the changing rooms and much more.
www.sfgiants.com, Embarcadero, Tel: 415 972 2000.
Adults $10, children $6. Open daily except for match days.
You will need to arrive 20 minutes before each boat departs from Fisherman’s Wharf to go on a guided tour of the famous Alcatraz Island – home of course to the notorious former prison of the same name. The island is visible from Fisherman’s Wharf as you board the boat to the island where the maximum security prison opened its doors for the first time in 1934. Surrounded by sheer cliff drops, rough seas and cold water temperatures, the prison was regarded as completely escape-proof. Among its most famous prisoners were gangsters Al Capone, Robert Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz), Machine Gun Kelly and Alvin Karpis. The prison was closed in 1963 following a large-scale escape effort from its confines, although no bodies were found subsequently. In 1969, Native Americans reclaimed the island for the Indian people, until the government took action in 1971 and removed them. The fascinating two and a half hour tour takes you around the island (now home to a variety of wildlife) and of course the prison itself, which includes an audio tour and talks from the on-hand guides.
www.nps.gov/alcatraz, (boats depart Pier 33, Fisherman’s Wharf) Tel: 001 415 981 7625
Adults $24.50, children $15.50.
San Francisco’s Cable Cars
What visit to San Francisco can be complete without boarding one of its famous cable cars, which saunter up and down the city’s steep hills? The cable cars were introduced to San Francisco in 1873 to the wonder of the general public, who gazed in astonishment at how the cars (each weighing six tonnes) ran without an engine (they run on a steel cable via electricity). Each cable car holds around 100 people, with conductors on hand to stop any possible overcrowding, although be warned: Queues of up to two hours to board are regular occurrences during the summer months.
Because of the numerous hills and vantage points, there are many places to get an incredible view of this wonderful city. However, nothing compares to the views seen from Coit Tower on Top of Telegraph Hill near North Beach. This round stone tower offers unbeatable panoramas of the city itself and of course San Francisco Bay for a picture-perfect setting.
Telegraph Hill, Tel: 001 415 362 0808. Free admission.
The Ferry Building Marketplace
You don’t have to be a food lover to enjoy a visit to this gourmet marketplace as you take in the smell and the taste of the very essence of San Franciscan cuisine. Stroll through the Ferry Building sampling local produce such as fine cheeses, wines, meats, fish, chocolate and much more. The marketplace also offers a myriad of restaurants, coffee shops, speciality food shops and cafes, with many of them offering superb views of San Francisco Bay. This is simply a ‘must do’ part of any visit to San Francisco.
www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com, The Ambacadero, Market Street.
Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco is of course home to the most photographed and most famous bridge in the entire world. San Francisco’s defining landmark was opened in 1937, comprising 1.7 miles in length, sitting 746 feet above the water. Park your car and traverse the bridge by foot to truly understood what a monstrous, yet staggering engineering feat the Golden Gate truly is.
www.goldengatebridge.org $5 toll if crossing by car.
San Francisco is famous for its large, steep, descending streets, with Lombard Street being its most famous. Known as the “most crooked street in the world,” thousands of visitors marvel at just how steep it is and the bizarre snaking route cars have to take in order to get up and down it. The brick-lined street zig-zags around houses and makes for an odd, yet great photo opportunity!
Situated between Hyde Street and Leavenworth Street
Many consider the Exploratorium to be the best science museum on the planet. Both adults and children will adore the amount of amazing activities and exhibits to explore which include everything from giant bubble blowing, the “Mad Scientist’s Penny Arcade” to an experimental laboratory and more. Here you are able to ‘touch a tornado’, shape a live electrical current or partake in a fascinating interactive guide to Einstein’s theory of relativity. Hours can be spent within the Exploratorium marvelling at all the different exhibits, so be sure to leave a morning or afternoon free to get the most out of a visit.
www.exploratorium.edu, 3601 Lyon Street. Tel: 001 451 561 0360
Adults $13, children $8.
The Legion of Honour
This exact replica of the same name in Paris is designed as a memorial to the people of California who gave their lives during World War I. This moving memorial sits in a large grassy area alongside cliffs which yield awesome views of the Golden Gate Bridge and downtown San Francisco. Inside, you will find an impressive museum which houses a collection of paintings, art and sculptures which date back some 4000 years and also one of the world’s most elaborate collections of Rodin sculptures.
www.thinker.org, 34th Avenue, Lincoln Park. Tel: 001 451 863 3330
Adults $10, children $6.
De Young Museum
De Young is San Francisco’s oldest museum, first opening in 1895 and exhibits one of the greatest collections of American paintings in the entire country, dating from Colonial times right through to the modern day. As well as conventional paintings from America, you will also find arts, crafts and textiles from across the globe, with many exhibits displayed through state-of-the-art revolving displays. The museum itself is worth visiting for the architecture alone, with a striking exterior consisting of almost 950,000 pounds of perforated copper at the forefront, coupled with a 144 foot tower which also encompasses an observation deck that looks across San Francisco Bay and the city itself.
www.thinker.org, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park.
Adults $10, children $6.
San Francisco Price Guide
Only two airlines fly in to San Francisco from the United Kingdom, meaning there isn’t a lot of competition when it comes to pricing. This isn’t to say however that return flights are going to cost you an arm and a leg – far from it. At the time of writing, British Airways were offering one-way fares from £170 per person including taxes.
Like any major U.S city, there is accommodation on hand to suit all needs, tastes and budgets. For a night in a luxury five star hotel such as the St. Regis or the Ritz Carlton, expect to pay the equivalent of around £280 per room, per night. However, if you shop around you can find remarkable value for money, such as the five star Campton Place, who offer fantastic rooms for around £120 a night. San Francisco is also awash with a number of chain hotels, all of which are similarly priced at an average of £80 per night.
Riding the world famous cable cars will cost $5 per ticket.
Quality food and drink can be found in abundance in this food obsessed city. The Ferry Building Marketplace is a typical example of the dining options available in the city, with many gourmet and fine restaurants on hand to produce a fantastic culinary experience for as low as $15 per person for a main meal.
San Francisco Travel
Travelling to/from San Francisco
San Francisco is served by three international airports, although only the main San Francisco International Airport (www.flysfo.com) itself offers routes directly to the United Kingdom.
San Francisco International Airport
British Airways (www.ba.com) – to/from London Heathrow.
Virgin Atlantic (www.virgin-atlantic.com) – to/from London Heathrow.
Getting to Downtown San Francisco From the Airport
A variety of well-known coach companies offer direct bus transfers to and from the airport. These are as follows:
You can easily reach downtown San Francisco by taking the BART Rapid Rail (www.bart.gov) service from the airport’s very own station located on the departures/ticketing hall of the International Terminal by boarding area G. There is also an internal AirTrain within the airport, which will take you to the airport train station should you find yourself at a different terminal on arrival. Tickets cost from $1.40 for an adult single, with as many as four trains an hour going to/from the city.
Alternatively you can use the Caltrain (www.caltrain.com) by connecting at Millbrae Station via the BART Rapid Rail from the airport.
San Francisco International Airport is located around 13 miles south of downtown. The airport is served by extremely good road links into the city via Highways 101 and 380. Car Hire is found at the designated Rental Car Centre which is well signposted within the airport or via the blue line on the internal AirTrain.
San Francisco Excursions
Just 5km northeast of San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge is the pretty upmarket town of Sausalito. Only 8000 people live in this small bayside settlement, but visitors to the San Francisco area frequent it to enjoy the fine restaurants, boutiques and small art galleries. Bridgeway is the main street that runs through Sausalito and runs parallel to the water, offering fantastic views of San Francisco and the bay area. Head to Caledonia Street, where you will find many quaint cafes, restaurants and shops, before taking a stroll by the water’s edge for a relaxing alternative to the hustle and bustle of downtown San Fran.
Angel Island and Tiburon
Angel Island lies eight miles to the north of San Francisco and is one of California’s State Park’s and is the largest of San Francisco Bay’s three islets (the others being Yerba Buena and Alcatraz). Like Alcatraz, Angel Island was once home to a large prison and also had a quarantine centre for immigrants as well as being the site for a large missile base. These days, people go to Angel Island to relax on the large green lawns by the water, go on a hiking trip or exert themselves with a spot of mountain biking.
Tiburon lies within close proximity of Angel Island on an eponymous peninsula. This small seaside town is awash with beautiful green hills and features a pretty multicoloured pier, characterised by a large number of yachts. The town is full of souvenir shops, boutiques, antique shops and also has a few art galleries. If you drive up the narrow roads up into the hills you will get unrivalled views of San Francisco’s incredible skyline and the bay islands.
Even though Oakland is just 10 miles east of San Francisco, it bears no comparison to its sister city across the bay whatsoever. Oakland boasts one of the busiest ports on the entire west coast of the USA and is punctuated by large railroad tracks and is essentially a very industrial city. Although this outlay may sound at odds with what appeals to tourists, Oakland has much to entertain. Go and rent a boat and sail around the beautiful Lake Merritt for a few hours, or simply take a walk along the bustling waterfront before taking in the Oakland Museum, which outlines the importance of this burgeoning city.
Although it’s a 45 mile drive south of San Francisco, San Jose is worth every minute. This once sleepy town – famous for its cattle herding and agriculture – is now Northern California’s biggest city. Through the prosperity of Silicon Valley, agriculture has given way to a metropolitan city that enjoys a thriving arts scene, state of the art public transport, countless eateries and a number of excellent shops and shopping centres. San Jose also enjoys a wonderfully sunny climate and statistically is one of America’s safest cities.
Car Rentals Near San Francisco