California car hire

Driver's age: 26-65
Thu 29/2
Thu 7/3

Search hundreds of car hire sites at once for car hire deals in California

Here is why travellers choose KAYAK

Save up to 34%Compare multiple travel sites with one search.

Free to useThere are no hidden charges or fees

Filter your dealsFilter by car type, brand and more. Instantly customise your results.

Book with flexibilityUse our "free cancellation" filter for maximum flexibility at no extra cost.

Cheap car hire in California

People carrierR942/day
Full-size SUVR822/day
LuxuryR1 086/day
Pick-up truckR1 253/day
Premium SUVR1 940/day
Compact SUVR631/day
Intermediate SUVR673/day
Standard SUVR765/day
Best prices found by KAYAK users in the past 48 hours.

Top tips for hiring a car in California

  • All car hirers in California are required to produce a valid driver's licence with an expiration date that does not fall within the present hire period. You can also hire a car even if you don't have a licence issued by the US government. All you need to do is present a passport and either an international licence or your licence from Australia.
  • When two cars meet on a steep road and neither can pass, the car facing downhill is required to back up to let the other pass, since when backing up a slope, the car that is facing downhill has more control. When it comes to stop signs in California, they are more frequent than traffic lights. All motorists must come to a full stop at any stop sign.
  • If your blood alcohol level is 0.08% or more, you are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle in California. Also, you are only allowed to operate a cellphone while driving if you’re using a hands-free device or when you need to call for assistance in an emergency.
  • 25% of our users found a car hire in California for R1 162 or less
  • Book your car hire in California at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
  • Off-airport car hire locations in California are around 33% cheaper than airport locations on average
  • Standard car hire in California are around 3% cheaper than other car types, on average

FAQs about hiring a car in California

  • How much does it cost to hire a car in California?

    On average a car hire in California costs R958 per day.

  • What is the most popular car hire in California?

    Standard (Toyota RAV4 or similar) is the most frequently booked car hire type in California.

  • What is the cheapest car hire company in California?

    In the past 72 hours, the cheapest car hires were found at Dollar (R539/day), Thrifty (R590/day) and Avis (R696/day).

  • What is the best car hire company in California?

    Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car hire companies in California are Alamo (8,2, 211 reviews), Enterprise Rent-A-Car (8,1, 275 reviews), and Hertz (6,9, 443 reviews).

  • How can I find car hires near me in California?

    Take a look at our extensive car hire location map to find the best car hire deals near you.

  • Where should I hire a car in California?

    Based on car searches on KAYAK, the most popular cities to hire a car in California are Oakland (33% of total searches of users looking to hire a car in California), Laguna Beach (17%) and Monterey (17%).

  • Should I hire a car in California?

    Given that California is quite large with numerous sprawling cities, hiring a car is a practical and economical way to get around the area. Even though the majority of large cities have their own public transportation networks, driving is still often faster and easier. Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego are a few cities in California that are best navigated with a vehicle. Having access to your own car can also come in handy, especially if you plan on visiting a more rural city or taking a road trip.

  • What is driving like in California?

    California is typically warm and sunny. However, it’s at times rainy, which is a critical time to drive yourself around. When it's raining, go at a slower speed and make sure to utilise your windscreen wipers and headlights. Also, ensure that you have the appropriate tyre chains for your hire car's tyres if you plan to drive in the snow during winter. Try to stay in the right lane whenever you are on a road or freeway with numerous lanes, unless when overtaking. Remember that a left turn from one one-way street to another one-way street can only be made when the signal is red. Unless it’s clearly banned, you can usually turn right at a red light after stopping completely and checking for approaching traffic. You have to pre-pay for your petrol in California. If you are using a credit card, you’ll need to swipe your card at the pump to activate the pump. You’ll also be required to provide your postal code to prevent credit card fraud.

  • How old do you have to be to hire a car in California?

    Most car hire companies require that you be at least 21 years old in order to hire a vehicle in California. If you’re between the ages of 21 and 24 and need to hire a car, you’ll likely pay a young hirer fee and may only be allowed to hire certain classes of vehicles.

Car hire locations in California

Car hire directory

  • enterprise

    Enterprise Rent-A-Car car hire locations in California

    44 Locations

  • hertz

    Hertz car hire locations in California

    28 Locations

  • budget

    Budget car hire locations in California

    15 Locations

  • avis

    Avis car hire locations in California

    14 Locations

  • thrifty

    Thrifty car hire locations in California

    8 Locations

  • easirent

    Easirent car hire locations in California

    5 Locations

  • sunnycars

    Sunnycars car hire locations in California

    5 Locations

  • airportvanre

    Airport Van car hire locations in California

    4 Locations

  • alamo

    Alamo car hire locations in California

    4 Locations

  • dollar

    Dollar car hire locations in California

    4 Locations

  • national

    National car hire locations in California

    4 Locations

  • europcar

    Europcar car hire locations in California

    3 Locations

Good to know

Most popular agency


Most popular car type


Average price

R1 350/day

Good deal

R1 162/day

When to book a rental car in California

Average daily price per month
Car hire prices as pick-up date approaches