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Basic info and car hire in San Francisco

Location: Northern California

Population: 883,305 (2018)

Official language: English

Currency: Dollar ($)

Weather: San Francisco has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, which means this Californian coastal city has moist mild winters and very dry summers. The weather conditions in San Francisco are strongly influenced by the Pacific Ocean and its cool currents, which moderate the year-round mild climate and minimize seasonal temperature variations. The city is known for its cool winds and fog during the late summer. The annual high temperature is around 17.7 °C (63.8 °F), while the low one rarely falls below 10.4 °C (50.8 °F). The average temperature is around 14 °C (57.3 °F).

Public holidays in San Francisco: For public holidays in San Francisco click here»    

Internet coverage: The internet giant, Google, launched free Wi-Fi hotspots in selected areas and parks around the city. Check where and how you can connect to the SF Wi-Fi, here »   

Road conditions: The roads in San Francisco are well maintained.

About San Francisco

San Francisco is a Californian city, wrapped up in a stream of enigmatic fog, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and lush green hills. Known as “the City of Bay”, has been the starting point for many social revolutions and changes that had shaken the world. From the days of the Gold Rush, bohemian life of the hippie movement, and all the way to the biggest start-ups. San Francisco will without a doubt change the way you think and open your mind. 

Experience the most captivating oppositions of pure natural beauty while hiking up the pine-scented hills, which offer the most scenic views of the Pacific, to the hustle and bustle in lantern-strung streets of Chinatown and rattling cable cars driving up and down the city. 

San Francisco is a city that has it all and will easily provide something for every traveller out there. Plan your perfect trip and car hire at San Francisco Airport today! Make sure you add the most iconic and fascinating sites like the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, and Alcatraz Island to your travel itinerary. 

Driving in San Francisco

The City of Bay has a reputation as one of the most unique cities for driving around. The best way to explore this colourful city filled with historic neighborhoods is to car hire in San Francisco. Like many big cities, San Francisco is no stranger to heavy traffic during peak hours. You might experience some heavier traffic around popular tourist routes like the Golden Gate Bridge. Next thing you will experience while driving around in San Francisco are some steep inclines, especially around the downtown area. As a result, the law requires you curb your wheels when parking on hills, to prevent your car hire in San Francisco from moving. The city has a lot of one-way streets, therefore, paying attention to the road signs is important and it will prevent you from driving in the wrong direction and causing a traffic jam. San Francisco is also home to the most crooked street in the world. Driving on Lombard street can be a bit tricky as the paving bricks are a bit slippery, and the turns are tight. However, driving your car hire at San Francisco Airport, down this famous street is truly rewarding as it provides you with a beautiful view of the city and Golden Gate Bridge. Keep in mind, there are several toll roads in and around the city area. You also must pay a charge to cross certain bridges, including the Golden Gate Bridge and the Oakland Bay Bridge.

  • Age limits: You must be at least 21 years old to rent a car in San Francisco.
  • International Driving Permit: The state of California does not recognize IDP as a valid driver's license. 
  • Additional papers: You must have a valid driver's license and a credit card, which matches the driver's license holders' name. 
  • Additional requirements: Proof of ID in the form of a passport or ID card. 
  • Children in the car: In California, the law states that all children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat. Also, all children under 2 years must ride in a rear-facing car seat.
  • Driving side of the road: Drive on the right side of the road.
  • Lights: Dipped headlights have to be used at night and in poor daytime visibility, but it is recommended to use them every time.
  • General speed limits: The speed limit in the city is 25 mph, but on urban highways, it is set at 55 mph, and on rural highways it is between 65 and 70 mph. The speed limit on the iconic Golden Gate Bridge is 45 mph.
  • Parking suggestions: Finding a parking spot in San Francisco is easy, as the majority of the tourist sites offer parking, and there are many parking garages available throughout the city, however, some parking spots can be quite expensive. Find a parking spot for your car hire in San Francisco, here »

Drive your rental car around San Francisco

There is more to San Francisco that just Golden Gate Bridge. Drive your car hire in San Francisco to the southern part of this diverse Californian region known as the global centre for innovation, social media, and technology. Silicon Valley is home to some of the biggest companies you probably (and hopefully) heard of, like Google, Facebook (Hi Mark!), Apple, YouTube, Adobe, eBay and The Boring Company. Take the tour to one of the internet or technology giants, we can guarantee the trip through Silicon Valley will blow your mind! 

Drive your car hire in San Francisco back from Silicon Valley and visit the Palace of Fine Arts, which is the last remaining structure from the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition. This classical looking building is beautifully situated on a lagoon that reflects the mirror image on the surface of the calm water. A short drive away from the palace is the Walt Disney museum for all Disney enthusiasts.  

After that, visit the Golden Gate Park, where you can drop a visit to the California Academy of Sciences, which is an architectural marvel as well as a multifaceted museum, Botanical Garden, de Young Museum, which has full display of Fine-arts accompanied with a sculpture garden. 

Next stop on your San Francisco bucket or travel list should be the Financial District, where you will find some of the most interesting museums in the city, for example, Asian Art Museum, Children’s Creativity Museum and even the Museum of Ice Cream! Visit one of the fun museums and then take your car hire in San Francisco to drive through Lombard Street.  

What to see in San Francisco

Our favourite spots

Hotels in San Francisco

Where to eat, drink and party in San Francisco

Major events and festivals