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Explore Los Angeles with car hire from DriveNow
With more than 4 million people in the city alone and millions more in the surrounding counties, Los Angeles, along with New York, stands tall as one of the focal points of American culture. It’s got just about everything, or at the very least is just a short drive to it. You’ve got the beautiful beaches in and around Santa Monica, the huge stretches of national forest, and amazing road trip opportunities up and down the west coast. You’ve got sports teams. And, of course, you’ve got the entertainment elements that tinseltown has become so famous for.
This combination of massive population and the foremost crux of entertainment perhaps in the whole world makes Los Angeles one of the most attractive holiday destinations in the world. The sprawling nature of the city means you’ll want to take advantage of car rental in Los Angeles to ensure you’ve got the ways and means to take it all in. The traffic can be rough, but if you’re smart about when you set off and make sure to include a bit of cushion time for your drives, you’ll give yourself a better chance of avoiding the well-documented congestion and arrive at your desired destination safely and on time.
Car hire in LA gives you one less thing to worry about when planning your big trip, so you can focus on all the other bits and pieces that come with international travel. And in such a happening city you’re going to need all the time you can get!
Read on to discover our best picks on where to stay, where to eat, and the must-see attractions in the City of Angels.
Find and book the best deals on car hire at LAX or elsewhere in Los Angeles with DriveNow and save time and money.
Working with California's top rental companies we impartially publish the latest rates and deals on car hire in Los Angeles on one website, making it easier for the travelling public to find and book the best price. All you have to do is decide which make and model best suits your budget and travel plans.
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Our service is 100% free to the renter and allows you to browse and compare prices and vehicles on car rental in Los Angeles Airport. Making the booking is quick and simple and confirmed via email with all the details and info you require. In most instances there's no need to pay a deposit or provide credit card details upfront, simply pay for the vehicle and any optional extras you wish to take when collecting your hire car at LAX.
In short, DriveNow works with the US's best rental companies so you can quickly and easily compare and book the best rates on car hire in Los Angeles, as well as cheap car rentals at LAX and elsewhere in California.
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Los Angeles Airport is located 19 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles
No. of Terminals: 9
Timezone: GMT/UTC -7:00
Just as New York’s JFK Airport is the entry point for European travellers entering USA, Los Angeles Airport (LAX) is the North American gateway for millions of Australian travellers every year. Holding the mantle of seventh busiest airport in the world, LAX serves nearly 75 million passengers each year from more than 40 countries worldwide. To accommodate such massive transit numbers, LAX features a whopping nine terminals. If you have some spare time between flights, head to the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) for a bevy of shops, cafés, and dining options.
LAX Car Hire - Airline Terminal Locations Source: lawa.org
LAX is unsurprisingly big, and international travellers will have to rely on a shuttle bus to move between terminals. If Los Angeles is not your final destination, you can board a connecting flight from terminals 5, 6, 7, and 8, by hopping on the Airline Connections “A” shuttle that leaves every 12-15 minutes. The boarding area is located in front of the terminal as you exit. Following your arrival at the correct terminal you will need to pass through the security gates, so we suggest leaving at least three hours between flights to allow yourself enough time. Better safe than sorry!
No matter your Los Angeles travel plans, access to a car rental at LAX affords you the luxury and convenience of being able to travel at your own pace, and despite the airport’s size and crowds, car hire at Los Angeles Airport is not too difficult to navigate. Unlike most other airports around the world, offices for rental car companies are positioned away from the airport. However, major car companies such as Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, and Thrifty offer convenient, free shuttle services that pick you up just outside the baggage claim and escort you to their LAX car rental locations. Keep an eye out for the purple LAX rental car shuttle signs.
There are many different routes you can take to make your way to downtown LA from the airport, but perhaps the best option is to start out by taking Highway 105 west. You can then go north on Highway 110, which you’ll take up north past the University of Southern California campus, before hopping on I-10 and heading east.
Los Angeles can be different things to different people, which means the city needs a wide range of accommodation options to match such alternative visions of fun. From the famous and fantastic to the family friendly, here are a few of our favourite hotels in LA.
Montage Beverly Hills
If you’re looking for a taste of the high-flying glitzy, glamourous life, head for the Hills. Beverly Hills has built quite the reputation for style and panache, and it has the hotels to back it up. With the famed Rodeo Drive and a stack of top-end retailers, you might just want to leave your LA hire car in the garage and explore on foot. Keep an eye out for the rich and famous as they’re often spotted shopping or dining in the area.
Montage Beverly Hills looks more like a billionaire’s compound than a hotel, with an immaculate façade coupled with an incredible marble courtyard and fountain. And it feels just as opulent inside. Consistently ranked among the top luxury hotels in Los Angeles by esteemed publications such as Forbes and Conde Nast Traveller, the hotel has made a massive impression since opening in 2008.
The Beverly Hills Hotel
If you’re looking for something with a bit more history behind it, The Beverly Hills Hotel is another Beverly Hills favourite that’s hard to beat. Hosting some of the biggest players in Hollywood, “The Pink Palace” and its iconic pink plaster walls have seen all manner of behaviour and debauchery. Sitting on Sunset Boulevard and surrounded by grand gardens, you’re walking distance from some of the city’s main attractions – that is if you can rip yourself away from the relaxing, palm-tree pool area.
Magic Castle Hotel
If the prestige of the aforementioned Beverly Hills hotels doesn’t suit your budget or lifestyle, the Magic Castle Hotel offers simpler digs at more reasonable prices in Hollywood. Perfect for families travelling to tinseltown, the hotel is situated just a short walk from the famous Chinese Theatre and Hollywood Walk of Fame. You can use your Los Angeles car hire to head to the beaches out west, about a half hour’s drive away. What you won’t find in luxury you will find in location and hospitality at the Magic Castle Hotel.
The Line Hotel
A group effort spearheaded by the Sydell Group, The Line Hotel on Wilshere Boulevard in Koreatown features comfortable, contemporary amenities inside and an incredible view to the outside via floor-to-ceiling windows in each room. The hotel itself encapsulates a lot of the culture and activity that makes Los Angeles one of the liveliest cities in the country. A perfect example of this is Break Room 86, a hip bar curated by Koreatown locals Mark and Jonnie Houston.
There’s certainly no shortage of iconic locations spread throughout LA, and having the keys to your own Los Angeles car rental means you can give yourself a chance to see them all.
Los Angeles is home to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, but being a beach town, you can also take advantage of California's endless summer. Venice Beach is a must see, with its famous boardwalk, muscle beach, skate dancing plaza, and beach volleyball courts. Long Beach, a city in its own right, 35km south of downtown Los Angeles, is home of the original Queen Mary. Tour this grand dame of the sea from the first half of the 20th century. Also check out the Aquarium of the Pacific.
A short distance east of Long Beach in Anaheim is Disneyland, a favourite of the young and young at heart. Or visit Beverly Hills for some star-spotting. In March, the city hosts the Oscar awards ceremony with plenty of Hollywood royalty in attendance.
The list of things to do and see in Los Angeles really is endless, but read on for a few more of our favourite attractions in LA.
The famous Hollywood sign is a Los Angeles landmark and American cultural icon
The Hollywood sign is one of the most famous landmarks in all of the United States. Sitting high above the city on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills, the sign has been standing tall since its completion in 1923. While putting your hands on it is illegal, there are a few ways you can get up close and personal with the towering 14m (45 foot) high letters. There are three hiking trails (an easy, a medium, and an advanced level) that can take you to different vantage points. If you don’t want to hike, there are various points around LA that are known for having great viewpoints, including the famous Mulholland Drive, which is almost reason enough to check out car rental in LA.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame: where the stars are immortalised
Another piece of the glitzy and glamorous puzzle that is Los Angeles is the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Spanning Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, the famed stretch features more than 2,000 stars. There are two new stars dedicated each month. If you want to be in attendance when a new name is added, all you have to do is show up! There are no tickets to be purchased. Just watch where you step, OK?
The Sunset Strip
The Sunset Strip is a section of Sunset Boulevard running from Beverly Hills into West Hollywood that made a name for itself as a safe space for alternative, and sometimes illegal, culture and activity in decades past. The stretch, which spans about 2.4km (1.5 miles), begins around Sierra Alta Way and Doheny Road and moves east to North Crescent Heights Boulevard. From the 1920s to the 1940s, the area was a safe haven for gamblers and nightclub goers who wanted to operate out of the jurisdiction of the LAPD. The Sunset Strip was also home to a burgeoning rock music scene, with seminal clubs including The Roxy and the Whiskey a Go Go packing in fans and pumping out the tunes late into the night.
Nowadays the Strip has been tamed, but it is still home a huge collection of shops and venues. Take your LA car hire to one end of the Strip and go for a stroll. Or you can head out with a more detailed plan, hitting up a rock show at the aforementioned joints or taking in a comedy gig at the famed Laugh Factory. When you see the giant billboards lining the streets, you’ll know you’re in the right place.
LA Live and the Staples Center
Since the completion of its third and final phase in 2009, LA Live has combined with the nearby Staples Center to provide an all-in-one destination for locals and visitors alike. Located at the junction of West Olympic Boulevard and South Figueroa Street, LA Live is a thriving hub of activity just about any night of the week. You’ll find everything from some of the biggest names in the hotel world to a movie theatre, bowling alley, and a range of nightclubs. Whether travelling with mates or toting the family, piling into your Los Angeles car hire and heading for LA Live is a great idea.
The Staples Center is home to the National Basketball Association’s (NBA’s) Los Angeles Lakers, one of the most famous and successful franchises in all of American sport. Catch them in action, or see the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers or the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League.
The food scene in Los Angeles rivals its world famous entertainment landscape. Although there are hundreds of amazing options, here are a few for you to sink your teeth into.
The flagship of the Wolfgang Puck enterprise, Spago, in the heart of the ritzy Beverly Hills on Canon Drive, has long been considered one of the top eating experiences in a city full of them. The launchpad for an international eating empire, Spago has been scooping up awards for years for its inventive menu and exhaustive wine list. A revamped dining room and courtyard serve as wonderful backdrops for everybody from Hollywood A-listers to normal everyday folk.
If you like your desserts tasty and colourful, The Milk Shop is the place for you. Churning out everything from sensational shakes to wonderful baked goods, the shop’s two locations, one in Beverly Hills and the other in Silverlake, house an ice cream parlour and a bakeshop, so you can treat yourself and your fellow travellers to a variety of different treats.
The substantial macaron ice cream sandwiches look as good as they taste (which is pretty darn good, by the way), and the ice cream bars take a simple concept and turn it on its head with intriguing exotic flavours. The baked goods are just as wonderful, with cakes and cookies that put standard versions to shame.
One of the greatest things about Los Angeles is terms of tourism is that there are loads of food trucks stationed around the city on any given day, meaning there’s a good chance you’ll never be too far from a solid feed. Perhaps the most popular of these street food offerings are taco trucks.
The lifetime achievement award, were there to be one, would probably be given to Marisco Jalisco, a longtime member of the LA food truck scene that consistently pumps out some of the city’s top Mexican food.
Another great entry in the collection of movable Mexican feasts is Guerrilla Tacos, which has gotten the tick of approval from thousands of locals, including noted Los Angeles Times food critic, Jonathan Gold.
Check out some of these great snack stops to see why our car rental in Los Angeles isn’t the only thing that is quick and cheap!
Experience traditional American-fare at the iconic In-N-Out Burger
As far as iconic burger joints go, In-N-Out Burger ranks right up there at the top of the list. Just ask the Australians who line up for hours whenever a pop-up from the classic fast food figure hits down under. We can hardly blame them as the simple menu’s scant selection of burgers, fries, and shakes packs a delicious punch. The now-unveiled secret menu means there’s no reason you shouldn’t get your burgers done Animal Style, complete with extra spread and grilled onions.
While there are plenty of amazing things to do within the city limits of LA, the city is also a fantastic starting point for prolonged road trips that can help you see some of the most delicious scenery North America has to offer. If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime road trip, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than the many routes originating from Los Angeles.
Adventurous types can use DriveNow for campervan hire in Los Angeles and see where the open road takes them, venturing up north toward the outdoor havens of Washington and Oregon. Of course, if you’re looking for something a bit more concrete, here are a few classic routes that can take you out of the shadows of the HOLLYWOOD sign and into the great wide open.
Los Angeles to San Francisco
Enjoy a scenic drive up Pacific Highway 1 in your LA car rental
Perhaps the most well-travelled road trip route out of Los Angeles is up Pacific Highway 1, which stretches north to San Francisco and all the way up to Seattle. The drive spans about 500 miles, which sounds like a lot. But once you see what it has to offer, you just might not want it to end.
The Pacific Ocean will keep you company outside the driver’s side window as you head in your car rental from Los Angeles. Budget a few days to get the whole trip done, as there are numerous places to pull over for everything from a few quick photos to longer overnight stays. The beautiful, beachy Malibu and Santa Barbara are great places to check out early on in the trip. Before you reach your destination, visit the old-timey Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk to be transported back decades. Also make sure to snap some shots at magnificent Half Moon Bay in San Mateo.
For optimal road trip enjoyment, try to travel with at least one other person so you can take turns behind the wheel. It’s only fair that everybody gets a chance to drink in the breathtaking scenery! You could also consider ending your time in LA with this trip, driving north and returning your hire car to San Francisco Airport or even all the way up to the Seattle Airport before taking off for your next location.
Car Hire Los Angeles to Las Vegas
Vegas, baby, Vegas. It’s all possible with car hire in LA.
You know that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but nothing can happen if you can’t get there. Fortunately for you, it’s a short drive to one of the top entertainment locations in the country, if not the world. Car hire in Los Angeles can give you the means to travel west, setting course for the bright lights of Vegas. Once you’re there, you probably won’t need your LA car rental for much, as most of the finest attractions the city has to offer are within walking distance.
The trip is about 270 miles, much of which you’ll spend on I-15. Depending on traffic, you could be in Sin City in about four hours and ready to hit the famous Las Vegas Strip. Once you’re there, it’s worth spending some time popping into each casino to check out the themed décor even if you don’t fancy a bet. Hop in a gondola for a ride through the Venetian or take a roller coaster ride at New York-New York. And, whatever you do, don’t forget to watch the Bellagio fountains do their thing at night.
Of course, it would be a shame to get so close to the Grand Canyon and not experience its majesty. The distance of the drive from Las Vegas varies depending on which part of the expanse you want to see, and the circuitous route could take at least four hours if you want to check out the fabled South Rim. Doing it all in a day in your LA car hire is possible, but a better option could be to spend the night there before heading back.
If the city has taken too much out of you (which it’s certainly known to do), you don’t have to worry about driving back to LA. Just drop your hire car off at Las Vegas Airport and catch a flight instead.