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Experience the unbeatable customer service of our car rental company in Santa Monica. Whether you're heading to the bustling Third Street Promenade or the tranquil Santa Monica Pier, our friendly team is on hand, providing insights to enhance your journey. Enjoy the unique ocean-side city atmosphere in one of our top-quality cars, knowing that our assistance is just a phone call away.

Car Rental in Santa Monica

A Guide to the Most Unmissable Spots and Experiences

City car in vibrant Santa Monica, pier, cyclists, palm trees

Just a short drive from downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica is a beachfront city with a charming blend of natural beauty, rich history, and diverse culture. From the iconic Santa Monica Pier to the trendy boutiques on Main Street, Santa Monica offers a unique experience for every traveler. Unwind on the sandy shores of Santa Monica Beach, take in the views atop the Pacific Wheel, or immerse yourself in art at Bergamot Station.

An absolute must-see is the historic Santa Monica Pier. Filled with rides, games, restaurants, and even an aquarium, the pier generates an atmosphere of fun and excitement. Another iconic spot is the Third Street Promenade, a bustling shopping street known for its outdoor entertainment. For those seeking a more refined setting, The Broad Stage is a premier destination for classical music, theater, and dance performances.

Stretch your legs on the 26-mile Marvin Braude Bike Trail running along the coast, or take a scenic drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu. The stunning views along the way are worth the trip alone. From Santa Monica, you’re also less than a two-hour drive from other Southern California highlights, like the surf mecca of Huntington Beach or the theme parks in Orange County. Whatever your interests, Santa Monica is an unbeatable starting point for exploring Southern California by car.

Car Rental FAQs

Your Queries Resolved

1. How much does it cost to rent a car in Santa Monica?

The cost of car rental in Santa Monica can vary depending on your requirements. On average, you can expect to pay between $30 and $70 per day. Luxury models can cost significantly more.

2. What car model is most demanded for rental in Santa Monica?

The most demanded car models for rental in Santa Monica are often compact cars or SUVs. These vehicles are suitable for the local terrain and are fuel-efficient, making them a popular choice among tourists and locals alike.

3. What are the most popular locations to rent a car in Santa Monica?

Popular locations for car rentals in Santa Monica include downtown Santa Monica, Santa Monica Pier Area and near the famous Santa Monica Beach. Depending on your preference, you can choose the location that suits you best.

4. Is there 24-hour pickup and drop-off service available?

Yes, most car rental services in Santa Monica offer 24-hour pickup and drop-off. However, before confirming your rental, it's always advised to check with the service provider.

5. Is there a minimum rental period?

Yes, most service providers require a minimum rental period which is usually 24 hours.

6. What is the minimum age required to rent a car in Santa Monica?

Typically, the minimum age to rent a car in Santa Monica is 21 years. However, providers may add a surcharge for drivers under 25 years of age.

7. What documentation do I need to rent a car in Santa Monica?

To rent a car in Santa Monica, you will need a valid driver's license, an accepted form of payment, and proof of insurance. If you are a foreign visitor, an International Driving Permit might be required.

8. What's the best time of year to visit Santa Monica by car?

The best time to visit Santa Monica by car is from September to November when the temperature is more moderate and the streets are less crowded.

9. What are the main airports in Santa Monica?

The main airport in Santa Monica is the Santa Monica Municipal Airport. However, most visitors fly into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is also nearby.

10. Can I pickup the car in Santa Monica and drop it off in another city?

Normally, yes. Most rental services provide the option to drop off the rented vehicle at a different location. However, an additional fee may be charged.

Car Rental Reviews


Santa Monica – 23-11-2023. Who said age slows you down? At 76, I rented a car with this company, and it was quick and easy. The car was sparkling clean and very comfortable. Though I found the price a little bit steep, the overall experience was great. Plus, everyone was so friendly and patient, which goes a long way these days.


Santa Monica – 05-10-2023. I'm a businessman and I travel frequently to Santa Monica for work. I rented a luxury car from this company and I have to admit; they offer value for money. The car was absolutely top-quality, and it was a pleasure driving around the city in it. Looking forward to the next trip!


Santa Monica – 08-07-2023. As a college student on a tight budget, I was looking for an affordable rental for a weekend getaway. This company was a real savior with their student discount! I managed to land a well-maintained, compact car that was perfect for my trip to the Santa Monica mountains.


Santa Monica – 22-05-2023. A family man needs a family car, even on vacation. This company provided just the one I was looking for. It was spacious with excellent safety features. Driving down the coastal roads of Santa Monica with the family was such a breeze. Will be back for sure.


Santa Monica – 15-02-2023. I used to be quite skeptical about car rentals. But this company changed my perception. Their service was efficient, their personnel professional, and the car was in prime condition. Made my time in Santa Monica even more special. A big thumbs-up!


Santa Monica – 10-01-2023. You know how they say - 'you get what you pay for'. Well, it's true in this case. The car rental price is a little high, but absolutely worth it. The car was super clean, well-maintained, and the pick-up/drop-off was hassle-free. It really enhanced my Santa Monica experience.

Road Links from Santa Monica

Providing you reliable route information for your journey.

  1. Santa Monica - Los Angeles: A journey of 26 kilometers via I-10 E. It normally takes around 30 minutes driving, traffic dependent. Roads are in good condition.
  2. Santa Monica - San Diego: Route spans 201 kilometers, mainly through I-5 S. Approximately 2 hours driving. Freeway usually experiences heavy traffic during peak hours.
  3. Santa Monica - San Francisco: Route encompasses 611 kilometers via US-101 N/I-280 N, typically a 6 hour drive. The road condition is generally good but can be busy during holidays.
  4. Santa Monica - Las Vegas: This connection is about 438 kilometers via I-15 N, approximately a 4-hour drive. Ensure to check road weather conditions during winter.
  5. Santa Monica - Palm Springs: A distance of 213 kilometers via I-10 E. A leisurely 2 hours drive. An excellent road condition is usually maintained.
  6. Santa Monica - Santa Barbara: Approximately a 142 kilometers journey via US-101 N. A 1.5 hour drive with good road conditions.
  7. Santa Monica - Ventura: A shorter connection of 66 kilometers via US-101 N. Roughly 50 minutes driving time with consistently well maintained roads.

Driving in Santa Monica

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the general speed limit in Santa Monica?

While speed limits may vary depending on the area, the standard speed limit in residential areas is 25 mph (40 km/h) and in main streets is typically 35 mph (56 km/h).

2. Do I need a specific driving license to drive in Santa Monica?

Foreign licenses are usually accepted. However, if your driver's license is not written in English, it's recommended to have an International Driving Permit in addition to your original license.

3. Where are speed radar locations commonly placed in this city?

Radar locations are not fixed and can be placed anywhere. Therefore, it's essential to always abide by the speed limit to avoid fines.

4. How does the toll system operate?

There are multiple toll roads all over the US. Most tolls have automated systems, some offer the possibility of cash payments but in general, many tolls operate on electronic payment or bill by mail.

5. What are the most important traffic rules for driving in the US?

Always drive on the right-hand side of the road, obey speed limits, never overtake a school bus with flashing red lights, and always stop at stop signs and red lights.

6. Is the traffic generally heavy or light in Santa Monica?

Traffic is typically heavy during rush hours, in the morning (7-9 am) and evening (4-7 pm) from Monday to Friday. During these hours you may expect longer travels.

7. What side of the road do I drive on in Santa Monica?

As with the rest of the U.S, in Santa Monica, you must drive on the right-hand side of the road.

8. Are there residential areas where different driving rules apply?

The basic driving rules across residential areas in Santa Monica are generally the same. However, speed limits might be lower and you may find more traffic calming features such as speed humps and roundabouts.

9. What is the highway speed limit?

Speed limits on highways in the U.S. can vary from 55 mph (88 km/h) to 85 mph (137 km/h). Be sure to check the posted signs as the speed limit can change frequently.

10. In case of a car accident, what should I do?

First, safely move your car out of traffic if possible. Then call the police, exchange information with the other driver(s) involved and contact your car insurance company to report the incident.

11. Are there any specific parking rules in Santa Monica?

Be sure to read the signs before parking. Some areas require a permit or have a time limit. Other places may have restrictions for street cleaning times.

12. Do I need to carry any particular documents while driving?

Yes, you should always have with you a valid driver’s licence, proof of insurance, and car registration while driving.

13. Is there a rule about passing vehicles on freeways?

In general, the leftmost lane on multilane freeways is used for passing slower vehicles. After passing you should return to the right when it is safe to do so.

14. Are there any rules specific to driving in rain or snow?

During adverse weather conditions, you are advised to slow down, turn on your headlights, and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. If it's snowing, chains may be required.

15. Are car seats compulsory for children?

Yes, California law requires all children under the age of 8 or less than 4’9” in height to be secured in a car seat or booster set in the back seat.

Explore Santa Monica

Top 8 Driving Destinations

  1. Santa Monica Pier: Iconic, 100-year-old landmark with a ferris wheel, aquarium & more.
  2. Third Street Promenade: Popular pedestrian street filled with shops and restaurants.
  3. Palisades Park: Perfect for picnics with stunning views of the ocean.
  4. Will Rogers State Historic Park: Offers hiking trails and polo grounds on a former actor's estate.
  5. Santa Monica Beach: A classic Southern California beach with bike rentals available.
  6. Venice Canals Walkway: A scenic and serene walk along man-made canals.
  7. Santa Monica Farmers Market: Outdoor marketplace featuring food vendors, local produce, and more.
  8. Santa Monica Museum of Art: Contemporary art museum with rotating exhibits.

Best Roadtrips from Santa Monica

Top Scenic Rides for Car Travel Enthusiasts

  1. Pacific Coast Highway: This historic route stretches around 882 kilometers from San Francisco to San Diego, passing through charming coastal towns and stunning cliff-side views.
  2. Route 66: One of the most famous road trips globally, Route 66 covers around 3,940 kilometers from Chicago to Santa Monica, filled with nostalgic attractions and diverse landscapes.
  3. Death Valley Scenic Byway: A 306 kilometers drive from Santa Monica that leads to the hottest, driest, and lowest national park in America, featuring dramatic desert landscapes.
  4. Joshua Tree Journey: 230 kilometers away from Santa Monica, this trip offers unique desert vistas, quirky towns, and a national park renowned for its twisted, bristled Joshua trees.
  5. California Route 1 Discovery Route: Spanning 643 kilometers, this journey brings you from Santa Monica to Cambria along the dramatic California coastline, featuring historic lighthouses and stunning beach views.
  6. Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks: Located approximately 368 kilometers from Santa Monica, these neighboring parks are known for their huge sequoias, including the world's largest tree.
  7. The Wine Lover’s Route: This 445 kilometers long scenic drive from Santa Monica takes you through beautiful coastline, valleys, and vineyards to wine country in Paso Robles.