Tips on Renting a Car in Los Angeles

Please make your own arrangements if you would like to rent a car during your visit to the Caltech-USC Center for Theoretical Physics. The following information may be useful.

You should be able to rent a car in Los Angeles for as low as $18-21 per day, or $100-125 per week, unlimited mileage. If you are willing to make the effort you can go even lower. This low rate usually does not include insurance which could be expensive. However, you may save or you may avoid paying for insurance by considering these points. See also general tips on renting a car.

USC has contracts with Hertz and Alamo to provide discounts and cover collision dammage waiver (CDW) when a car is rented for official business purposes by USC employees or visitors paid by USC. If you would like to take advantage of this, please read the following information on discounts and follow the instructions.

Major companies

Here are some 800-numbers for car rental companies. The major car rental companies Hertz, Avis, Alamo, National, Budget, etc. always have special deals which are available usually within a month or a few weeks of the date of rental, but may not be available if you make reservations well in advance. If you make a reservation make sure that you check again close to your arrival date if they have a better "special" deal. Also, you may be able to get discounts by mentioning your membership in AAA, Frequent traveller programs of various airlines, corporate discount for your university, etc.

The major companies may give you better service if you need their help. Also, they can afford to give you a larger car if they are short of cars in the category you have reserved. The special deals may offer rates that are as good as the rates of local companies.

Local Companies

In the Los Angeles area there is a large number of smaller local car rental companies that offer cheap rates. Some examples are: or call toll free 1 (800) 747-7766.
    They offered to us $16.92/day, 97.92/week for MIDSIZE car. (Not including taxes)
Bob Leech (cheap, limit 150 miles per day)

For the LAX airport area, and more generally for greater Los Angeles, many more can be found in
Yahoo search

For the Burbank airport area here is a convenient list of car companies.

More general

A list of car rental companies in the US, Europe, etc..