Driving in a different country, state or even town can always throw up some problems you simply weren’t expecting. Here are three to plan around if you’re hiring a car and doing a self-drive in Los Angeles.
1. Prebook Your Hotel on a Saturday Night
If you are arriving in LA on a Saturday night and need accommodation make a reservation before hand! We were told by various hotel reception staff and saw with our own eyes that Saturday nights are EXTREMELY busy in LA.
From the moment we collected our hire car at 9pm we spend around 2 hours searching for a hotel room with two very tired and fed up kids in the back who just wanted a bed. Not fun. If we were to do this again I would definitely prebook LA accommodation on a Saturday night!
2. Get Competitive on the Car Hire Shuttle Bus
To get to your rental car at LAX you will need to catch a shuttle bus. It is all very straight forward as you just wait for the bus connected to your hire car company, for us it was Dollar, and it takes you to where you need to go. It’s all very straight forward until the buses are full and then there are a lot of you waiting for the same bus. Now the game has changed and getting on the shuttle bus is a full-on competitive sport! The buses don’t always stop at the same place so you have to chase them up and down the sidewalk and unfortunately, those with children and lots of baggage are always going to loose this game. The bus drivers aren’t particularly interested in helping out, so if you find yourself in a similar situation, my advice is get bold, get brave and get on anyway you can!
3. Toll Roads
Watch out for the toll roads around LA. If you find yourself on one, pay attention! Often you can’t pay cash and you will need to go online to sort it out. The i5 is a good road to aim for if you’re travelling south, just to start you off.
Here’s a map from The Toll Roads leaflet I picked up and you can also find out more information on their website