One Way Car Rental from Los Angeles to San Francisco

One way car rental from Los Angeles to San Francisco

One way car rental from Los Angeles to San Francisco

Best rent car to drive from LA to SF: Convertible

Distance: 381 mi to 460 mi as per the route

Best Route: US-101 N

Los Angeles to San Francisco is one of the most popular road trips of US and hundreds of travelers rent cars especially to experience it on their own time and pace. Quite understandable! There is so much to do and see in both the cities and on the way from LA to SF that this road trips proves to be a big satiating travel experience in itself. No wonder many people book one-way car rentals and spend 2 to 3 weeks exploring all that they can find while going from LA to SF or vice versa!

The drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco is a much-loved scenic drive in the world. Ideally people spend a few days in Los Angeles and at least a week in SF (as there is relatively more to see in San Francisco), and another week or two on the way while driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

Car rental from Los Angeles to San Francisco no one way fee

While with some suppliers like Sixt there is no one-way fee from LA to SF with other suppliers this is not the case. Almost all suppliers charge a fee for the one-way service if you want to pick the car in Los Angeles and return it to San Francisco or vice versa. On USA Cars Rental, you can reserve a one-way from Los Angeles to San Francisco by using the ‘Different drop-off location?’ section on our search form.

Best Available routes

Interstate 5 (I-5)

Distance from LA to SF via I-5: Approx. 381 miles

  • This is the fastest route & is neither interesting nor scenic.
  • Potential hazards: High winds at Tejon Pass and look out for trucks as I-5 is a major corridor for trucks.
  • Side trips: Antelope valley and Vasquez Rocks

US -101

Distance from LA to SF via US 101: Approx.  425 mi

  • Though this route is a bit longer than I-5, it is comparatively more interesting and scenic.
  • Places to see on the way: Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Hearst Castle, Big Sur, Carmel, Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Jose.
  • Different routes that you can take: While going from Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo, there are two routes – one is the coastal route while the other one is the inland route. Costal route is best for people towing along a big trailer.

State Route 99

Distance from LA to SF via State Route 99: Approx.  400 mi

  • Route 99 is located in San Joaquin Valley and is full of scenic views!
  • Highlights: The best thing about this route is that it allows you to cover the beautiful Yosemite National Park. In summers, the highway is best known for what they call ‘food tourism’.
  • Potential Hazards: Just like Highway 5, you will encounter a lot of trucks and traffic, and tule fog in winters.

Highway 1/Pacific coast highway

Distance from LA to SF via Highway 1: Approx.  455 mi

  • Going from LA to SF through pacific coast highway is the longest route with the best scenery ever, and covers comparatively more interesting stops.
  • Best car type: This is not a good choice in case you are renting big motor homes
  • Places to see on the way: San Luis Obispo, Hearst Castle, Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel and Pacific Grove, Santa Cruz