Driving in Los Angeles – What you need to know

The second biggest city in the United States and the world capital of entertainment, Los Angeles is one of the most exciting places on the planet. Home to Hollywood, the rich and famous and much more, it’s no wonder why Los Angeles is a top destination for hiring a car.

Angelenos love their cars, so much so that it is believed a resident of Los Angeles County spends an estimated 4 days of each year stuck in traffic!  There is no better way of getting around, however, so the people of Los Angeles have learned to drive and deal with traffic and delays as part of their lifestyle.

The off-peak time for driving in Los Angeles is between 11pm to 5am, so if you are planning to rent a car in Los Angeles , night is the ideal time to schedule your itinerary if you want to avoid the worst traffic delays.  Not only does Los Angeles have one of the largest high-speed road networks in the world, it also has the globe’s largest car population, which contributes hugely to its congestion problems.

Now that you’ve got an idea of just how bad it can get, you will want to know how to plan your driving route to avoid the worst traffic delays.  The best way to organise your driving itinerary is to get a copy of the Thomas Guide.  The Thomas Guide can be purchased at any bookstore in LA at approximately $20-$30.  Alternatively you can purchase Rand McNally maps, which incorporate the Thomas Guide.  These are available at most supermarkets, gas stations, and convenience stores.

It is important to be aware that all freeways are identified by a name and number.  Number 101 Freeway is referred to as “The” 101 Freeway, always accompanied by the word “The”.  The name of a freeway usually identifies where the freeway goes, but as freeways extend in two directions, they can have two different names. Don’t be alarmed! This is not as complicated as it sounds. The 110, for example, runs from Pasadena in the north to the LA harbour in the south, and is therefore called both the Harbor Freeway and the Pasadena Freeway – depending on the direction in which you are travelling.  The Hollywood Freeway is unusual, as it runs from 170 Freeway in the north to 101 Freeway in the south, only passing through Hollywood and not ending up in Hollywood as you might expect. Also, the 405 is known as the San Diego Freeway – but it doesn’t go to San Diego.

The best way to put your mind at ease if you are concerned about renting a car in Los Angeles is to make sure your rental car has a satellite navigation system or GPS system before you book your car hire.

Whatever you do, don’t abandon your car hire plans! The best way to discover Los Angeles is by car, so feel the freedom and independence of the open road and reserve car hire Los Angeles securely online today.

Have you been to Los Angeles? Please feel free to tell us about your experience and what tips you may have about driving in Los Angeles.