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San Luis Obispo car rentals

Driver's age: 26-65
Tue 30/4
Tue 7/5

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San Luis Obispo car rental information

Pick-up locationSan Luis Obispo
Car types
Rental locations11
Airport locations6

Cheap car rentals in San Luis Obispo

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Mini
Economy
Compact
Intermediate
Standard
Full-size
Luxury
Minivan
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SUV
Commercial
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KAYAK’s top tips for renting a car in San Luis Obispo

  • Choosing a vehicle from San Luis Obispo car rentals enables you to navigate attraction sites, such as Pismo Beach, just 10 miles away. The beach is best for water sports enthusiasts and is a perfect place for kayaking and sailing. Bubblegum Alley is less than a mile away from San Luis Obispo and takes only 4 minutes. The iconic site is known for used bubble gum accumulation on the alley walls. The local farmer's market is also a worthwhile destination for visitors. It is held on Higuera Street between Chorro and Osos Streets every Thursday evening, just a mile away from San Luis Obispo.
  • You will find no car rental offices at the Amtrak Station in San Luis Obispo. However, some cheap car rentals in San Luis Obispo can conveniently deliver a vehicle to a location of your choosing. If you want to pick up your rental car from their offices that is a great option too. There are several locations along Broad Street where you can a company to rent you a vehicle.
  • San Luis Obispo has excellent transport infrastructure. However, you may not miss traffic build-ups during weekly events such as the local farmers' market, which is held every Thursday night. Hundreds of residents flock to the fiesta that offers blooming flowers, fresh locally grown produce, handmade craft goods, jewelry, and farm-to-table dinners for less than $10. Higuera Street may be closed during this event, causing traffic in the city. Indubitably, the navigation system installed in your car will help you navigate and find less congested roads.
  • Renting a car in San Luis Obispo is a convenient and flexible means of visiting the city and getting a feel of the culture. Several airports are remotely far from the town center, such as the Santa Barbara Airport, approximately 75.8 miles away, and the Los Angeles International Airport, 158.9 miles away, thus it is more ideal and cheaper to opt for rental cars in San Luis Obispo. There are also several sandy beaches, hot springs, and beautiful landscapes located a few miles out of town, easily accessible using a personal vehicle.
  • Some of the car rentals in San Luis Obispo are conveniently situated at the San Luis Obispo County (SBP) Airport, including Enterprise, Avis, Hertz, and Easier, which can be found at the baggage claim area at the Car Rental Center with the cars parked around 260 feet from the terminal. Off-site rentals, such as Budget, can be accessed via the airport shuttle, which is located on the east side of the terminal and are cheaper than taxis.
  • Like other major cities, visitors are advised to be cautious while on the road and observe traffic rules. There are a few intersections in San Luis Obispo which are known to be hazard zones, especially to speeding drivers, such as the Santa Rosa and Foothill intersection and Los Osos Valley and Calle Joaquin intersection. There are also a few cases of distracted driving, as well as jaywalkers and cyclists who fail to observe traffic laws. While selecting a vehicle in one of the car rentals in San Luis Obispo, it advisable to get GPS to be able to navigate through unfamiliar roads.
  • The rush hour in San Luis Obispo is pretty short-lived, with commuters spending an average of around 15 to 20min on the road, but is usually extended on roads undergoing construction. Rush hour in the morning is usually between 7:30am and 8:30am when people are leaving for work and school, and picks back up at 6pm to 7pm when people are heading back home. Heavy rains are also known to extend commute times in San Luis Obispo.
  • Book your rental car in San Luis Obispo at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
  • Economy rental cars in San Luis Obispo are around 48% cheaper than other car types, on average

San Luis Obispo car rental experiences: the best tips from KAYAK users

Insights shared by verified travelers who rented a car in San Luis Obispo 
Verified travelerApr. 2024
Just go with Enterprise! They partner with Cal Poly, so you can count on high quality service and availability.
Verified travelerAug. 2023
Book way in advance for good rates
HingMay 2023
It’s a tiny airport and the car rental facility was east to navigate.

FAQs about renting a car in San Luis Obispo

  • What type of car is recommended for driving in San Luis Obispo?

    There are several options to choose from at San Luis Obispo car rentals, depending on whether you’re considering a solo trip or planning to explore the Central Coast area as a group. Compact vehicles are recommended for when your visit to San Luis Obispo is concentrated in the town, while large SUVs are more ideal for large numbers of people and are a more comfortable option for those who visit the landscape in the outskirts of town.

  • What’s the speed limit in San Luis Obispo?

    The statutory speed limit in San Luis Obispo is set at 50mph. School zones have a set speed limit of between 15mph and 40mph at specific times of the day, while the speed limit in the business district is 25mph. There are also a couple of speed traps set up on Foothill Ave between Casa St and California Blvd, as well as Northbound Hwy 1, thus motorists are advised to drive with caution.

  • Where are the best places to park in San Luis Obispo?

    There are several parking options available while on your stay in San Luis Obispo. There are parking garages such as the City of San Luis Obispo Parking as well as the Marsh Street Parking Structure, which closes at around 6pm and provide 1h free parking on weekdays, 2h free parking on Saturdays, and all-day free parking on Sundays. The municipal lot on Marsh St provides free parking for up to 2h. Parking is free in Downtown San Luis Obispo.

  • What is the best rental car company in San Luis Obispo?

    Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car rental companies in San Luis Obispo are Avis (8.1, 51 reviews), and Budget (7.1, 70 reviews).

  • How much is gas price in San Luis Obispo?

    The average gas price in San Luis Obispo is C$ 5.29 per litre over the past 30 days. Filling up a gas tank costs between C$ 63 and C$ 85, depending on the car size.

  • What is the most popular rental car in San Luis Obispo?

    Economy (Ford Fiesta or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in San Luis Obispo.

  • How can I find car rentals near me in San Luis Obispo?

    Take a look at our extensive car rental location map to find the best rental cars near you.

  • How much does an Economy car rental cost in San Luis Obispo?

    An Economy car rental in San Luis Obispo costs C$ 66 per day, on average.

  • How much does an Intermediate car rental cost in San Luis Obispo?

    An Intermediate car rental in San Luis Obispo costs C$ 80 per day, on average.

  • How much does a Compact car rental cost in San Luis Obispo?

    A Compact car rental in San Luis Obispo costs C$ 101 per day, on average.

  • Are there HOV lanes in San Luis Obispo?

    While there are numerous high occupancy vehicle lanes in California, you will not find any while cruising in your vehicle from cheap car rentals in San Luis Obispo through the city. However, you are free to carpool in the city. Notably, a project aimed at adding HOV lanes on South Coast Highway 101, which passes through San Luis Obispo, is underway.

  • Are there toll roads in San Luis Obispo?

    While California has numerous express lanes that charge a toll, San Luis Obispo doesn’t charge any fees for road usage. However, this doesn’t mean that you will find heavy traffic on the city’s roads. The highways are usually clear unless an event featuring road closure occurs. At all times, be sure to check on the road sign. Cameras monitor your driving, and the CHP may call for a fine.

San Luis Obispo car rental reviews and directory

Avis

8.1

Very good

110 reviews
Best rated

Cleanliness

8.4

Comfort

8.6

Pick-up/Drop-off

8.2

Value for money

7.7

2 locations in San Luis Obispo

Show locations

Locations in San Luis Obispo

333 Madonna Road

+1 805 595 1464

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday08:00 - 17:00
Sunday10:00 - 14:00

975 Airport Drive, Suite 8

+1 805 544 0630

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday09:00 - 22:00
Sunday09:00 - 22:00

Filters

Reviews

6.0 Okay

Mar. 2024

KAYAK
Didn’t receive receipt or email of final charges. Also was charged a $200 “deposit” in addition to rental charges. They are supposed to reverse the $200 “deposit” ???

10.0 Wonderful

Dec. 2023

KAYAK
Pickup was fast, good, well maintained. Car. Paperwork was a minimum. Drop off was during a huge rainstorm at Santa Barbara airport. They were Avis reps outside who took care of just about everything. Couldn't have been better under the circumstances.

10.0 Wonderful

Apr. 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

Staff was great. pickup and drop off 75 feet from luggage pickup.

Cons:

everything was great

2.0 Poor

Apr. 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

Drop off was easy, but I was overcharged.

Cons:

A cleaner, newer vehicle. The Elantra we received had 61,710 miles on it and was stained.

10.0 Wonderful

Apr. 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

Staff was grear. Car was an upgrade that was awesome!

Cons:

Nothing

10.0 Wonderful

Mar. 2021

KAYAK

Cons:

Car had a very heavy smell of Fabreze. We needed to open all doors to air it out overnight.

1 out of 19

Budget

Cleanliness

7.6

Comfort

7.6

Pick-up/Drop-off

6.7

Value for money

7.2

2 locations in San Luis Obispo

Show locations

Locations in San Luis Obispo

4554 Broad Street

+1 805 541 3977

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday08:00 - 17:00

975 Airport Drive, Suite 5

+1 805 541 2722

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday08:00 - 17:00
Sunday08:00 - 17:00

Filters

Reviews

2.0 Poor

Apr. 2024

KAYAK
The location given to me by Kayak had been torn down. I had to call the 800 number to find the new office, and when I got there they were already closed. I cancelled the reservation and booked with Enterprise.

10.0 Wonderful

Apr. 2024

KAYAK
Getting the car was fast, no pressure. Same with return. They were ready with paperwork at the airport counter, friendly, knowledgeable and courteous. The car was new, only 500 miles and very clean. Ran great. Easy to drive, keyless ignition. Too bad it didn't have automatic unlocking doors on approach. But all else was fine.

6.0 Okay

May 2021

KAYAK

Cons:

Despite having a reservation, they didn't have a car ready for me when I arrived. I had to wait while they prepared the car and it was pretty dirty when I did receive it. As soon as I got into the car, the "needs maintenance" warning showed up on the dashboard.

10.0 Wonderful

May 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

Leticia N. who works at San Luis Obispo Budget at Broad st. was awesome !! She was alone and the place was busy, she got all customers taking care of in a timely and professional manor... Neil Reali

4.0 Mediocre

May 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

The price was about the only thing I liked

Cons:

The pick up was a nightmare. I had to cross the highway with a suitcase and no sidewalks. The directions to the pick up weren't clear at all. I walked around forever before I actually found the right building. Then my car wasn't ready. The whole process took an hour and a half.

2.0 Poor

Apr. 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

absolutely nothing.

Cons:

everything. a terrible experience

1 out of 22

Hertz

7.6

Cleanliness

7.9

Comfort

7.8

Pick-up/Drop-off

7.7

Value for money

7.3

3 locations in San Luis Obispo

Show locations

Locations in San Luis Obispo

4554 Broad Street Suite #130

+1 805 781 3385

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00

4751 Aviadores Way

+1 805 781 3383

Monday09:00 - 22:00
Tuesday09:00 - 22:00
Wednesday09:00 - 22:00
Thursday09:00 - 22:00
Friday09:00 - 22:00
Saturday09:00 - 22:00
Sunday09:00 - 22:00

975 Airport Drive Ste.06

+1 805 781 3383

Monday09:00 - 22:00
Tuesday09:00 - 22:00
Wednesday09:00 - 22:00
Thursday09:00 - 22:00
Friday09:00 - 22:00
Saturday09:00 - 22:00
Sunday09:00 - 22:00

Filters

Reviews

4.0 Mediocre

Dec. 2021

KAYAK
United Dropped me in DC and I had to Rent a Car to Drive myself home to VA Beach. I requested a FULL SIZE Car and got a Little KIA. It didn't even have Electric Seats or a Rear Window Wiper. The Driver who took us from Airport to Avis was Very Rude and insisted on playing his Radio Loud even when I explained I needed to Make an Important Phone Call.

10.0 Wonderful

May 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

Staff was wonderful, easy to work with. Excellent experience

4.0 Mediocre

May 2021

KAYAK

Cons:

There was no radio No way to hook up my phone to Bluetooth

10.0 Wonderful

May 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

Super helpful and friendly staff. Easy drop-off. Very clean and new car. Loved the car!

Cons:

Nothing. It was my first time renting a car and they made it so easy. You will remain my first choice should I need another rental car.

2.0 Poor

Oct. 2020

KAYAK

Cons:

Lady was horrible when I dropped off the car

5.2 Fair

Sep. 2020

KAYAK

Cons:

Customer service on drop off could have been better

1 out of 7

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

6.8

Cleanliness

7.2

Comfort

7.1

Pick-up/Drop-off

6.7

Value for money

6.3

3 locations in San Luis Obispo

Show locations

Locations in San Luis Obispo

12318 Los Osos Valley Rd

+1 805 546 6270

Monday00:00 - 00:00
Tuesday00:00 - 00:00
Wednesday00:00 - 00:00
Thursday00:00 - 00:00
Friday00:00 - 00:00
Saturday00:00 - 00:00
Sunday00:00 - 00:00

2989 Broad Street

+1 805 546 6270

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday00:00 - 00:00
Sunday00:00 - 00:00

975 Airport Dr

+1 844 942 0338

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday08:00 - 17:00
Sunday08:00 - 17:00

Filters

Reviews

2.0 Poor

May 2021

KAYAK

Cons:

We had a communication problem, I stated several times that I have my own Insurance, AAA and have additional coverage on my American Express Card. Very disappointed and I assure you that I will tell EVERYONE THAT I know not to use you guys!!!

10.0 Wonderful

Mar. 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

They helped me out of a jam when Budget failed

10.0 Wonderful

Jun. 2020

KAYAK

Cons:

Carpet on drivers side had a worn hole under the gas pedal. Rubber mat would have been good

5.2 Fair

Jun. 2020

KAYAK

Cons:

Didn’t have the truck I reserved.

2.0 Poor

Feb. 2020

KAYAK

Cons:

Enterprise is the worst ever

10.0 Wonderful

Oct. 2019

KAYAK

Pros:

Staff very helpful and friendly

1 out of 7

Easirent

4.6

Mediocre

No reviews available

One location in San Luis Obispo

Show locations

Locations in San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo County Airport

Opening times not available

Filters

No reviews available

358 travellers who rented a car in San Luis Obispo gave the car agency they used an average rating of 4.8

Car rental locations in or near San Luis Obispo

Good to know

Most popular car type

Economy

When to book a rental car in San Luis Obispo

Average daily price per month
Rental car prices as pick-up date approaches