4 things to weigh up when you need a car in San Francisco

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In New York, tourists just hail a cab or jump on the subway when they need to get somewhere; in Los Angeles it’s pretty much required that visitors need a car to explore. The question is: how should out-of-towners get around in San Francisco?

California’s fourth-largest city attracts people all year round, many from the UK. After applying for an ESTA visa, booking a flight and reserving a room, tourists must then make the decision whether to hire a car for the duration of their trip. If you’re currently stuck trying to decide which choice to make, here are four things to weigh up before your holiday to San Francisco.

1. Public transport

San Francisco’s public transport system isn’t anywhere near as robust as the one in New York. That said, it’s still efficient and more than adequate to be used to get around the central area. The historic cable cars are also thought of a tourism ‘must do’, as well as a good form of transport.

2. Charges

Car parking space is limited in San Francisco and as a result it can be rather expensive. In fact, a spot anywhere in the vicinity of Union Square or the surrounding area is typically priced between $40 and $60 for a 24-hour stay. Hotels may offer a reduced rate, but few will hand out spots for free.

3. The Golden Gate Bridge

The 4000ft-long Golden Gate Bridge is a real thrill to drive over. It’s still possible to cross the bridge on foot or by bike though, so a car isn’t as necessary as most tourists imagine it will be.

4. Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area includes neighbouring hot spots such as Napa and Contra Costa. San Clara – the home of the San Francisco 49ers football team – is also in this sprawling area. Anyone wanting to visit these outer regions should give some serious thought to hiring a car for their trip because the spots are otherwise hard to get to.

Start planning today!

Don’t forget that an ESTA visa should be the first thing on your to do list before planning a trip to San Francisco. This vital travel document will ensure that you’re able to enter the USA in the first place.