San Diego Airport Car Rental

Airport Basics.....

San Diego International Airport is located three miles from San Diego’s downtown, and is the world’s second busiest single runway airport behind London’s Gatwick international. The airport is easily accessible from the Northern County by the Coaster Rail Service, with reasonable ticket prices ranging from just five dollars! You can access the San Diego international airport easily from the downtown by taking the I-5 north until you reach W Hawthorn St, you then turn right onto N Harbor Drive then merge onto Airport Terminal Road and locate your terminal. If you are bringing your own car I recommend you to keep on N Harbor Drive and proceed to McCain Rd and you can park your car there for less than if you were to park at the main lot and on most days more parking is available.  Below is a picture of the Beautiful San Diego Airport. 

San Diego Airport
San Diego Airport Car Rental.....

The following car rental companies operate out of the San Diego Airport: Travcar, Thrifty, Payless, Pacific, National, Midway, Hertz, Fox, Enterprise, Dollar Budget, Avis, Alamo, Advantage, Ace and A1 Rent-a-Car.  The car rental desks are situated within close proximity to the baggage claim areas, inside both the 1st and 2nd Terminals.  You may use courtesy phones at these locations to call the car rental company that you made your booking with.  They will then send a shuttle service to you in order for you to get to your rental car.

Notice when driving your rental car out of the facility that overhead blue signs will direct you to Interstate 5 to get to San Diego.  We generally recommend, however, that you travel out of the rent-a-car access via the Airport Terminal Rd, turning right on North Harbor Dr.  Watch for signs posted directing you to turn left onto North Harbor Drive, under the overpass, after exiting the Airport Terminal Road.  Continue on beautiful North Harbor Dr for about 2 miles until turning left on West Broadway and traveling into the heart of San Diego.

For National, Hertz, and Avis, the rental car facilities are located just off of North Harbor Drive - less than one mile from the airport facility.   When returning your rental vehicle from San Diego back to the the National/Hertz/Avis rental car facility, we generally recommend that you follow the above directions - in reverse.  Take West Broadway to North Harbor Drive and continue back towards the airport.  We also recommend that you re-fuel your rental vehicle before leaving San Diego, if returning back on North Harbor.  Traffic is usually pretty heavy on North Harbor, and there aren't many fueling stations near the rental return area that we know of.  

Many rental car companies (Including Payless, Pacific, Fox, Alamo and Advantage) are located on Kettner Blvd.  Kettner is located about three blocks off of North Harbor Blvd.  Again, shuttle services will be available to take you to and from the rental car facilities to and from the airport.  Below is a picture taken from North Harbor Drive in San Diego.

North Harbor Dr
Airport Amenities.....

Once you are inside you will find many options, with great options including Starbucks, McDonald's, Quiznos, Karl Strauss' Beer Garden (See Picture below) and many more. At the San Diego International Airport there are many great places to pick up travel merchandise my favorite stores are Global News, and Express Connection. Express Connection may be better if you are looking for Maps, Umbrellas, and Post cards. Global News is a great store for T-shirts, Mugs, Electronics, and headphones. At San Diego International Wi-Fi is available from Starbucks at a small charge of five dollars which is well worth the cost, and at McDonald's Wi-Fi is free but the restaurant is much busier and nosier than Starbucks. The baggage claim at the airport is just past gate number four and pickups are ordered by terminal and airline, baggage is ready usually five minutes after you exit the plane. I have visited the San Diego international airport many times, and have found the staff to be very helpful. An example of this would be on a flight I took from Chicago, the airline had sent my bags on the wrong flight, and the staff at this airport came to me personally with the bags right to the gate!

San Diego International Airport
Car Rental Driving Distances.....

For most folks who fly into the San Diego Airport, their destination is the city of San Diego, of course.  However, many will choose to fly into this airport with a different destination in mind.  For those folks, we have compiled a list of nearby town or attractions and the distance required to reach them.  All distances are from the airport, and are only estimates.  If you feel like you need exact car rental driving distances, we generally recommend that you reserve a GPS when booking your rental car.

San Diego Airport to San Diego, 4 Miles.
San Diego Airport to El Cajon, CA 20 Miles.
San Diego Airport to Escondido, CA 32 Miles.
San Diego Airport to Carlsbad, CA 35 Miles.
San Diego Airport to La Mesa, CA 15 Miles.
San Diego Airport to Imperial Beach, CA 16 Miles.
San Diego Airport to Oceanside, CA 38 Miles.
San Diego Airport to Yuma, AZ 177 Miles.
San Diego Airport to Chula Vista, CA 12 Miles.
San Diego Airport to Solana Beach, CA 23 Miles.
Car Rental Vehicle Types at the San Diego Airport.....

Every type of vehicle you could imagine is at the San Diego Airport.  Economy cars, SUV's, Luxury Cars, and Minivans are all here.  However, we always recommend that you book your car in advance (at least as much as possible) to reserve the vehicle that you desire.  You can always cancel later if necessary.  While you're at it, make sure to look into the GPS's available with the rental cars.  Also, various children's' seats and booster seats are also available for hire at the San Diego Airport.  Thanks for shopping with Eurocar Rental and enjoy your San Diego Airport Car Rental experience!

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