Seeing Double: San Francisco’s Double-parking Problem

April 17th, 2014

Heart be still – against all odds, you’ve found an on-street parking spot in San Francisco. Thrilled with your find, you slide your San Francisco car rental into the spot, throw on the parking brake and saunter off into the sunset.

Only to return two hours later to find some jerk has double-parked right next to your driver door. Furious, you stand in the middle of the street, trying to figure out your next move. Except, on closer inspection, you notice that practically every other car on the street is in the exact same position.

There’s no question: Double-parking has become a serious problem in San Francisco, and it’s one that routinely causes problems for San Francisco car rental travelers. In fact, the practice has become so common in the city that officials have issued a special task force to try and control the issue. Commercial and personal drivers alike don’t just ignore the law, many blatantly disobey it, leaving their vehicles to block traffic, cause backups and even blocking bus and light-rail lines. Read the rest of this entry »

The Difficulties of Spotting Stoned Drivers

March 21st, 2014

If you’ve ever driven past a motorist who’s been pulled over under suspicion of drunken driving, you’ll know that police officers normally ask the perpetrator to execute three simple tasks:

  1. Follow a pen with their eyes while the officer movies it back and forth.
  2. Get out of the car and walk nine steps, heel to toe, turn on one foot and go back nine steps.
  3. Balance on one leg for 30 seconds.

While they may not be the world’s most difficult tasks, these field sobriety tests have proven to be quite effective over time, catching roughly 88 percent of drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. But what about other substances?  Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday Parking San Francisco: Is It Really A Good Idea?

March 20th, 2014

Free parking.

The phrase is practically an oxymoron in San Francisco, thanks to the city’s smart parking policy.  A revolutionary approach to the city’s growing parking problems, the policy, which was implemented in 2013, saw parking meter enforcement come into effect Sundays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Extended hours were also implemented in the evenings in the area surrounding Giants ballpark until 10 p.m.

Intended as a way to reduce the number of San Francisco car rental drivers circling for parking by increasing turnover during high demand periods, the parking policy was considered a much needed improvement and commercial driver for businesses in area. And yet, Mayor Ed Lee wants to rewind the clock, repealing the parking laws back to what they were in 1947. Read the rest of this entry »

Parking Ticket? There’s An App For That

March 15th, 2014

Parking tickets are about as common in San Francisco as the fog. Try as you might, you can’t avoid the inevitable. Infuriating and often unwarranted, nothing infuriates a San Francisco car rental traveler quite like an unexpected citation neatly tucked beneath their windshield wiper. That being said, it takes a lot of time and energy to contest a parking ticket.

Or at least it did.

Disputing a parking ticket just became a whole lot easier for San Francisco car rental travelers, thanks to the wonderful world of mobile technology. Yep, there’s now an app that does all the dirty work for you, not only suggesting reasons why your parking ticket might be invalid, but also colleting supporting evidence and submitting the proper appeals paperwork on your behalf.  Read the rest of this entry »

Map Apps A Go: Judge Rules It Is Legal to Look at Apps While Driving

March 12th, 2014

It happens all the time. You’re out driving when suddenly you realize that you’re driving down a street you don’t recognized. Confused, you grab for your smartphone and pull open a map app in order to establish your position and get yourself back on track.

Except, up until just a few weeks ago, this act of grabbing for your phone could have garnered you a hefty ticket. The rules surrounding cell phone use and distracted driving can be difficult to establish in some cases, especially in the area of apps. Back in January of 2012, Steven Spriggs was issued a ticket by the California Highway Patrol for using his iPhone 4 while he was gridlocked in traffic. Spriggs fought the $165 ticket on the grounds that he wasn’t doing anything illegal; he wasn’t making a call, sending a text of checking his email. Rather, he was using a mapping app in order to find an alternative route around the roadwork that had him stuck. Since he wasn’t moving and wasn’t using the phone for restricted activities, Spriggs felt that he shouldn’t have been penalized. Little did he know that the outcome of his challenge would go on to impact California car rental drivers and residents across the state. Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Your Step: Jaywalking in Los Angeles

February 25th, 2014

In a city known for its highways and seemingly endless flow of traffic, the Los Angeles Police Department is focusing its attention on the sidewalk in order to curb traffic fatalities and improve safety conditions for L.A. car rental travelers. Jaywalking, or the practice of illegally crossing the street, can earn pedestrians a traffic citation worth nearly $200, thanks in part to a recent crackdown by local cops.

In recent weeks, L.A. car rental travelers have reported seeing an increased police presence at many of the city’s busiest intersections, as officers aim to inspire safer pedestrian practices in the newly rejuvenated downtown core. And while police say they’re simply trying to maintain order during a period of transition, many pro-pedestrian supporters are up in arms (or is it legs?) about the one-sided treatment. Simply stepping off the curb a few blinks after the crossing signal has begun flashing the “Don’t Walk” message is all it takes to slap you with a $197 ticket. Read the rest of this entry »

Snow? In California? How to Drive in Winter Conditions

February 19th, 2014

Snow is hardly the first thing that comes to mind when you think of driving in California. And yet, that’s exactly what San Francisco car rental drivers have to deal with when driving the roads and highways of northern California. While weaving through the snowcapped mountains of California can often be a pleasant experience, most of our rental car drivers find the process to be quite frustrating – even hazardous. Navigating snow covered roads isn’t an easy task. Especially when you’re not used to driving in extreme winter weather conditions.

Before heading into snow country, make sure to heed the advice of the California Department of Transportation and prepare yourself for the trip. The following is some useful information to help make your upcoming mountain outing all the more enjoyable. Read the rest of this entry »

Driving Advice: San Francisco Style

February 17th, 2014

California is a state known for its drivers. Just look at L.A., motorist practically bleed asphalt in this freeway-focused metropolis. And these aren’t just people operating cars. Oh no, these are drivers, folks who know the rhythm of the road and revel in the chaos of commuting. For Californians, life really is a highway and you better believe they’re going to ride it all night long.

And, then there’s San Francisco.

The awkward younger sibling in a family full of car enthusiasts, San Francisco seems to lack the same appreciation for automotive power as places like Los Angeles and San Diego. For one, there are practically no freeways within the city’s limits. Couple that with the city’s growing infatuation with cycling, and it’s almost as if San Francisco has forgotten what it feels like to embark on an impromptu road trip. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Avoid a Truck’s Blind Spot With Your California Car Rental

February 12th, 2014

The majority of California drivers have become accustom to sharing the road with a wide variety of vehicles. From bikes to buses, motorists are responsible for safely navigating their way around these important modes of transportation. This includes driving alongside large tractor-trailers. Big and bulky, these road-worn beasts are sizable obstacles to dodge – especially when driving a compact California car rental.

If you’re planning to spend some time on California’s freeways during your upcoming visit to the Bay Area, beware: trucks dominate these roadways. As a fellow road user, it’s important to note that many of these long haul vehicles are plagued by large blind spots. Make one wrong move in your rental and you could find yourself stuck in a very dangerous situation. Read the rest of this entry »

The Preferred Rental Provider of Twenty-somethings

January 28th, 2014

Your twenties are defined by discovery; discovering the people and places you’ll grow to love. It’s when you discover your passion and your pride. Who you are and how you want to live your life.

There’s just one problem… how are you supposed to discover all of this stuff when you can’t even afford to rent a set of wheels? Renting a vehicle as a twenty-something is practically impossible. Massive surcharges and hidden fees force many 21 to 24 year olds to stay home rather than explore the great unknown. Talk about wasting your youth!

Your life is happening now – isn’t it time you took control of the wheel?   Read the rest of this entry »