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Should I bother renting a car in San Francisco?

milosz

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I'm heading to SF on Tuesday for a week (leaving the following Tuesday). No big plans, just needed to get out of town and I've never been. Want to eat good sushi, seafood, do some shopping, visit the museums, basically just explore. I've already got a weeklong BART pass with my plane ticket.

I'm staying at the Hotel Carlton near Union Square, it would be $200 to rent a Hyundai Accent at the airport, $20 at a lot nearby per night, or $30/night for valet. I can't parallel park to save my life (really no need where I'm from). Should I just say fuckit and get to know the bus/trolley system plus a few taxis, or might it be worth the $400 for a car?
 

andyw

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Economically, you've answered your own question........but, driving south on US 1 in a convertible is priceless.
 

dragon8

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I think your fine without a car. Public transportation and taxi are good enough.
 

tlmusic

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New York and San Francisco (and Chicago, sort of) are the only big cities in the US you can get by without a car. You may enjoy the liberating experience of not having to deal with one.

Parking in San Francisco is tough. When I lived in the Upper Haight back in the 1980s parking was free-for-all. By nightfall people would be parked on corners, up on curbs, wherever they could fit a car and hope that they weren't ticketed or towed. Plus you've got to be good parallel parking on a steep hill.

Once you leave the city, you will of course need a car to go anywhere.
 

perusingnature

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one more emphasis to not rent a car. it'll be a real *****, seriously. there's only parallel parking on the streets here, plus the congestion and utter disregard for traffic safety (damn jaywalkers) will scare you shitless.
 

binge

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Save the car rental for the days you venture out of the city: Monterey, Napa, Marin, etc. For the days you stay in the city, use your feet, cable car, and taxicab.
 

milosz

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Thanks, everybody. That was generally my suspicion, but my father (grew up in the Bay Area, left in '70 after he graduated from Berkeley) has been trying to convince me to rent one.
 

acidboy

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I stayed in SF in the past, and have access to a car that I never used. But going around the city via public transport is painless. And I totally agree on avoiding a car just to save you the hassle of parking. Yeah, save the car for trips outside the city.
 

JayJay

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The last time I was there a car was provided by the hotel for out of city travel, and it worked out well. If you plan to stay within the city then I find it to be a hassle to have a car.
 

Gus

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Originally Posted by binge
Save the car rental for the days you venture out of the city: Monterey, Napa, Marin, etc. For the days you stay in the city, use your feet, cable car, and taxicab.

+1, Perfect advice
 

itsstillmatt

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I live here, pretty close to downtown, and put about 1500 miles a year on my car. Not necessary in any way.
 

Tarmac

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When I come into SF for shopping or whatever, I always drive my car. It's actually not that cheap for semi-locals to use public transportation (it costs at least $8 round trip just to get to the city on a train or BART). But for you, I would say you don't need it. If the bus systems gets too annoying (it definitely can be), start taking cabs.
 

imatlas

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You don't even need the car to get out of town...Sausalito is a short ferry ride from downtown San Francisco. Check out Sushi Ran in Sausalito for some of the best sushi anywhere (according to my wife the sushi maven).
 

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