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After a fair bit of research, we realized that it made sense for us to rent a car in Los Angeles. It is a city built for automobiles and distance between attractions are huge. The public transportation doesn’t seem to reach everywhere and they take a long to reach the places in the network. Renting could work out to be cheaper than relying on taxis.
We followed the signs to the car rental shuttles outside the airport and easily found the shuttle for Hertz. The shuttle was pretty crowded and took around 15 minutes or so to reach Hertz’s office. Thankfully the queue wasn’t as bad as what some reviews in Yelp made it out to be.
There were around seven to eight counters that were open and it probably took 20 minutes before we were served. We had booked a compact car online at the following rate:-
The agent made an attempt to get us to upgrade to a higher category but he wasn’t pushy at all. He told us that we would be getting a 2014 Toyota Yaris and asked for my credit card and driving license. After doing all the necessary paperwork, he sent us on our way to our ride in Los Angeles.
The car was indeed compact but it was big enough for the two of us and our stuff. It was really new and done only 1500 miles so far. Took me some time to adjust the seat and mirrors before we drove off. To be honest, I was kinda nervous to drive on the other side of the road for the first time.
The staff at the exit made sure that my driving license matched the one stated on the contract agreement before letting us get out of the compound. I had tried to find out where I could get a SIM card near the airport and loaded the map of the airport area on Google maps. Despite not having any mobile data service, we managed to locate the T-Mobile shop (309 N Sepulveda Blvd, El Segundo) only after a few wrong turns.
A salesgirl came forward and asked us to take a seat while she got us a micro SIM card.
She asked us what kind of service that we needed (3G data) and how long we needed it for (3 days). Our primary use was to navigate the town using Google Maps and we were okay with the price of USD 20.90. The salesgirl made sure that our SIM card was working properly before we left. The process was hassle-free and took us only half an hour or so.
Stupidly I forgot my Singapore’s SIM card at the counter and didn’t realize it until several days later. By then I wasn’t able to go back and retrieve it (due to the weekend) and had to call Singapore and suspend my SIM card. Luckily it wasn’t misused and I got my sis to help me get a replacement card back home.