Having a Car in Los Angeles
Most students prefer to bring a car or rent one for the semester. It is virtually impossible to get around Los Angeles without a car.
Don’t wait until you get to Los Angeles to make transportation arrangements.
Los Angeles refers not just to the city, but also to LA County (population 10.5 million), which encompasses 88 cities. The entire area is more than 4,000 square miles and public transportation is limited.
Parking at the Oakwood Apartment Complex
Oakwood apartment residents receive parking passes for their vehicles. There is open parking at the complex (first come, first served).
- You will be much happier if you have a car waiting for you when you arrive.
- Please visit the Oakwood Apartments - Emerson College page for details on the Enterprise discount for Emerson students.
- There is an Enterprise Rent-a-Car outlet at Oakwood; however, this is mostly an “unstaffed” office and serves mainly as a drop-off place for keys, etc.
- There is an Enterprise Rent-a-Car outlet located at 11575 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604
- Please note that if you reserve a car or rent from an airport location, you will be charged airport tax, which will increase your monthly rental rate.
Car Rental Rates
The State of California requires that all renters have liability insurance. The cost of any insurance is in addition to the rental rate quoted. Please visit the Oakwood Apartments - Emerson College page for more details.
U.S. citizens who currently have auto insurance should bring the insurance card issued by the auto insurance company to show proof of coverage.
Foreign students will have to buy the car insurance offered by the rental car agency in order to fulfill the State of California mandatory auto liability insurance requirement.
If you don’t have auto insurance
Check with your parents to see if their homeowner’s policy or a credit card can cover the auto insurance requirement. Another option to consider is for your parent/guardian to rent a vehicle for the term, and for you to bring the family automobile to Los Angeles. It will certainly be less expensive for your parents to rent a vehicle, and perhaps their car insurance will cover this.
Remember, you are ultimately responsible for negotiating and adhering to the terms of any car rental agreement. Make certain you understand the terms of your car rental agreement before you sign on the dotted line and drive your car away.
State of California Auto Insurance Requirement
The State of California REQUIRES all drivers to carry liability insurance.
If you are going to drive your vehicle to California, you should be aware of the regulations involved in maintaining adequate car insurance.
The following passage was taken from the CA Dept. of Motor Vehicles website:
Persons operating a vehicle in this state who are unlicensed or have an invalid California or out-of-state driver license are subject to the same financial responsibility laws as valid California licensed drivers.
California requires that drivers and vehicle owners carry the following minimum monetary limits:
- $15,000 for injury or death of 1 person per accident
- $30,000 for injury or death of 2 or more persons per accident
- $5,000 for any property damage per accident
Nonresidents whose vehicles are properly registered to them in their home state or jurisdiction may operate their vehicles in California until they:
- Accept gainful employment in California.
- Claim a homeowner's exemption in California.
- Rent or lease a residence in California. (As a student, you are not renting the Oakwood apartment; Emerson College leases the apartment for you.)
- Intend to live or be located here on a permanent basis (for example, acquire a California driver license, acquire other licenses not ordinarily extended to a nonresident, registered to vote)
- Enroll in an institution of higher learning as a California resident or enroll their dependents in school (K–12).
Several bus lines have stops at the main entrance to the Oakwood Complex. For information about bus and subway routes, contact the MTA at (800)-COMMUTE.
For information about registering your car, getting your CA driver's license, or any other transportation issues, go to the AAA office at 1111 W. Alameda Avenue in Burbank. Its phone number is 818-843-2833.
The population of Los Angeles County is 9.8 million. More people, more traffic. The frequency of earthquakes in the area means that there is limited subway and train access. Almost everyone who lives and works in LA drives a car.
Burbank from above