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Unread 11 Jan 20, 06:51 PM  
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#1
thefourDs
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Join Date: Jun 16
Driving LA

Hi all,

We are going LA in October, its all booked and paid for and we have provisionally booked a hire car.

How have you found driving there? We are feeling a bit dubious about it. Weve been to New York where we travelled on public transport without any issues and Orlando where we had a car. The public transport doesnt look as easy to navigate as NYC. Are the roads terrible?

Thanks
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Unread 11 Jan 20, 07:08 PM  
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#2
jdouds
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Hi you just have to realise that the LA area is 100 miles across, 4 5 6 lane motorways. In saying that it easy to drive and is well signposted.
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Unread 11 Jan 20, 07:11 PM  
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braby
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Driven in LA quite a few times now, I find it no different driving there than anywhere else, try and keep to the car pool lanes for less traffic (providing you have enough people in the car to use it).
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Unread 11 Jan 20, 07:26 PM  
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#4
thefourDs
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Originally Posted by braby View Post
Driven in LA quite a few times now, I find it no different driving there than anywhere else, try and keep to the car pool lanes for less traffic (providing you have enough people in the car to use it).
Thanks, yep there will be 4 of us at all times.
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Unread 11 Jan 20, 08:18 PM  
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Bad Pink Tink
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Add at least 20 minutes onto your estimated driving time between point A and point B. Traffic builds out of nowhere, at random times of the day, not just in the typical morning and evening rush hours.

Know which exit you need to take when exiting a motorway. Sometimes there can be multiple exits for an area, so exit 1 for Hollywood might not be the part of Hollywood you want to go to, you may need exit 3 or 4.

Carpool lanes are great BUT are usually the far inside lane of a 5 or 6 lane motorway. When you get on the motorway you have to cross 5 lanes to get to it and then when you need to exit you need to cross 5 lanes to get to the exit. You need to make sure you have time to cross all the lanes before you get to your exit.

The roads in LA are in bad repair. This is mainly due to the multiple small earthquakes which occur all the time. Also there are often a lot of debris on the motorways, things that fall off cars etc.

Construction on the motorways is constant. You could drive a section one day and its clear, and the next day, 2 or 3 lanes are closed.

You should download WAZE App, which gives live updates of diversions, construction, traffic delays etc etc

Be careful of the areas you drive through when not driving on the motorways. Some areas it would not be advisable to drive through in a rented car.
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Unread 11 Jan 20, 08:54 PM  
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Buzz242
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We don't find it any worse than driving anywhere else in the US, as long as you have satnav then you should be ok. The roads are huge in places and can be extremely busy at certain times of the day. Aim to avoid rush hour if you can, we did use the car pool lanes on longer drives.

Edited at 08:57 PM.
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Unread 11 Jan 20, 09:23 PM  
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cornishfrogboy
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IMHO, you will find a Satnav very helpful, preferably one that splitscreens as you approach junctions. On the I5 you can be in the third lane of 8, travelling in the same direction and find yourself still in one of the exit lanes, thus leaving the interstate. Like in many cities, there seems little tolerance when you then try to change lanes to rectify your mistake, even though the traffic is hardly moving at all.

I would describe the driving in LA as slow, due to congestion and very time consuming. I would not call it difficult and certainly not dangerous. It was not a pleasure, though.
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Edited at 09:50 PM.
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Unread 12 Jan 20, 01:10 PM  
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#8
400ixl
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Any half competent UK driver will be fine there. You must know the rules from Orlando driving so that is fine.

Only real thing to be mindful is lane management on the freeways. Americans drive in fear that someone may get in front of them so drive nose to tail. With that in mind know the junction you want and move across in plenty of time.

Other than it can be quite slow.

Edited at 08:39 PM.
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