Driving Tips

It is quite easy to get around LA by car, but before you hop in behind the wheel, know exactly where you're headed and it is always best to have a map at hand - saves a lot of frustration later on!

It is worth knowing that most highways in LA have a number and a name. Some freeways have carpool lanes. These are also known as High Occupancy Vehicle lanes and most freeways require two occupants or more, for the vehicle to be eligible to use these HOV lanes. Vehicles travelling in this lane do not have to stop for any signals and can simply pass through. Do not use this lane if you're the only person in the car because you can be fined - fines start at $279.

Try to steer clear of the freeways during the rush hours which are 7-9 a.m. on weekdays and again from 3-7p.m. Saturdays too sees a lot of traffic on some freeways that lead to the beach, as people head there for a relaxing day out with their families.

Also note that pedestrians always have the right of way in Los Angeles, so always stop and allow them to cross the road.

This article wouldn't be complete without some advice on parking!  Fortunately most tourist attractions have parking lots but there are some areas of the city, especially around restaurants in the evening, where self-parking is next to impossible. No amount of wishing will cause a parking spot to magically appear! In such cases you will just have to go in for valet parking. Most restaurants charge between $5 - $7 for the valet service.

If you're parking on the street, read the signs properly. Some places allow parking only for a certain number of hours. If parked illegally, you may face a fine and your car may be towed away. Some streets have 'paid-parking' zones with most meters accepting quarters (Here's a tip: always keep some quarters with you or you'll waste time by rummaging about in your purse, bag, wallet, in the car and even empty your pockets just for a few coins!). Parking is generally free in these zones after 1800 and on Sundays. Make sure you carefully read what it says on the signs though.