Florida Car Hire
Florida is known as the Sunshine State for a very good reason, because its tropical climate means that even in deepest winter you are pretty well guaranteed sun! It is not unknown for temperatures in December and January to hit the middle 80's and in the summer the late 90's ! It is a very popular holiday destination for tourists from all over Europe, not only because of the weather but also because of the vast amount of attractions and things to do. Please continue reading below for the Tripwheels team's handy condensed guide. To search for car rental rates in Florida please use the search box to the right.
Florida is a peninsular of land jutting out into and separating the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico at the Southern-most point of mainland USA. It can be separated for ease into four main regions, Northern Florida, Central Florida, the East Coast and the Gulf Coast. Below we have compiled a few facts to help you plan your holiday and to give you some guidance when your buying your Florida car hire.
The Orlando and Disney area has 2 International airports:
Orlando International Airport (MCO)
Orlando International is served by all the main UK and US scheduled airlines, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American,
Continental, Delta and United Airlines and US Airways. However only two main UK companies fly directly to Orlando from the UK, British Airways and Virgin. The US carriers all fly into another city elsewhere within the USA and then connect with another flight down to Orlando. For your Orlando car hire MCO is home to Dollar, Budget, Alamo, National, Avis and Sixt, amongst others, to search for a rate and supplier please type MCO into the search box to the right of this page.
Orlando International is a very large airport and has good facilities for tourists passing through. If you are arriving
on a direct flight from the UK you should allow around 90 minutes to navigate your way through immigration, customs and bag collection before picking up your car hire which is on the level below final bag collection. When in your car MCO is fairly easy to navigate around and once out of the airport you have a couple of choices if heading for the Disney area. The easiest road is the 417 toll road which goes right into the heart of the Tourist area, this is a toll road and will cost you a few dollars but due to the lack of cars and the straight road it will be the fastest way. The alternative is to point your car at Interstate 4, the main road running through the area, this is not a toll road and is also a straight road but be warned it can get very busy with lots of cars in the mornings and afternoons ! Orlando Airport
Sanford International Airport (SFB)
Sanford International is a small airport about 40 minutes north of MCO, it is served by the main, well known charter flight
companies from the UK such as Thomas Cook, Monarch and Thomson. This is without doubt everyones dream airport if all you need to do is get through it quickly and into your car hire. It is not unknown for you to be inside your car and navigating out of the airport inside 30 minutes of the planes wheels touching the tarmac, because of the ease of passage through here (most of the time). The extra time it takes to get past MCO is often easily made up and often quicker than passing through Orlando International. Car rental is again well covered by the main suppliers Dollar, Alamo, Budget and Avis, the car hire suppliers are all based outside the main terminal on ground level. To search for your Orlando Sanford Car rental type SFB into the search box to the right.
Navigation is the same as MCO with a choice of the 417 toll road or Interstate 4 and both scenarios are the same as above with the exception that you would need a few extra dollars in tolls to get you to the Disney area.
If you are staying in the Disney area of Kissimmee then there are a few alternative locations where you can collect cars during your stay, perhaps after a theme park stay before heading off to the coast. There is the Disney Car Care Center located on Disney property and serviced by Alamo. This Center has the largest selection of cars available at the downtown locations and features the self-service kiosks alongside normal desk service. If you are after a larger vehicle such as an 8 seater, we would recommend you look at this location rather than the other, smaller, hotel locations. Along US 192 (Irlo Bronson Hwy) there are three smaller locations serving Alamo, Budget and Dollar. The Alamo and Dollar locations are within hotels, so have a limited choice of cars and mainly smaller ones at that. The Budget location is right by the Kissimmee Old Town Amusement Park, and like the other two, has a smaller choice of cars than you will find at the airports. These locations are great if you have to make adjustments to your contract such as adding a newly arrived driver, or have a concern about your car. Opening hours are usually between 8.30 and 16.00, so when collecting from these locations for a return to the airport you should give careful consideration to your required final drop off time to avoid paying for an extra days hire if this is not necessary.
Attractions in the Orlando area.
Central Florida is the home of Disney World Florida, the largest most spectacular holiday theme park destination on the
planet. Disney measures 30,000 acres or 47 sq miles, larger than the Greater Manchester area and is home to 4 main theme parks, 2 water parksn nearly 30 on-site themed hotels, numerous shopping areas and 5 award winning golf courses. It is a truly magical and breathtaking place and not to be missed by any children from the ages of 1 to 100+ ! Disney World Florida
Universal is the main competitor in Florida to Disney and keeps Disney on its toes at all times, with 2 main Theme Parks and now a "theme park within a Theme park" since the wizarding World of Harry potter opened inside Islands of Adventure and on-site hotels and shopping areas it pulls millions of visitors each year to the Central Florida area. Universal Florida
SeaWorld is the home of Shamu the Killer Whale and is a fabulous large and relaxed theme Park, SeaWorld can also boast ownership of the Water park Aquatica and Discovery Cove where you can swim with Dolphins (at a price) SeaWorld Florida Orlando
Other Orlando attractions
There are so many that the Tripwheels team simply does not have the time or space to list them all but we did hear a fact sometime ago that there are in the Orlando area alone enough attractions to keep you going for the whole 365 days of the year !! With a bit of research online you could soon be poibnting your car hire towards Wet and Wild or driving your rental car towards one of Florida's State parks which the Tripwheels team can highly recommend ! Florida State Parks
South West Florida
The Gulf Coast area of Florida is primarily a beach destination with some of the most famous sandy beaches in the World, Siesta Key, Longboat Key, Anna Maria Island, Englewood, Venice, Marco Island, Fort Myers, Naples, Captiva and Sanibel. With these long, sometimes deserted sandy beaches and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico you will feel like you are in Paradise.
South West Florida Airports
The main airports in this area are,
Tampa International Airport (TPA)
Tampa international is a medium sized airport served by British Airways and most of the USA scheduled airlines, only British Airways however flys direct to Tampa from the UK, the US carriers fly into other USA cities and then connect to Tampa with other flights. Car hire in Tampa is covered by the main USA car hire companies of Alamo, Budget, Dollar and Avis rental in a very convenient rental depot just outside the terminal. Navigating your car out of Tampa is a little more difficult than out of the Orlando airports but if done steadily and the road signs read properly, can be done relatively easily. To search for your Florida Car hire from Tampa, type TPA in the search box to the right. Tampa Airport Florida
Sarasota Bradenton Airport (SRQ)
Sarasota Bradenton Airport is a small airport on the outskirts of Sarasota and Bradenton, a super airport to navigate through and out of and idealy situated if you are staying in the immediate area. The UK airlines do not fly here and again all the
scheduled US airlines will stop in another city and connect down with a separate flight. Car hire is again well served with
the main US car hire companies of Avis, Dollar, Budget and Alamo. To search for your Car hire Florida from Sarasota type SRQ in the search box to the right. Florida Sarasota Airport
Fort Myers International Airport (RSW)
Fort Myers is a medium large airport and again is not served by any UK airlines. The US scheduled airlines will again also connect with a flight from another US city. This is an ideal airport to fly into if you are staying in the Naples area, Captiva, Marco Island, and Sanibel. Fort Myers has fantastic purpose built car rental building that is used by the main USA car hire companies of Budget, Avis, Dollar and Alamo. To search for your Florida car hire from Fort Myers type RSW into the search box to the right. South West Florida International Airport
South West Florida attractions.
Beaches ! What more can we say, the beaches here are some of the best in the world ! We know - we have been on them. For the children on the beaches this whole area is know as the "Shark tooth capital of the World" and there is a recognised condition down here known as the "Sanibel Stoop" where people get a stiff neck walking around with thier shoulders hunched looking for the thousands of shells that wash up on the beaches every day. Sanibel and Captiva Florida
South East Florida and the Keys.
This is the Atlantic area of the South or Florida, more sandy beaches abound from Palm Beach, Boynton, Delray, Boca Raton, Pompano, Ft. Lauderdale to Miami then down to the good old days and long winding US 1 that is the Keys. There really is so much to do in this area.
South East Florida Airports.
Miami International Airport (MIA)
Miami is a very large airport served by the main UK carrier British Airways and Virgin and all the major US scheduled
airlines. Of these four fly directly to Miami from the UK, British Airways, Virgin, American Airlines and Delta. This is a very
large airport in a large metropolitan area, navigating out of the area is not easy and requires a little forward planning and
route making. All of the Toll roads around Miami are now electronic (no cash bays) so you will have to give some thought to e-tolling. If you are unsure how this works or have any questions please feel free to call or email the Tripwheels team for advice.
Car hire in Miami is served by all the main Florida car rental companies, from a brand new, purpose built, rental depot which is reached by a monorail. The large airy nature of this depot is very relaxing for your fellow travellers with plenty of space and seating while you check your paperwork! To check rates for your Miami Car Hire type MIA in the search box to the right. Miami International Airport Florida
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
This is a medium sized mainly commercial airport served by US airlines only. This airport also serves as the main location for Port Everglades with regular shuttles to the Port for car hire clients. Car hire is served by the main US car rental companies. For your Fort lauderdale car hire type FLL in the search box to the right. Fort Lauderdale Airport Florida
Miami has several downtown car hire locations for Dollar, Alamo and Budget around the South Beach and North Beach areas. Like most Downtown locations, they are located in hotels with limited opening hours. If you start your search with Miami, you will see the various locations drop down for you to choose from.
By Elle Hubbard