Car Hire in Miami

Miami Car Hire Collection Points

Airport Locations

Miami International Airport (MIA)- Car rental center (Alamo provides a complimentary shuttle to the cruise port) 

(young driver package available here)

  • Open 24 hours

Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) (with shuttles to Port Everglades) 

(young driver package available here)

  • Open 24 hours

Key West International Airport (EYW)

(young driver package available here)

Alamo opening hours  (Alamo is off-site at 2516 N Roosevelt Blvd)

  • 08.00 – 18.00 Mon – Sun

Dollar & Avis opening hours

  • 07.00 – 23.00 Mon – Sun

Car Hire Drop Points for Port of Miami

Port of Miami – 3900 NW 25th Street – Dollar & Thrifty (with shuttle to the cruise port – this location will only take you to the port, collections of cars after cruises must be from the Miami Airport rental car centre. Customers will be charged a Port Recovery Fee of $3.95 per rental)

  • 08.00 – 17.00 Mon – Sun

Car Hire Drop Points for Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale)

Port Everglades Cruise Ship drop off – 2400 Miami Road – Dollar/Thrifty (Shuttle service to the port)

  • 07.00 – 22.00 Thur – Tue
  • 07.00 – 18.00 Wed

Miami Downtown (City) Locations

Miami downtown – Intercontinental, 100 Chopin Plaza – Alamo  (young driver package available here)

  • 08.00 – 17.00 Mon – Fri
  • 08.00 – 14.00 Sat
  • Closed Sunday

North Beach Area

Aventura/North Miami Beach

    , 17800 Biscayne Blvd – Thrifty

  • 08.00 – 18.00 Mon – Fri
  • 08.00 – 17.00 Sat – Sun

Sunny Isles Beach, 18080 Collins Ave – Alamo (young driver package available here)

  • 08.00 – 17.00 Mon – Sun

Thunderbird Hotel, 18401 Collins Ave – Dollar

  • 08.00 – 18.00 Mon – Fri
  • 09.00 – 16.00 Sat – Sun

South Beach Area

1520 Collins Ave – Thrifty

  • 08.00 – 17.00  Mon – Sun

4332 Collins Ave Suite 104 – Alamo (young driver package available here)

  • 08.00 – 17.00 Mon – Sun

Mosaic Condominium, 3801 Collins Ave – Dollar

  • 08.00 – 18.00 Mon – Fri
  • 09.00 – 16.00 Sat – Sun

Fort Lauderdale Area

Lauderdale Lakes/Plantation, 2300 North State Road – Thrifty

  • 07.00 – 19.00 Mon – Fri
  • 08.00 – 16.00 Sat – Sun

Miami and the Florida Keys

Miami is a very cosmopolitan city, where Spanish is spoken as much, or even more than English.  It is also the gateway to the Florida Keys, where within an hour of driving from the international airport you can begin to experience ‘island-time’ – the laid back way of life on the keys as you arrive at the first island – Key Largo.  Driving your Miami car rental down US 1 on the overseas highway, can take you 120 miles all the way to Key West, but you can stop on any of the keys to really feel the relaxation and slower pace of life.

Places to Visit in the Florida Keys

Key Largo

Key Largo sits roughly parallel to the mainland and is the longest, largest and easternmost of all the keys. It does not have sandy beaches though, the keys are a living reef with much of Key Largo federally protected as the John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park. This is largest diving destination in the world, attracting well over 2 million visitors annually  and is the first ‘underwater’ park in the USA.

Islamorada

We drove down US 1 to Islamorada, in the dark with a huge thunderstorm deep out to sea as we crossed the bridges between the mainland and between the keys.  The lightning flashes gave us glimpses of mangroves illuminated against the sky, but by the time we reached our rented canalside villa, the rains had passed and left just a fresh washed smell as we pulled up.  In the morning we were greeted with the most amazing sunrise which we could enjoy whilst sipping hot drinks overlooking the dock. We only spend a few days on the key, most of those fishing and exploring the canals and edges of the keys in a small hired fishing boat.  It felt like a lot longer and if Islamorada is like the other keys – then any of them will be well worth the time.

Marathon

Between Mile Marker 70 and Mile Marker 40 lies Marathon and the middle keys.  South of Marathon lies the famous Seven Mile Bridge over Pigeon Key, built in 1909. Marathon is not a key – it is a community on Vaca Key, but somehow, Marathon is better known than the key on which it resides.

The Lower Keys

From Mile Marker 40 to Mile Marker 4, is a collection of keys known as the ‘Lower Keys’.  The largest of these is Big Pine Key – at 8 miles long and 2 miles wide, it is the second biggest key after Key Largo.  It is also mainly state park, with many species living here that don’t live anywhere else. Speed limits are strictly enforced to 45 mph during the day and 35 mph during night hours. Bahia Honda State Park is home to a very popular, properly sandy beach and very relaxed camp grounds.  Big Coppit Key is fairly suburban with residents that have escaped from overpriced Key West, and staff from the Boca Chica naval station.

Key West

This legendary key is famous for being the home of Ernest Hemingway, but it is also known for its party vibe and daily sunset celebration. Key West has a long history, and much of it has been preserved – especially buildings from the 1800s – making one of the largest outdoor preservations sites in the US.  The coming of the railroad in 1912 just enhanced the city’s reputation as city of sophistication, with regular performances by European ballet and opera companies.  Passengers could now travel from across America, all the way to Key West – and then take a steamship on to Cuba.  At one point the overseas railroad of 128 miles was called the 8th wonder of the world – but a massive hurricane in 1935 ruined much of it and tumbled Key West out of prosperity, along with the great depression.    These days, tourists come for walking tours of the historic district, to attend Hemmingway Days and to celebrate the sunset – every day – with jugglers, artists, psychics, clowns, musicians and food vendors.

  • Bayside In Miami

Places to visit in Miami

Ocean Drive and Miami South Beach are both places to see, and be seen.  Iconic, historic, and full of art deco decadence these areas are certainly worth a visit.  To stay in the South Beach area can be rather costly unless you can find a real bargain – or you are famous – but it is easy enough to stay a little further out and drive to the action.  There is a large area of hotels (pictured below) quite near to the airport – and you are rarely disturbed by aircraft noise due to clever architecture and double glazing.  It is certainly worth sticking to the main, touristy roads as Miami is certainly a city of contrasts, from rich, affluent areas to poverty – very quickly.

Dolphin Mall

Miami-Dade county’s largest mall is a destination all on its own.  Featuring a huge range of shops, it is very common to see tourists purchasing luggage for the express purpose of filing it with all the things that they have bought to take home. There are also numerous dining options to choose from here. As an international visitor you can also visit the information booth to ask for a Key to Discount package for extra-special discounts from over 80 stores and restaurants

Bayside Market Place

Located in downtown Miami, just across the street from the American Airlines Arena, is the shopping and dining attraction Bayside Market Place.  As its name suggests, the Market Place surrounds the bay (pictured above) and has many boutique, high end shops.  This is not a factory outlet mall full of bargains, this is where the rich and the beautiful hang out and shop.  Restaurant options include: Bubba Gump’s, Hard Rock Cafe, Largo Seafood and Grill, Hooters, Chillis and many more. There is also live music, nightly, on the marina stage, along with other special events through the year.

Other Miami attractions include: Miami Children’s Museum, Sun Life Stadium, Zoo Miami, Jungle Island, Everglades National Park, Miami Seaquarium and Miami Speedway at Homestead.

E-tolling Miami

When driving your hire car around Miami, or even leaving the city to head north, it is important to be aware that within Miami-Dade County there are no longer any cash tolls on the toll roads.  This means that if you drive on one of the toll roads such as the Dolphin Expressway or Florida’s Turnpike, you will automatically have the cost of the tolls added to your car rental bill. With Alamo, National, Avis and Budget this is not a problem as just driving through an e-toll will add you to the e-tolling facility of your supplier.  With Dollar or Thrifty you must elect to take the Pass 24 facility at the time of your rental – if you refuse and then go through an e-toll you will be charged a punitive fee of $15.00 administrative fee + toll for each infraction to a maximum fee of $105.00. These fees and tolls are charged separately after the completion of the rental. You can read about the e-tolling and SunPass systems in detail here.

  • Miami Lakefront