Orlando Car Hire and Companies

Thanks to their popularity, car rentals in Orlando are easy to arrange and generally pretty cheap. With hotels and attractions spread out over a large area, having a car makes life much easier and means you spend more time at the attractions and none at the bus stop.

All major car hire companies have offices at Orlando's airports but rental prices fluctuate wildly between seasons. You can generally get the best deal is you book ahead, even if this means calling just a few days in advance. Make sure you shop around when looking for car rentals in Orlando as prices and conditions vary. If you're a member of a frequent flyers club make sure you check for discounts you might be entitled to before booking, and make sure you check the small print on what is and isn't included in your rental fee. If you want to pick up and drop off at different Florida locations be sure to look for a company that doesn't charge an extra fee to do this.

The hidden costs of hiring a car in Florida

All drivers hiring cars in Orlando must be at least 21 and often over 25 and must have a credit card in their name. Agencies that allow drivers under 21 generally charge $15-20 extra a day for young drivers. A small car should cost about $25-$45 a day to rent or $130-$230 a week with unlimited mileage. But this is only the beginning of the charges: you can also expect to pay 6.5% state sales tax, a daily Florida road surcharge (about $2 a day), a license recoupment charge (about 50c a day) and an airport handling tax and access fee ($6-$7 a day). And this doesn't even take a look at insurance.

Few car rentals in Orlando include liability insurance in the rental cost. This will set you back about $13 a day while loss or collision damage waiver insurance is about $20 a day. With all these extra costs you can easily clock up about $300 a week on top of your rental fee. When booking ask for all inclusive rates as these can be a much better deal. Also beware of vacation packages that offer 'free' car hire as this generally only includes hire costs not the taxes, surcharges and insurance.

When you hire the car opt for the full fuel tank return option as this is usually the best deal as gas prices are cheaper at any gas station than on the rental company's budget plan. Also ask the car hire company for a map and directions to your hotel. And be aware that Florida police are ruthless when it comes to enforcing speed limits so be careful or expect a ticket.

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