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All you need to know about driving in Florida

The prospect of driving in Florida can be quite daunting however it doesn’t need to be! Here is our guide and general tips for getting around Orlando, Florida in your rental car.

What to expect when renting a car

One of the first stops to make after you have retrieved your luggage is to head over to the car rental desk. You will be asked to produce your driving licence including both parts for any drivers that are listed on your rental agreement and also any documentation relating to your car rental which you will have received as confirmation upon booking from one of the suppliers online or through your package holiday provider. You will also be asked to leave you credit card details for any charges or incidentals.

Driving in Orlando

It is common that you will be advised to pay upfront for fuel, meaning you can bring the car back empty, it is not obligatory but it is cheaper than paying for fuel as you go along. There may also be an opportunity to upgrade your car also if you wish however this is entirely up to you and will incur an additional cost.

Some popular car rental suppliers are Dollar Car Rental, Budget Car Rental and Alamo Car Rental.

Picking up your car

So you are almost on your way to your holiday villa and you are about to experience the fantastic Florida weather for the first time as you head to collect your car. Here’s a few things to bear in mind before you set off:

Toll booths with the E-Pass in Orlando

Now that you have found your new vehicle, take a good look around it and make sure there is no damage to the car as you need to report anything at this stage so you cannot be held responsible. Take some time to check the GPS is working as you are going to need it and also to familiarise yourself with the car by adjusting the seats and mirrors. The majority of American cars are automatic so it is a good idea to find your bearings before you set off!

Depending on which area of Florida you are staying you will need to be aware of which exit to take when leaving the car garage. If your holiday home is located near Disney, Kissimmee, with a villa community or anywhere on Highway 192 then you will need to take the South Exit which leads to the 417 toll which takes you down the Interstate 4 around Disney 192. Take the North Exit for anywhere near International Drive, Sea World or Universal Studios which leads to the Highway 528 toll Beachline Expressway which has signs saying ‘Orlando West and Area Attractions and Tampa. The other sign says ‘Cocoa beach and Daytona’ for which you will need to take the West Exit.

Tips for driving around Florida

The first and most obvious one is that they drive on the right in America so give yourself some time to adjust if this is your first time driving on American Roads. Florida TurnpikeYou are allowed to turn right on a red traffic light unless a sign sates otherwise.

Florida Turnpike

On a three lane highway you can pass (overtake) either side of a vehicle.

It is common at most petrol stations to have to pay for your fuel upfront, you will find the prices cheaper than in the uk.

You will need to carry your driving license and car rental agreement at all times when driving.

It may be worth investing in a Sun Pass – Florida’s pre paid toll program which provides a discount on most tolls. A small transponder is fitted to the windshield of your rental car and detects any Sun Pass equipped lanes you go through when driving around Florida. The toll charge is then deducted from your prepaid account.

For more information on the rules and regulations for driving in Florida, please see here

Looking for a Florida Villa? Take a look at some of the home's we have in Orlando, including Kissimmee and Davenport.