About Hiring a Car
Although it is not necessary to hire a car for you Florida vacation, it certainly
helps you get the most and see so much more. We recommend that you book you car
hire package in the UK in advance. This helps you get the best deal, and avoids
paying certain taxes, which you will pay if you hire a car when you land.
To drive in Florida you must be 21 years old and hold a full
UK/European Licence. There is a surcharge for all drivers under 25, so unless
it is absolutely essential that they drive, this should be avoided.
Most car rental companies also place a surcharge on any additional drivers,
not us; we automatically cover one driver over 25, with our Standard
package, but we offer cover for additional drivers over 25 with our Premium package.
All our car-hire packages include all necessary insurance, taxes and
surcharges. These insurances are essential. Many car hire companies only
include the very basic insurance, which really only cover you if the car is
stolen. We include everything, this takes the worry out of hiring your car.
Alamo is probably the largest and best-known car-hire company in Florida,
and America. Alamo has car collection desks in all major airports, and in most
cases the cars are available for collection at the airport and many other
locations to suit your requirements.
Driving In Florida
Driving in Florida is relatively easy and it provides you with the freedom
to travel and visit all the major attractions in your own time and at your
own pace, you can even visit the coast to see the fantastic beaches.
All hire-cars are automatic and air-conditioned making driving conditions
much more comfortable. Please remember to take your license with you,
(faxes and photocopies are not acceptable), as you will not be able to pick
your car up without it. If you have any queries or need directions before
leaving the airport the car rental staff will assist you.
If this is your first time driving in Florida, to take time and familiarise
yourself with the car, such as position of controls and mirrors, if you are
in any doubt, as a member of staff who will happily give a quick familiarization
tour of the vehicle. Also make sure that you have your car rental contract
ready to show on exiting.
Infant seats are required by law for children under the age of 4 years
or 40 lbs, you can hire infant seats locally for a charge, or feel free
to take your own child-seat with you, they are light, and will help make the
car seem familiar to your children. Also seat belts must be worn by the driver
and all passengers, fines are large, but most importantly, they will keep you
Driving Hints and Tips
Some roads are Toll Roads, so it is a good idea to have some coins and small
denomination notes handy when travelling along them, to pay the Toll charges.
Always have at several quarters in the car; some tollbooths are automated so you
will not receive change. Do not drive through automated tollbooths, your vehicle
registration number will be recorded and a fine will be sent to the rental company
who will charge the fine to you.
The speed limits in Florida are much lower than in the UK. These speed limits are
strictly enforced and the penalties for exceeding them can be high and are payable
on the spot. Enforcement can be by radar, traffic cars, or in some cases by
helicopter and aeroplane so you can't outrun the Police. This may seem surprising,
since the quality of roads is so good, but
on average the maximum speed is 55mph. You can come across roads with speed limits
as low as 25mph limit, so watch the signs. Speed enforcement is now also present
even within the grounds of Walt Disney World. Even large, multi-lane roads have
relatively low speed limits, and since the levels of traffic can be very low, it
is essential that you watch that speedometer.
Your car rental agreement should be kept in the glove compartment so that it is
easily accessible at all times, and always carry your driving license on your
person, do not leave this in the vehicle.
At traffic lights you may turn right on a red light, once having come to a
complete stop, checking the coast is clear from the left, and ensuring there are
no signs stating 'No Right Turn on Red'. You may turn left ONLY when a green arrow
gives you the right of way - but ALWAYS check for oncoming traffic before turning.
A normal green light means you must watch out and yield to all oncoming traffic
when turning left.
Traffic lights are suspended on wires above eye level. When you are crossing a
junction, the suspended road name sign is the name of the road you are crossing,
not the road you are on.
If you see a yellow School Bus any single lane road, you may
not pass this bus. The bus is either collecting or dropping off
children. Traffic in both directions must stop until the bus moces off again.
Simply wait until the bus pulls away.
Make a record of your vehicles make, model, colour and registration.
This will help you find your car in a super-sized car parks. You will be surprised how
many rental cars look alike. It is also handy to have these details recorded should
something happen to the car.
Should you be involved in an accident whilst on your vacation, you must
inform the police and your car rental company immediately. Do not leave the scene
of the accident until the police have arrived and made a formal documented
accident report. Failure to obtain this report will void your insurance and will
make you liable for all loss, damages and claims. You must then go to the Car
Rental office with your contract and the accident report.
During the summer months, Florida can experience very heavy rain
showers during the day. These rain showers can be so heavy that visibility can be reduced
to only feet. In Florida when it rains you must switch on both your headlights and
your windscreen wipers. If visibility is really bad, pull over and wait for it to clear
DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. It is illegal to have opened containers of
alcohol in the car. Keep any alcohol in the boot.
Drive safe and enjoy your vacation!!