Car Rental while visiting Orlando Florida

Car Rental while visiting Orlando Florida

Traveling around in Orlando and Kissimmee area and being able to visit the various parks and attractions requires some planning with regards to transportation.  Some of the hotels in town provide their guests with shared transportation in vans with service at designated times (more or less). If you are one of those Disney fans who need to cover the parks completely or planning on staying late for the fireworks, you will need your transportation to get to your destination. The one advantage of relying on shared transportation provided by some of the local hotels is that you do not have to drive. This is often countered by the disadvantage of having to wait for your turn and the ride back to your accommodation may take longer depending on who else being transported with you. The other disadvantage is that you may need transportation with little or no notice if you need to make a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy in the middle of the night.

To counter the above disadvantages we strongly recommend our guests to have their own rental car during their stay in the Disney area while staying in one of the many vacation homes the area has to offer. One such community that offers many outstanding rental homes near Disney is Emerald Island Resort. If you are wondering about renting a vacation home versus a hotel or the advantages of renting from owners directly, you have some reading to do.

Once you agree that renting a car is the way to go, the process is quite simple.  Best of all, you can plan your rental car needs and make arrangements even before arriving in Orlando. There are many rental car agencies in Orlando airport and throughout the area. If you are coming to Orlando by airplane, reserve your car ahead of time and be ready to pick up the keys at the rental agency counter in the airport.  Renting a car gives you’re the freedom to be on your own schedule.

The following are some of the factors that you must bear in mind with respect to renting a car:

Reservations: You will need to reserve a car ahead of time. Rental agencies are frequently sold-out of cars which mean that if you arrive in Orlando without a pre-arrangement, you may not be able to rent a car on the spot. This is particularly true during high and holiday travel seasons. Rental cars can be reserved daily or weekly with weekly rates being cheaper on a per day basis. Also, a weekly rental may be cheaper than renting for five or six days.

Size Classification: Reserve the car that is adequate for your family size.  Based on the rental agency understand the capacity of the car with respect to passengers and baggage it can carry. A full-size car may not mean the same depending on the agency you rent from and based on your understanding. The rental car agency’s classification may vary from the country of your origin. Also, if you need a specific make and model of car you may have to ask for the same at the time of pick-up. When you are at the counter to pick-up your car, the agents usually ask if you need an upgrade at extra cost (say $10/day). While this may be tempting, you may want to accept or reject the upgrade option based on your needs. Depending on availability, you may even get a free upgrade at the time of pick-up. This is particularly true if the car classification you reserve is in high demand at the time of your pick-up.

Payment: Payment for your rental car is typically handled with a credit card.  Even if you pre-paid for the renal at the time of reservation, you will still need to provide a credit card at the time of pick-up for security reasons.  Your cost of rental includes the base cost and taxes. You may also include insurance, pre-paid tolls, and pre-paid gas with the rental.

Options to consider:

  • Insurance: We recommend that you inquire with the credit card companies about the rental car insurance as many of them include it as a card member benefit.
  • Pre-Paid Tolls: Pre-paid tolls are an expense that you can avoid by carrying some change. Most toll-booths are staffed in the Orlando area though you may come across one or two that are automated and need you to carry exact change or a Speed Pass.
  • Gasoline: You can rent the car with or without the gas option. When you rent the car with the gas option, you can return the car without worrying about the gas level as you are charged up-front for the full tank of gas.  The only drawback is that you will always lose with this option as it is nearly impossible to plan to use up all the gas that you paid for.  The other option is to return the car with a full tank of gas. The best part is there is a gas station on Tradeport Drive (near the airport) where the price is reasonable. Before you head to the airport keep an eye for the current price as some gas stations close to the airport are notorious for price gouging by not displaying the price prominently. If you drive up and down the street, you may see another gas station with prices as low as one dollar per gallon cheaper.  Also, beware that if you return the car without refueling when you are supposed to, you will be charged a premium price by the rental car agency.
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