Hiring a car is the ideal way to get around and investigate the Sunshine State whilst the flexibility means you can plan your itinerary on a daily basis. Many Orlando car rental companies are based at the airports with other collection offices located in Kissimmee, Lake Buena Vista and at Disney, so should you choose to drive for only a period of your holiday in Orlando, there are outlets permitting the collection in resort.

Before deciding to rent a car in Florida, it is important you consider sizes as many tour operators and travel agents will only provide a basic car for your party with the minimum insurance. Guests can then be asked to pay for additional car upgrades and insurances upon arrival at inflated prices – so, the key is to plan and confirm the sizes. If booking a package holiday to Florida, it is certainly worthwhile looking closely at the vehicle allocated and upgrading if necessary before travel. We would never recommend upgrading upon arrival at the airport. Baby seats and Satellite Navigation can be booked as extras with Baby Seats around $9 per day and Satellite Navigation around $20 per day. Clients can also take your own baby car seats and Satellite Navigation systems.

One aspect which confuses people is the car rental system. When reserving a vehicle, you will usually reserve a vehicle category and not a specific vehicle. For example, you would reserve an Intermediate 4 door not a Ford Impala. When picking up your car, the rental desk will request the photographic and paper copy of your driving license and a credit card imprint which is used as security. They will then process the hire and assign your group vehicle and direct you to a parking area containing the group of vehicle reserved. This is where the fun begins....there will be a few different vehicles, sometimes, different makes and models, so you do get the choice upon arrival.

TIP – Try and avoid leather interior – these vehicles can get very hot in the Florida sun.

Now you have chosen your vehicle, its time to familiarise yourself with controls. Staff are on hand to guide you through but its important you take the opportunity to double check. When exiting the parking lot the attendant will require the paperwork and you will be on your way!

Enjoy the drive....oh, and don;t forget to drive on the right hand side of the road!

What vehicles

A major consideration should be the size of vehicle and the cases the vehicle can comfortably accommodate. The below is a guide:

Economy 2 door A/C - 5 passengers 2 cases
Economy 4 door A/C - 5 passengers 2 cases
Compact 2 door A/C - 5 passengers 3 cases
Compact 4 door A/C - 5 passengers 3 cases
Intermediate 2 door A/C - 5 passengers 3 cases
Intermediate 4 door A/C - 5 passengers 3 cases
Full Size 2 door A/C - 5 passengers 4 cases
Full Size 4 door A/C - 5 passengers 4 cases
Premium 4 door A/C - 5 passengers 4 cases
Luxury 4 door A/C - 5 passengers 5 cases
Convertible 2 door A/C - 4 passengers 3 cases
Intermediate Sports Utility A/C - 5 passengers 5 cases
Sports Utility Vehicle A/C - 5 passengers 4 cases
7 Seater Minivan A/C - 7 passengers 4 cases
7 Seater Full Size SUV A/C - 7 passengers 5 cases
8 Seater SUV A/C - 8 passengers 5 cases
8 Seater Minivan A/C - 8 passengers 3 cases
12 Seater Minivan A/C - 12 passengers 5 cases
15 Seater Minivan A/C - 15 passengers 5 cases

Car insurance can be very complicated with different car rental agencies offering varying packages. The choice is of course the drivers, but we recommend the minimum:

Unlimited Mileage.
Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) – combination of Collision Damage (CDW) and Theft Waiver. This covers you for the cost of replacement or repair to the vehicle.
Uninsured Motorist Protection (UMP) – covers the liability if hit or injured whilst in hire vehicle up to $1 million by an uninsured or hit and run motorist.
Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) 0- this covers third party claims up to $1m Liability Cover for bodily damage or property damage resulting from an accident.
All Taxes and Airport Fees.
Some policies include an option for a tank of fuel which should be taken if available, as it is very difficult to return vehicles full.

The above is for guide purposes only and each policy should be individually checked.

Under 25s
Young drivers may find hiring vehicles problematic but there are a few rental companies who can help. Drivers aged 19 – 20 can rent from a few local companies including U-Save at a cost of around $20 per day.

Drivers aged 21 – 25 have a few more options including the likes of U-Save but also well known car rental companies in Orlando such as Alamo, Budget and Dollar. Budget drivers must purchase the more expensive Diamond package with the cost being around £55 per week and £11 per day. Alamo is slightly more expensive priced at around £62 per week and £12 per day.

We would recommend purchasing a Young Drivers Package through a reputable Florida car rental. They can offer expert advice and ensure you choose the best package for your age and stay, and also make sure all payments are made prior to departure.