Renting A Car In Orlando

A Guide for Tourists and Business Travelers Looking to Rent a Car in Orlando

Welcome to Sanford, Florida - a charming city just north of Orlando. Whether you're here for business or pleasure, one thing is certain: having a car rental will make your stay so much smoother and enjoyable.

And with Orlando Sanford International Airport being the closest airport to popular attractions like Disney World and Universal Studios, renting a car in Orlando is the smartest choice. In this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need about renting a car at the airport.

Choosing the Right Car Rental Company in Orlando

Start by researching online and comparing prices between companies like Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and more. Look into their customer reviews and ratings as well.

Another important factor in choosing the right rental company is considering your specific needs. Do you need a larger vehicle for a family trip or a smaller one just for yourself? Do you require additional services, such as GPS navigation or child seats? Make sure that the rental company you choose offers these add-ons if necessary.

Remember hidden fees, too. Some car rental companies in Orlando may have additional charges that must be clearly stated upfront. Always read through the terms and conditions carefully before making your reservation.

Consider the location of the car rental desk within SFB airport itself. Are they easily accessible from baggage claim? Will there be long lines during peak hours? All of these factors should play a role in determining which car rental company is best suited for your needs.

To compare car rental prices and check the availability of rental cars, see car rental services in Orlando.

Car Rental Options in Orlando

Major car rentals companies in Orlando like Alamo, Enterprise, Hertz, and Budget have offices in the airport's terminal building. This makes it easy for passengers to pick up their rental cars immediately after landing.

If you prefer smaller car rental companies, plenty of off-site providers offer shuttle services to and from the airport.

One thing to remember when choosing a car rental option is availability. During peak travel seasons, popular vehicles may be reserved quickly, so it's best to book your reservation ahead of time online or by phone.

Additionally, some providers may require additional documentation if renting with a foreign driver's license or credit card, so make sure you read and understand all terms and conditions before making your reservation.

Driving Directions from Orlando Sanford International Airport

To reach downtown Orlando or nearby cities like Lake Mary or Oviedo, take FL-417S towards Orlando and continue onto I-4W. For those heading towards Daytona Beach or New Smyrna Beach, take FL-417N until it merges with I-4E.

It's worth noting that traffic in this part of Florida can be heavy during peak travel times such as holidays and weekends. Use caution when driving and allow extra time for potential delays.

Benefits of Renting a Car in Orlando

Renting a car in Orlando can offer many benefits for tourists and business travelers. One of the biggest advantages is convenience. Having your own mode of transportation means you can explore Orlando on your own terms without being limited by public transport schedules or routes.

Another benefit is flexibility. When renting a car, you have the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. You're not tied down to any specific itinerary or timetable, which allows for more spontaneous adventures and excursions.

Renting a car can save you time. Instead of waiting in long lines for taxis or relying on crowded buses and trains, having your own vehicle means getting from point A to point B quickly and efficiently.

It's also worth noting that renting a car provides an added level of comfort and privacy compared to other modes of transportation. You don't have to worry about sharing space with strangers or dealing with noisy crowds during rush hour traffic.

What are the general terms and conditions of a rental car agreement?

Before renting a car, it is important to understand the general terms and conditions of a rental car agreement. These terms are often outlined in the rental contract provided by the company.

One of the most important things to note is that you will be responsible for any damages or accidents during your rental period. If you get into an accident or damage the vehicle in any way, you will be held liable for those costs.

Additionally, there may be restrictions on where you can drive the car. Some companies may not allow their cars to be driven out of state or into certain areas for insurance reasons.

Please also note any additional fees or charges that may apply, such as late return fees, fuel charges, and toll road fees. These fees can add up quickly and significantly increase your total bill.

Make sure to read through all of the terms carefully before signing anything. Be aware of any cancellation policies or penalties for breaking your agreement early.

What documents are needed before a foreigner can rent a car in Orlando?

You'll need a valid driver's license from your home country and an international driving permit (IDP). It proves that you hold a valid license in your home country. If an IDP cannot be obtained in the country of residence, an alternative professional, typed translation may be submitted. In either instance, the driver's license must also be presented from the driver's home country.

Learn how to obtain an International Driving Permit to drive in the United States.

It's also important to note that rental companies typically require renters to be at least 21 years old. Some companies may require renters to be older, so it's best to check with the specific company beforehand.

In addition to these documents, most rental companies will ask for a credit or debit card in the renter's name. This is used as security against any damages or fees incurred during the rental period.

What payment methods are available for international customers?

Suppose you're an international customer renting a car. In that case, most major credit cards are accepted by car rental companies in the United States.

Before finalizing your reservation, check with your chosen company which specific credit cards they accept. All rental agencies widely accept American Express, Visa, and Mastercard.

It's important to note that some debit cards may not be accepted for car rentals in the US or require additional documentation for verification purposes. It's always best to check with your bank and the rental agency.

Another option is using cash as a form of payment; however, this can often come with restrictions such as higher security deposits or limited availability depending on the location and specific company policies.

Tips for Avoiding Rental Car Fees and Charges

When renting a car, it's important to be aware of any additional fees and charges that may come up. Here are some tips for avoiding them.

  • Ensure you understand your rental agreement's terms and conditions before signing anything. This will help you avoid any surprises later on.
  • Return the car on time. Late returns can incur extra fees or even a day's rental charge.
  • Fill up the gas tank before returning the car. Most companies require renters to return the vehicle with a full gas tank. If not filled up completely, they may charge exorbitant refueling fees.
  • Avoid making changes to your reservation at the last minute, as this could lead to unnecessary charges being imposed by rental agencies.
  • You can also ask your rental company if you can use your GPS device so that you don't have to pay extra for one from the rental company.

What are the rules for parking and driving in Orlando?

Awareness of parking and driving rules is important when driving in Orlando. In general, traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road. The maximum speed limit is 55 miles per hour on highways and interstates, but it can change depending on the area.

If you plan on parking your rental car, check for any restrictions or signs before leaving it unattended. Parking in a handicapped spot without proper documentation or permits could result in hefty fines or towing.

Additionally, never park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or block a driveway, as this will result in fines and potential towed vehicle fees.

Another important rule to remember is that distracted driving laws are enforced here. Texting while driving is illegal, so keep both hands free when behind the wheel.

For reliable and secured parking locations, see more available parking options in Orlando.

What should a foreigner do when driving in Orlando for the first time?

It can be quite intimidating if you're a foreigner driving for the first time in Orlando. The roads and highways may differ from what you're used to, and the traffic can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help make your first driving experience more manageable.

Familiarize yourself with the rules of the road in Orlando. In Florida, drivers drive on the right-hand side of the road, and speed limits are measured in miles per hour (mph). Florida's highways are famous for being wide and straight, giving you plenty of room to adjust to the change.

Also, prepare for tolls. Depending on your exit point from the 417, you should expect to pay between $6 and $7 in tolls. Keep to the right and enter the building via the booth on the right.

Consider renting a GPS device or using Google Maps on your phone to navigate around town. This will help you stay on track and stay aware of your location. Ensure you also understand basic traffic signs like stop or yield signs.

Always wear your seatbelt while driving in Orlando. Also, remember that drinking alcohol before or during driving is against the law, no matter where you come from.

Feel free to ask locals if you need directions or have any questions about local traffic customs. It can help avoid confusion and unnecessary stress while driving around town.

Finally, take things slow. Take your time with fast-paced traffic situations once feeling comfortable with local road layouts & signage systems - this will ensure safer travels throughout your journey.

What should you do if the cops pull you in for a traffic violation?

If you find yourself in this situation while driving a rental car, there are some steps you should follow to ensure the best outcome.

  • Remain calm and pull your vehicle over safely. Turn off the engine and roll down your window as soon as possible. Being polite and respectful to the officer who approaches your car is important.
  • When requested, provide all necessary documents, such as your driver's license, passport, rental agreement, and insurance papers. Stay patient while they check everything out.
  • Answer questions the officer asks honestly and clearly without providing extra information or admitting guilt unnecessarily. If you don't understand something or need further clarification on why you were pulled over - ask politely.
  • It is vital not to argue with an officer or become confrontational during a traffic stop; doing so could lead to being detained or arrested, affecting future travel plans. Remember that most police officers want everyone on the roadways safe.

What if the car breaks down during the rental period?

A breakdown is one of the worst-case scenarios during a car rental period. While uncommon, it's always best to be prepared just in case.

  • If you experience a car breakdown, the first thing to do is safely pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. You should contact your rental company immediately and inform them of what happened.
  • The rental company will provide instructions on how to proceed, or they may send someone to assist you as soon as possible. You must follow their guidelines accordingly.
  • In some cases, if there are no repair shops nearby, the rental company may offer a replacement vehicle so your trip will be on time. However, keep in mind that this is subject to availability.
  • Remember to document everything related to the incident, such as photos or videos of any damages or malfunctions, in case of disputes concerning fees or charges due to negligence.

What to do if you're involved in a traffic accident?

Being involved in a traffic accident can be a scary and stressful experience, especially if you are in an unfamiliar place. Here are some steps to take if you find yourself in this situation while renting a car.

  • Make sure everyone is safe and call 911 immediately. Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved, including their name, address, phone number, insurance company, and policy number. Take photos of any damage to your rental car and the other vehicle(s).
  • Also, file a police report even if no one was hurt or major damage occurred. This will help when filing an insurance claim later on. Try to obtain witness statements from anyone who saw the accident happen.
  • Contact your rental car company to inform them of what happened and follow their instructions regarding repair procedures or returning damaged vehicles.
  • Remember that accidents can happen anywhere, so it's always important to stay alert while driving and be prepared for unexpected situations like this.

What other transport options are available in Orlando?

Aside from renting a car, other transport options are available for tourists and business travelers in Orlando. One popular option is to use ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft. These services have become increasingly popular due to their convenience and relatively low cost.

Another option is to take a shuttle service, arranged through your hotel or booked online before arrival. Shuttle services offer transportation to and from the airport and various destinations around town.

If you prefer public transportation, Lynx Bus operates throughout Orlando and surrounding areas with regular routes and schedules. However, there may be more convenient options if you're on a tight schedule or need to familiarize yourself with the area.

For those who want a more unique experience, consider taking a pedicab tour of downtown Orlando. These tours offer an eco-friendly mode of transportation while also providing an informative guide to the city's history and attractions.

For more detailed information about bus routes and other transport options, see transport alternatives in Orlando.

What must-see attractions I can visit using a rental car in Orlando?

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

One such attraction is the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, which houses hundreds of animals across the property. Visitors can take a train ride around the zoo to see the exhibits or walk through the botanical gardens to enjoy exotic plants.

Another popular destination is Fort Mellon Park, situated on Lake Monroe. This park offers visitors picnic areas with grills for cooking out, boat ramps for water activities like fishing and skiing, playgrounds for kids, and open green spaces perfect for outdoor games.

If you're interested in history, head to The Sanford Museum, where you will learn about Sanford's past – from its early days as a citrus farming town to one of Central Florida's major transportation hubs during World War II.

And remember Lake Jesup, known best as a home base to over 10k gators. If you are feeling adventurous, take an airboat tour or rent kayaks for a relaxing time on this beautiful lake surrounded by cypress trees.

For more information about available tourist attractions that you can visit during your stay in the city, see the best tourism offerings in Orlando.

Where can I stay, and what options do I have for lodgings in Orlando?

Orlando is a wonderful city to explore and experience, with many options for those seeking lodging. The most popular choice among travelers is hotels, which range from budget-friendly hotels to more luxurious accommodations.

Other accommodation options include vacation rentals, bed & breakfasts, campgrounds, hostels, RV parks, and houseboats. No matter what type of stay you're looking for in Orlando, plenty of great choices will fit your needs perfectly.

The price range varies greatly depending on the time of year and type of accommodation. During peak season, budget-friendly options can start at around $50 per night, while luxury resorts may cost up to $400 or more. During off-season months, prices drop significantly, with some rooms going as low as $25 a night.

To compare prices or book a hotel in and around the city, see hotels and accommodations in Orlando.

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