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Driving In Orlando | A Brits Guide To Driving In Orlando Florida

A Brits Guide to Driving in Orlando Florida

Are you nervous about driving in Orlando? well this guide is for you!

The thought of driving in Florida can be daunting without having to worry about how to get to everywhere you plan on visiting. The more prepared you are, the better your trip will be and the more fun you’ll fun. Vacation is meant for relaxation and fun, so let us help by offering the answers to some frequently asked questions.

How old do you have to be to rent a car in Florida?

In Florida, you must be at least 21 to rent a car. Drivers aged 21 to 25 are subject to a surcharge. However, there are some companies which offer discount packages for younger drivers, such as Alamo and their Young Driver’s Package which allows up to three drivers aged 21 to 24 to have driving privileges with no additional surcharges.

Is there a maximum age limit to rent a car in Florida?

No, there is not. As long as you have a valid drivers license, and are over twenty-one years old, you are eligible to rent a car in Florida.

What documentation do you need to hire a car in Orlando?

You will need a valid drivers license. Both the new style of UK driving license as well as the old style are acceptable, but the applicant may be required to show a valid picture ID as well, such as a passport. As long as the license to drive is written in English, the renter doesn’t need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) from their local licensing authority.

How is Driving in Orlando different to the UK?

Most importantly, in Orlando, they drive on the RIGHT side of the road. However, the roads are generally wide and easy to navigate. Just take it easy when first starting out, but it will get easier! Familiarize yourself with the car; adjust the seat, mirrors, and steering wheel to best accommodate you. Check out how to work the air conditioning, lights, wipers, radio, and other essential buttons.

You’ll also be sitting on the left side of the car, which may throw you off. It may take some getting used to, but it usually doesn’t take long at all.

Here are a few other differences about Driving in Orlando to consider:

The road signs overhead show the name of the road you are crossing; your road’s name will be facing posted parallel to your road. This may seem confusing, but just remember, the way the street sign sits represents the way the street runs.

Main routes to theme parks and other tourist attractions are well marked. In fact, most everything is well posted in Orlando.

Most gas (petrol) stations require you to pay first. However, if you want to “pay at the pump” using a credit card, that is available as well. Otherwise, if paying cash or making additional purchases, you will need to pay for the gas, telling the cashier how much and which number gas pump, before being able to pump your gas.

On roads with three or more lanes, you may pass (undertake) on either side in Orlando. This may seem strange, but you will learn to love it when getting stuck behind someone in that center lane. When passing, just be sure to check your mirrors and your blind spot before doing so. If you feel nervous or anxious about passing, don’t. It’s always better to stay comfortable while driving in a foreign country.

If it’s raining, turn your lights on. It heavy downpours, visibility becomes minimal. It is essential to be careful when driving in the rain. If you can’t see, pull over and wait for the rain to abate; the people who live in Orlando have to do it all the time! Always be safe; don’t drive if you can’t see well.

Driving in Orlando Rules…

There are quite a few we’d like to share; we want to make sure you know everything you need to know about driving in Florida so you can feel more comfortable and enjoy your time here. Here are some rules of the road you need to know:

  • You can turn right on red unless otherwise stated with signage. This applies to all immediate right-hand turns on all types of road. Roads which do not allow turning right on red will have a side that says plainly say “no turn on red.”
  • You have to come to a complete stop at STOP signs. You can’t do a “rolling stop”; it’s illegal, even though it’s what a lot of drivers do. You have to stop for a full three seconds. Count them out; don’t get ticketed for running a stop sign.
  • You must carry your license at all times while driving. You are required to show your license if you are either stopped by being pulled over or by going through a random traffic check.
  • If you do get pulled over, remain in your vehicle and let the officer come to you. It may be normal where you live to get out of your car; DO NOT do this in Florida or any other state in the US. WAIT for the officer inside your vehicle.
  • On a three-lane highway, you are allowed to pass on either side.
  • Be sure to keep a check on the posted speed limit. Interstate travel is generally 70 MPH but can drop as low as 55 in some places, so be sure to be aware.
  • Do NOT drink and drive!! It is illegal in Florida to have either an open container of alcohol or even just visible alcohol in your vehicle. Carry all alcohol in your trunk and wait until you get to your destination before opening any.

What is a Orlando Toll Road?

A toll road, which also may be known as a toll way or turnpike, is a public, or sometimes private, road which drivers must pay a fee to use. (The tolls are implemented typically for helping to recoup the cost of both road construction and maintenance.)

How much do Orlando Toll Roads Cost?

The average cost of toll roads in Orlando is a dollar unless you have a SunPass, then the average is .78¢ You can generally purchase a SunPass from your rental company or arrange your rental car’s transponder to bill the SunPass rate to you automatically. FYI: Rental companies typically charge you a daily flat fee for your transponder being used.

Some toll booths are manned; some are unmanned. When there is an attendant, you should be able to get change. However, if the booth is unmanned, you’ll need correct change.

Orlando Rental Car insurance requirements 

The state requires that all car rental companies carry insurance on every vehicle in their fleet. In addition, most clients’ are already covered by their credit cards or existing insurance, for example. Damage waivers are recommended. You DO NOT have to purchase the rental agency’s insurance. They CAN refuse to rent you a car, but most likely they won’t.

What happens if I have an accident in Orlando?

If you have an accident, you must report it to the police by dialling 911. You are not allowed to leave the scene of the accident until an officer tells you that you can leave. Be sure to ask for an accident report to provide your rental service. In addition, also be sure to advise your rental service of the accident as well.

Can I use my mobile phone while Driving in Orlando?

While distracted driving and talking on a mobile phone are not yet illegal in Florida, it’s not a good idea to take part in this activity in any state. It only takes a second of distracted driving to cause an accident. Not only could an accident ruin your vacation, but it could take someone’s life. Don’t talk on your cell phone while driving unless you have a hands free device.

Does my child need to be in a car seat in Orlando? 

In Florida, children must use the correct child car seat until they are either 135 cm in height or twelve years in age, whichever comes first. After this, the child must wear an adult seat belt. There are different seat requirements from birth to twelve years old, so be sure to check that your child’s seat meets them.

What types of cars are available to rent in Orlando

Basically, there is every type of car available to hire; just choose which you prefer. Cost may play a part in your choice as well, but there are the following types available:

Cars

  • Economy
  • Convertible
  • Compact
  • Sporty
  • Midsize/Fullsize
  • Luxury
  • Hybrids
  • Electric

SUV’s

  • Compact
  • Mid-size/full-size luxury
  • Jeeps

Vans…

  • 7-15 person vans
  • Cargo vans

Trucks…

  • Pick up trucks

How long does it take to drive from Orlando International Airport to Disney World?

It only takes about twenty minutes to drive from Orlando International Airport to Disney World.

How long does it take to drive from Sanford International Airport to Disney World?

It takes about fifty minutes to drive from Sanford International Airport to Disney World.

Rental Car Companies at Orlando International Airport

There are several rental car companies at Orlando International Airport from which to choose. Here are their names and business phone numbers:

  • Advantage/1.800.777.5500
  • Alamo/1.800.327.9633
  • Avis/1.800.831.2847
  • Budget/1.800.527.0700
  • Dollar/1.800.800.4000
  • Enterprise/1.800.325.8007
  • E-Z Rent A Car/1.800.277.5171
  • Hertz/1.800.654.3131
  • National/1.800.227.7368
  • Payless Car Rental/1.407.856.5539
  • Thrifty/1.800.847.4389

Rental Car Companies at Sanford International Airport?

Most of the car rental companies at Sanford are the same as the companies at Orlando International. There are fewer, but still, several from which to choose. Here are there names and business phone numbers:

Advantage –1.800.777.5500

Alamo – 1.800.327.9633

Avis – 1.800.331.1212

Budget – 1.800.527.0700

Dollar – 1.800.423.4704

Enterprise – 1.800.736.8222

Hertz – 1.800.654.3131

National – 1.800.327.9633

Thrifty – 1.800.847.4389

How long does it take to drive from Walt Disney World to Universal Studios Orlando?

To get from Walt Disney World to Universal Studios really depends on the traffic. However, it’s not very far, so when traffic is light, it will only take about fifteen minutes, and you can expect it to take closer to forty-five minutes during rush hour/heavy traffic. Plan accordingly.

If I decide against Driving in Orlando, what other options are available?

Other available options for driving yourself include the following:

  • Lynx Bus – Lynx Bus is Central Florida’s bus system; bus stops can be identified by a pink paw mark.
  • I-Ride Trolley – The trolley is available seven days a week all year round from 8 am EST to 1030 pm EST with stops every twenty minutes.
  • Orlando Shuttle Vans – Vans and buses are a popular way of getting around, especially from the airport to your hotel.
  • Taxi Service – There’s also an abundance of taxis in Orlando if that’s your preference.
  • Theme Park Buses – If you are staying at any number of hotels in the Disney World area, you can take advantage of free shuttle buses to various spots on the property.
  • Sun Rail Train – The newest system and Central Florida’s first passenger rail system commutes over sixty miles connecting four counties to Orlando.
  • LYMMO Bus – This is a free circulator bus you can use in Downtown Orlando; it has over twenty stops and is free.
  • Lyft/Uber – There are also Lyft and Uber available in Orlando as well.

Other Tips for Driving in Orlando…

  • Most rental cars are automatic. You must step on the brake prior to putting the car into gear, either drive or reverse. You must also manually put the car park when parking as well.
  • Take pictures of all four sides of your rental car or take a walk-around video. Be sure to document any scratches, dents, or marks so that the rental agency can’t blame them on you and charge you for them.
  • Also, take a pic of your rental agreement and a number for emergency breakdowns; you’ll want to keep this information in the car.
  • Be sure to read your rental agreement thoroughly before signing, as you should all legally binding contracts. Even if they tell you what it “basically” says, read it for yourself.
  • When returning your rental, be sure to fill the gas tank back up. If you don’t, you’ll be charged for not doing so, and it will cost more than the tank of gas would have.

Further Reading…

Holly Smith

I'm Holly a Mum of 4 with a love for everything Disney & Orlando!

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