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Tips for Driving a Rental Car in Florida - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Planning your Trip

If you are picking up your rental car at the airport it is often best if the Driver goes to the relevant Car Rental Desk whilst the rest of the family waits for the luggage.

My Father and I tend to do this and although we leave Mother with the girls she usually gets a porter who will not only get the bags off the baggage carousel but also meet us and then put the bags in the car. We usually tip $2 a case and find that worthwhile. Trolleys (and we usually have two if not three) are charged at $3 each.

Accept a copy of the map the company gives you no matter how familiar you are with Florida. Even after 20 years we still refer to ours from time to time.

Be sure to check over your hire car for any dents and scratches and make sure the Rental Company know of these before you leave the car park. We once arrived late on a very dark night and missed a dent in the back door. The next morning we phoned the rental company and they made a note of this.

Try to quickly read the instruction book and make sure you know how to do the following:

First adjust your seat to its correct position, the buttons for doing this can be in a variety of places.

Find out how to use the window wipers, the Toll Booth operators do not like being sprayed! Also find out how to open the windows.

Even if you collect the car in daylight locate the lights switch and make sure you know how the lights work.

Check how the air conditioning and demisters work.

You are supposed to have your car rental agreement and driving license with you at all times. We keep ours in the glove compartment but a friend’s Mother always keeps theirs in her handbag as once they got locked out of the car and did not have a phone number for the Car Rental company.

Do not worry about driving slowly when you first arrive. Florida residents are aware of tourists around their airports.

The first time I drove in Orlando my Mother was in the passenger seat. The golden rule was as long as “Granny was in the gutter” I was on the right side of the road!

Remember you can Turn Right on Red at the lights unless there is traffic approaching or a sign to tell you not to do so.

Use an aerial topper for car parks, sometimes hard to work out which white mini van is yours! Some people tie strip of plastic to their aerial but be sure to take it off when driving as it makes an awful noise.

Car Parks are vast so it is often an idea to put the location of your car into your phone when you arrive at the Parks or shopping mall.

Enjoy driving in Florida.

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