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  1. Default Florida Car Hire For UK Newbie!

    Hi everyone

    I am looking for some advice on a road trip for my partner and myself,
    We have booked to fly over in mid may to Orlando int airport and then have an open itinerary for 2 weeks! Iím really struggling with what vehicle to get, we want to use motels and hotels so would you suggest a car or a 4x4? I love the sound of a 4x4 and the extra room you get but is it over the top for just 2 people in florida? Also I keep reading about not getting the car you ordered when you arrive so is there any point ordering a specific model? I think Iím having trouble due to the cars in the UK being much smaller!

    Thanks for your help on this


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America forum!

    Florida is incredibly flat, and most anywhere you would normally want to go would be accessible via any vehicle, so I don't see the need for a four-wheel drive vehicle. Since you most likely will not be carrying a ton of gear, I think it would definitely be overkill.

    As far as not getting the exact vehicle, that is generally true - most rental places reserve on the basis of "class" of car, not a specific make/model. For example, you would reserve a "midsize" or "luxury" vehicle. There are specialty rental outlets that do rent specific models, but they tend to be geared towards high-end vehicles.

    The closest thing to the small European vehicles would be the "economy" class, though even "compact" and "intermediate" are still quite small.

  3. Default Florida Car Hire For UK Newbie!

    Hi Tim

    So would you say a midsize would be enough? I have been reading various sites and the general opinion is that 500 miles a day is comfortable would you agree? Also what company should I useÖ open ended I know!!

    Thanks for your reply :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Midsize

    A midsize would be fine for two people - this would be roughly the size of a UK Ford Mondeo, Honda Accord, etc. You'll be able to check the options on the various sites for the rental companies. Once the size starts going up, of course, economy goes down. Figure on around 20-25mpg US in these cars.

    I don't have a recommendation of one company over another.

  5. #5

    Default Try them all

    I rent purely based on price and check out all the options. But always ensure you're comparing like for like and that the price includes all taxes, charges and insurance that you require.

    The last couple of times that I've been to Florida I have booked with Dollar through as this was the cheapest option for me. It had the added benefit of Dollar being 'on site' at Orlando so no hassles being bused to their lot AND the price included FULL insurance (I literally could have written the car off and I'd not have had to pay a penny in excess/deductible) But its simply a case of shopping round for the best deal. You might want to check this page out for advice & discount codes.

    Is it a circular journey? What are you hoping to see/do whilst you are there? Do you have any particular destintions in mind?

  6. Default Florida Car Hire For UK Newbie!

    Not yet, i was thinking of booking a hotel the night we arrive and then picking up the car the next day. Maybe hit disney first then not sure, any suggestions on what to do?

    Craig what car did you use? dollar seem good so do yescarhire. also what motel / hotel chain is best? As long as its clean it will be ok, or do you go for small private owned hotels?

    Can you make it round the whole of florida in two weeks??

  7. #7

    Default Dollar

    Can you make it round the whole of Florida? Depends how fast you intend on driving and how much time you want to spend in each place. I tend to try and squeeze what some people consider to be too much into my trips which might leave some people feeling a little breathless but I think you could give it a good go. You're probably better off limiting yourself a little though - it may not be the biggest state and it may not have the best scenery but rush through it too quickly and you'll just come home feeling tired and wondering 'what just happened?' There is a serious amount to do in Florida that doesn't involve 'The Mouse' - have a read of my (half finished - must rectify that) report from my trip over in November for a few ideas.

    When I came over last month I rented again through Dollar and, as the trip was on a tight budget, I booked the cheapest class car that they had. A couple of quid under £100 for 10 days or so. When I arrived I made my way to the assigned space in the parking lot anxious to see what I had been given -- to find a Mustang converible waiting for me. That had to be bargain of the year!

    With regard to which hotel chain to use, I tend to look for something like a Holiday Inn or a Ramada as they're reasonably decent. I do tend to avoid Super 8 or Motel 6 types places unless they are new builds as the older properties can be very poorly maintained and the dirt can leave you mentally scarred! I usually just swong off the interstate when I'm tired and follow the signs to the nearest cluster of accomodation and pick the best looking one... seems to work for me. One thing you should never be afraid of doing is asking to see the room and, if you don't like what you see, walk away. The reception staff will be quites used to people asking to check out what they're paying for before they part with any of their money.

  8. Default car matter

    wonder what the worst hire car of the year award would goto!
    thanks for the link Craig i will read up later, ever been to key west?
    How much a night do the Holiday Inn and Ramada charge? is Petrol really that cheap?!

  9. #9

    Default Dunno, yes, depends, yes

    Worst hire car? Mustang convertible? :p Sooo touristy hehe

    Yep, been to Key West. It's all on the link.

    The cost of hotels is extremely variable and you'd need to check it out on the ground.

    And, yes! Petrol/gasoline is extremely cheap in the US. Just keep in mind that US cars don't tend to be very fuel efficient. (I have heard radio adverts boasting of 20mpg economy!!)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Fuel costs

    Quote Originally Posted by terryuk View Post
    is Petrol really that cheap?!
    Figure that, at the moment, the cost of a US gallon of fuel is about 1.58£

    I don't know that any one particular hotel chain has the lock on providing the best rooms, but I have had good luck with Best Western over the years. They do tend to cost a bit more, however.

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