Renting a Car in Miami
What you need to know before you rent a car in Miami
Depending on where you stay in Miami, you may rent a car. If you are staying in parts of the city that are not as convenient to get around, or you are looking to explore South Florida, then you will want to have your own wheels. But if you are staying in South Beach, not only is a car unnecessary, it can be a nuisance to park. Parking is very expensive at the hotels, costing from $30 a day. And if you do decide to drive somewhere on the beach, finding a parking space can take a while or you will end up using a valet for at least another $15. It is much easier to use cabs if you are in South Beach.
Renting a car at the airport
Rates and what it includes
Extra charges that are not included are the insurance of the vehicle which you must pay for. However, for International customers paying with an overseas credit card, insurance is usually included in the price of the rental. Some credit card companies in the US may also include insurance as part of their benefits, so do check before you pay for it at the rental office. Make sure you know the policy and what you are covered for before you leave with the car.
Miami freeways have a system for tolls where you can use a Sunpass to drive directly through without stopping. Many roads now have cashless tolls and will only accept Sunpass or they will bill you by your license plate. This costs a lot of money due to the additional admin fees, so if you are renting a car, make sure you request the Sunpass. The charge comes at the end of your rental and will appear on your credit card statement after you return home.
Extra costs in the rates are also incurred when you do not return the car to its original pick up point. As most companies do have an office in Miami Beach as well as the airport, this is also something to consider.
Knowing where to go
Road rules for driving in Miami
But the main road rules in Miami are remembering people here drive recklessly. People talking on their cell phones whilst driving is not illegal and is a common sight, as a result drivers do not pay attention to the road. You have to drive defensively. People turn without indicating, run red lights and drift into other lanes in the freeway. Driving here is not for the faint hearted.
Renting a car gives you freedom on your vacation to travel and explore. If you are renting a car for Miami, keep the bad drivers in mind while you are on the road. And if you are continuing on to the Keys, West Coast or Orlando, soon you will be leaving them far behind you as you continue on your Florida vacation!
Photo by: Scott Alexander
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