When it comes to tourism, Florida is a clear winner, welcoming gazillions of overseas holidaymakers every year, especially from Europe. Renowned for its natural beauty, theme parks and Walt Disney magic, it’s the ideal holidays destination for people of all ages.
Wherever you want to go to, car hire in Florida offers you all the flexibility you need so you can do what you want, when you want. Whether you want to take a road trip around the Sunshine State, get to the world of Mickey Mouse at Disney World or check out the Everglades in the south, you’ll need the right permission to hire a car. Here are some pointers on what to do before you go.
What Do I Need to Be Able to Drive in Florida?
Of course, you’ll need to take your Great Britain or Northern Ireland driving license with you. It’s also advised to take an International Driving Permit with you. Not only that, the hiring company may well ask for a check code so they can see your driving record. Furthermore, if your driving licence doesn’t include a photo, you’ll need to bring proof of identity which does. It’s also recommended you take a credit card to rent a car.
What’s an International Driving Permit?
An IDP enables the holder to drive a private motor vehicle, and is valid for 12 months from the issue date, so long as the driver also holds a UK driving license. While it isn’t necessarily compulsory to take an IDP when hiring or buying a vehicle in Florida, several car hire companies do stipulate you carry an IDP, so be sure to double check the T’s and C’s with the insurance or hire company you’re planning to use before your trip.
Which International Driving Permit Will I Need?
There are two types of International Driving Permit, including:
- The IDP 1926
- The IDP 1949
In the US, you’ll need the IDP 1949.
What Age Can I Get an International Driving License?
To obtain an IDP, you must be aged over 21 and hold a valid UK driving licence or test pass certificate as well as provisional driving licence to apply for an IDP. Some companies require drivers to be at least 25 years old.
What’s the Difference Between an International Driving Permit and an International Driving License?
The International Driving License is no longer an officially accepted document. In other words, it can’t be used in place of a UK Driving License to carry an International Driving Permit.
How Do I Get Hold of an International Driving Permit Before My Holiday to the US?
You can apply for an IDP by post or at various UK Post Office branches. Be aware that you can’t get an IDP once you’ve arrived in the United States.
Where Are Car Rental Companies Located?
Most car hire companies in Florida are located at airports, with many being positioned within the city or hotels. It’s also possible to pick up a car at one location and drop it off at another, providing you stipulate this in good time. However, there could possibly be additional charges for this.
What if I Damage the Car?
If the car gets damaged, you‘re responsible. If it gets lost – it’s down to you. What’s more, you’re accountable for any property damage or personal injury that you may bring about when you’re driving the rental car. In which case, it’s a good idea to buy car insurance before you hire the car. Purchasing liability insurance is advised, at the least, should you encounter an accident. You may also want to purchase comprehensive insurance (also known as CDW/Collision Damage Waiver or LDW/Loss Damage Waiver).
What About Petrol?
When you hire a car, the petrol tank will be full. This means you’ll need to make sure it’s full when you return it. If you don’t fill it up to the top, it’ll be noted in the paperwork that it’s three quarters full, half full, and so on.
What Types of Cars Can I Hire?
There are numerous types of cars on offer, including subcompact, compact, medium, large, full-size, premium, SUV, minivan, convertible, and more.
Prices vary from company to company, and differentiates by season, time of week (i.e. weekday/weekend), whether there are any major events happening in the city, or how many days you’d like to rent the car for.
What About GPS Sat Nav?
Many car companies offer a GPS navigation system for an extra cost. GPS is very useful, especially in a foreign country, as it’ll give you step-by-step instructions, and you’ll be able to search for restaurants, shopping, petrol stations, and more – giving you maximum flexibility on your holiday.