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Orlando International Airport - Do I need to prebook hire car

(40 Posts)
theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 01-Feb-13 19:58:34

I like to hire in advance DH likes to take his chances. What do people recommend and any particular car hire companies that are good? Would prefer one that we didn't have to get a bus to as we will be tired.

NoraSpect Fri 01-Feb-13 20:49:55

Last time we went we booked in advance with Alamo. You don't need to catch a bus to get there, it's just out of the doors and across the road and you're there. Really easy and great service.

specialsubject Fri 01-Feb-13 20:56:18

last time I went to America, it was MUCH cheaper to book in advance because the insurance was cheaper if bought from the UK.

mummytime Fri 01-Feb-13 21:00:00

It's much cheaper and quicker to book in advance. You can often upgrade if they have availability.

MummysPuppet Fri 01-Feb-13 21:00:13

We booked in advance with Dollar through their US site. All fine and straightforward. Have a google for discount codes while you're at it - we found one that saved us a few hundred dollars, which counts for car hire because it's not cheap!

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 01-Feb-13 21:05:35

Thanks folks. I have an annual worldwide insurance policy so we're good for that. Will check out Alamo - have found through experience in Europe that it's best to go for a well known brand and will google for discount codes.

I'm looking at convertibles grin. I know its a bit expensive, but we hired one for our honeymoon in Colorado and it ended up snowing in June so we didn't get full use of it.

nefertarii Sat 02-Feb-13 08:43:56

The cheapest way to do is to book a basic car. With top insurance. Not sure what happens if you already have insurance? I don't know if they let you hire without taking their own.

Anyway I would book before you go because if not you will need to go to all the desks to find out the best price/ who has what car etc. Tbh I couldn't be bothered after the flight.

We go to Florida every year and usually book with Alamo or budget. Both in the terminal building. You cross the road outside into the multi story and you car is there.

We flew to Orlando 20 years ago and you had to get a bus to the rental places. It was a pain. But they are all on site now.

nefertarii Sat 02-Feb-13 08:45:55

Oh also print off the upgrade prices before you go. Last time they tried to charge loads to upgrade. Dh had screen printed the prices from website and showed them and they brought it down to match.

GettingObsessive Sat 02-Feb-13 08:48:22

The travel insurance you have is not the same as the insurance you have with a hire car - your travel insurance will not cover you for car accidents or damage to the car.

Book in the UK in advance because the collision damage waiver is expensive to buy on top once you get there and is included by law in bookings made in the UK (even for a hire in the US).

RedPencils Sat 02-Feb-13 08:59:25

Are you sure your insurance covers you for hiring a car in US? We have worldwide travel and still had to pay for car insurance. You need a lot of insurance in America.

mummymeister Sat 02-Feb-13 09:42:40

book in advance if poss. we went at peak time and there was a huge queue of people waiting hours to pick up a car with the prebooked ones all going first. this was in miami but made me realise never to risk it. dont think your insurance will cover you and tbh unless 100% and you get it in writing from your company specifically i wouldnt risk it.

Bunbaker Sat 02-Feb-13 09:47:44

Another vote for book in advance. We have been to different parts of the states and have always booked with Alamo. You must take out collision damage waiver and it is cheaper to do so in the UK. We hit a deer on one of our trips (the deer was OK but the car sustained some damage). Thankfully we had CDW and the car hire company were absolutely fine with it. As has already been pointed out CDW is not included in an annual travel insurance.

After a long flight the last thing you want to do is spend ages sorting out car hire, and paying more in the process.

Hulababy Sat 02-Feb-13 09:59:35

We always book in advance - usually cheaper ime. Have a look at Travel Supermarket for suggestions - can get car rental very cheap - even under £100 for a small car.
If you have to get there they try to make you buy all this extra enhanced insurance which is very expensive and most of it not needed.

We are there in february half term and just booked car rental. We used a comparison site and booked via Budget. Not the cheapest but still only £116 for a car with air con. Not a big car as only 3 of us but in our experience many cars are far bigger than we expect, esp compared to here!

Hulababy Sat 02-Feb-13 10:00:48

Convertible lovely - but not if going in middle of summer!

Bunbaker Sat 02-Feb-13 10:09:11

I wouldn't bother with a convertible unless you are going in our winter months as you will need the air con.

mummytime Sat 02-Feb-13 10:37:29

Also it rains a lot and hard in Florida, so check if it is likely to rain.

Florida has a hot humid climate.

nefertarii Sat 02-Feb-13 10:48:48

hula and others makes great points. When are you going?
In august (during hurricane season) it will probably be too hot or posaiblet too stormy for that sort of car.

We have just been and the weather would have been lovely for a convertable.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 02-Feb-13 12:53:07

Hi we're going over Easter

RedPencils Sat 02-Feb-13 13:19:58

Good point about the queues, they're horrendous even when you've prebooked.
You run the risk of being offered whatever is left over once all the bookings have been dealt with. You could end up with some mega expensive 15 seat minibus! If you want something specific like a convertible then you deffo need to pre book.

nefertarii Sat 02-Feb-13 13:27:19

March last year got up to about 32. We were there. Absolutely roasting.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 02-Feb-13 16:24:26

Ok will deffo pre book. The insurance I got is definitely world wide, its specifically for hire cars, paid extra so it could be used in US.
Dh & DS all excited by the thought of a convertible, so am I if I am honest ! It's not too dear if we pre book.

Wheels79 Sat 02-Feb-13 16:27:26

When we tried to hire a car at Boston airport they wanted $1000+ for five days (mid-size SUV). I used my BlackBerry to book online and managed to get it for under $500 but learnt my lesson to pre-book in the future.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 02-Feb-13 16:45:50

Woah, thats a lot of money. Its just that in the past we have been stung by pre booking and having to wait hours in line. When we last went to Tenerife DH just went up to one of the stalls and got a car for a week for 100 Euros. I suppose it depends on the airport.

GettingObsessive Sat 02-Feb-13 17:06:11

Just as a warning, even if you pre-book a convertible, you may not get one. When we were in San Francisco recently, we (fortunately) arrived early to pick up our car. We were given the last convertible available and they had three more bookings for them.

I guess there were some pretty disappointed people that day.

clam Sat 02-Feb-13 18:14:08

God yes, book in advance!! Much cheaper and you can shop around online first.

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