Florida is one of those cities where having a car is practically necessary. Living in this sprawling metropolis without a set of wheels is doable, but it will not be easy. Unless you’re planning on spending your entire vacation in one spot, you’ll need to have some form of transportation to get around. While you could always take public transportation or hail a ride-sharing service like Uber, this can quickly become expensive, especially if you’re planning on doing a lot of exploring.
Renting a car is usually the best option for visitors to Florida, as it gives you the most flexibility and freedom to explore the city on your own schedule. However, renting a car can be tricky if you’re unfamiliar with the process, especially if you want to rent a car in Florida under 21.
Here’s what you need to know before renting a car in Florida:
1) You Must Be at Least 21 Years Old
In order to rent a car in Florida, you must be at least 21 years old. This is a standard age requirement for renting cars throughout the United States. If you’re not yet 21, you can still rent a car in Florida if you’re at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license. Some rental companies may require you to be at least 25 years old, so it’s always best to check with the specific rental company beforehand.
2) You’ll Need a Valid Driver’s License
Of course, you can’t rent a car in Florida without a valid driver’s license unless you plan to use a rental car with a chauffeur service. If you have a valid driver’s license from your home state or country, you’ll be able to use it to rent a car in Florida. However, if your driver’s license is expired or set to expire within the next 30 days, you won’t be able to rent a car.
If you’re not a United States citizen and don’t have a valid driver’s license from your home country, you may still be able to rent a car in Florida with an International Driver’s Permit (IDP). An IDP is an internationally recognized driver’s license that allows you to drive in multiple countries. In order to get an IDP, you’ll need to apply for one through your local automobile association anxnr .
3) You’ll Need to Have Proof of Insurance
Before you can rent a car in Florida, you’ll need to have proof of insurance. Your personal car insurance policy may cover you while you’re driving a rental car, but it’s always best to check with your insurer beforehand to be sure. If your personal car insurance doesn’t cover you while driving a rental car, you can always purchase car insurance through the rental company.
4) Financial Responsibility
In order to rent a car in Florida, you’ll need to have proof of financial responsibility. This can be a credit card, debit card, or cash deposit. The specific amount will vary depending on the rental company, but it’s typically around $200-$300. If you’re using a debit card, the rental company may put a hold on your card for the amount of the deposit.
5) Traffic Laws
Of course, you’ll need to obey all of Florida’s traffic laws while driving a rental car. This includes wearing your seatbelt, obeying the speed limit, and not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If the police pull you over, you may be required to show your rental agreement proof that you’re allowed to drive the car.
6) Best Time to Reserve Your Rental Car
If you’re planning on renting a car during peak travel times, it’s best to reserve your rental car well in advance. This includes things like holidays, spring break, and summer vacation. You can typically reserve a rental car up to 6 months in advance. If you’re renting a car during off-peak times, you may be able to find some great last-minute deals.
7) Fees and Charges
Be sure to ask about any fees and charges before you rent a car. Some rental companies may charge fuel, additional drivers, child seats, GPS units, and more. You want to be sure that you know all the fees and charges before you agree to rent a car.
Renting a car in Florida is a great way to see everything the state offers. Just be sure to follow the tips above to ensure that you have a smooth and hassle-free experience. Once you get your rental, ensure to return your rental car on time. Most rental companies have a grace period of up to 2 hours, but you may be charged extra if you return the car late.