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Miami car rental to drive to Key West and back.

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Boston
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Miami car rental to drive to Key West and back.

Flying into Miami in Oct with husband; plan is to do car rental to drive to Key West for 3 days then drive back to Miami. Anyone with insight on reputable car rentals that are not going to cost a fortune? Also am aware that there are hidden costs: ie; toll road fees, etc. I am trying to get an idea of how much it is going to cost. Thanks!!

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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1. Re: Miami car rental to drive to Key West and back.

Beside checking prices (since they vary by dates) and toll policies with the individual rental car companies you might also check Hotwire -- they usually have good rates and guarantee the rental will be thru a Major rental car company. You can also go to KAYAK for available companies and rates for MIA. I've noticed Kayak lists several smaller rental companies- If you have a question about a specific company maybe someone on the site can share their experiences with them. PS- I'm also going in October and watching rental car prices.

Edited: 18 June 2014, 15:19
Marathon, Florida
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for Marathon, Islamorada
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2. Re: Miami car rental to drive to Key West and back.

We often use Budget out of Miami - have always been happy and the prices have been reasonable.

New Jersey
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3. Re: Miami car rental to drive to Key West and back.

I'd start by checking Hotwire weekly. That will give you a pretty good idea what the general prices are for all the car rental companies. Over a two month period I watched our rental prices drop to a fourth of what they were originally listed at. Once the price was where I wanted, I went out to the car rental company and booked directly with them. That gave me the freedom to cancel and re-book if the prices dropped again. We ended up at National and had a very good experience with them.

Fort Lauderdale...
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for Fort Lauderdale, Miami
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4. Re: Miami car rental to drive to Key West and back.

Avoid Dollar and Thrifty. Royal is a local company that gets good reviews.

Florida Keys...
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5. Re: Miami car rental to drive to Key West and back.

We always use Budget from Miami also. They are reasonably priced and we have never had a bad car or any billing 'issues' like we used to with other companies. We always refuel ourselves and several other companies have tried to charge for refueling at some stupid price per gallon even though it went back full. I just won't use companies who try these kind of tricks again, and don't need the hassle or fighting with them about it.

Lots of people seem to be very hung up on the toll charges and daily toll fee, but to me it is very insignificant in the total cost of a vacation to the keys. My advice would be just to take 836/Dolphin and the turnpike and pay the tolls. Maybe some rental companies rip you off on the tolls. I've never had issue with budget, they charge a few bucks a day plus the tolls and it's not breaking the bank. They do seen to take the toll fees on your credit card in bits and bobs some time after you return the car, maybe 7 bucks a week later and another 4 or 5 a few days after that. I don't know why (on a 1 day rental it seems odd) but due to the amounts I've not bothered to enquire about it.

You likely won't need a car in Key West, if you don't plan on any side trips, so you could just to a 1 day 1way rental on the way down, and the same on the way back, to keep the cost down.

A 1 day 1 way rental on an average 'intermediate' 4 door car is usually about $75, plus toll fees, but it does seem to vary. I suspect they load the prices at weekends and especially holidays. You can jump on their website and get a quick quote for your dates to give you an exact cost. We never get talked into the 'upselling' at the counter either.

Good luck

Boston
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6. Re: Miami car rental to drive to Key West and back.

thanks for all the great feedback!

7. Re: Miami car rental to drive to Key West and back.

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Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Miami car rental to drive to Key West and back.

I always rent through Costco travel. I rented a Full sized car for 8 days Miami to Key West and back for $168 total! No additional charges (except tolls).

Edited: 24 June 2014, 15:43
Naperville, Illinois
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9. Re: Miami car rental to drive to Key West and back.

I've had the best luck with Costco lately as well. Good rates and they will add an additional driver (even non related) for free which is usually an $8-10 add on with most companies.

Sunnyside, WA.
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10. Re: Miami car rental to drive to Key West and back.

We used Enterprise out of MIA last month when we were there, and everything worked out perfectly well. We rented a compact car (normal-sized car that fit the four of us, plus our luggage just fine) and it cost $155.00 for the week. The only extra costs that were added at the end were the tolls that we went through, which totaled an extra $15-$20. Rates will obviously vary depending on the time of year, but we've also used Enterprise from different airports in Florida (Orlando and Tampa), and also had positive experiences there.