We had no idea that the BCS college football championship game was being held in Miami two days after we visited, because it was a weekend everyone cheering on Notre Dame and Alabama came down for the whole weekend and Miami Beach was packed! Parking spaces werehard to find, the 1st couple of city owned garages we tried were full and everyone else had their prices jacked up. We finally got off the main drag and found the 1,460 space city owned garage on 17th Street between Pennsylvania and Meridian, the city owned garages all seem to be $1 per hour for the 1st 4 hours or $15 flat for 24 hours. Pretty reasonable for a popular tourist area.
I was a little confused about the Sun Pass until I started driving in Miami and now it makes sense to me. Leaving the Miami International airport and going to Fort Lauderdale there was one toll that we were able to pay with cash ($1.25) and then on I95 you can either use the regular lanes and pay no tolls or use the Express lanes in which case you must have the Sun Pass. Rental cars come with a SunPass, each company handles it slightly different. The Sun Pass website has a nice summary of the way each of the different rental car companies charge for the Sun Pass. We ended up renting from Alamo, their policy is the most logical to me, you don't have to decide if you are going to use the Sun Pass when you rent, if you go through a toll plaza in a Sun Pass lane, that is when the charge occurs and is billed to you via the car rental agency. National and Enterprise use the same system.
I originally had rented with Dollar but they have the worst policy along with Thrifty, you have to decide at the time of rental whether you want to opt in or not, if you don't opt for it at $7.99 per day and accidentally go through one, you get hit with a $15 administration fee plus the toll each time you do it.
I originally booked with Dollar because their rates were about 1/2 of everyone besides Thrifty and Enterprise for a one way rental dropping in Fort Lauderdale. But I didn't like their SunPass policy, mainly because I didn't understand how the toll roads work, now that I do, I would have declined the service ($7.99 per day which includes all tolls) but there's always the off chance you might get on a toll road by accident.
A couple of days before, I booked on Hotwire, you find out who the provided is after you book and it's non refundable unlike most car rental agreements where you can cancel at any time. But I saved about $20 on a 2 day rental and I got Alamo, their SunPass policy is that they charge $2.95 per day if you use the tollways plus the cost of the toll which would have been cheaper than Dollar even if we had used the tollways.
Booked a car in advance from an online agent and the truth is that it went perfectly. www.rentalcargroup.com – took a car from the airport as soon as I landed. It took me 5 minutes to book the car in advance on their site –with all the insurance included which made things simple. Rate was excellent – much cheaper than the price they were offering for walk-ins.
Being an HR Executive for a multinational in Europe makes it sometimes very important to have the proper transportation. A couple of weeks ago I had to visit Miami to recruit executive members for some of our departments in Europe. I told my secretary to book something cheap, reliable and classy. Although our base is in Paris, she is from Miami, therefore I told her to choose without updating me. She only gave me a mobile phone that I was supposed to call as soon as I arrived Miami airport. When I got out of the airport and saw what she booked I was astonished. A white classy Rolls Royce was standing there to take me to the firm's main building. I immediately called her and asked about the cost. She told me that it was in the budget and approved by the financials.
I enjoyed the whole ride till the building, I also requested a sightseeing and the driver kindly accepted my request. I kept the limo for the whole period I stayed in Miami (unfortunately, just two days).
The whole thing really made my job much easier. I had several meetings with people I had to convince to come to Europe and moving with the proper transportation really made my whole day.
Everything went fine, the driver was a real pro and when I learnt the prices I saw that it was really affordable. I highly recommend Millenium Limo for everyone looking for a quality classy transportation in Miami.
Miami is a great city and we rented a car from sixt rent a car and they made it easy to know where to go for fun things to see. They gave us a guide of whee to ark our car at each location becasue they know that the parking is bad we always got a parking spot where they told us. Sixt rent a car Miami was a great way to see Miami if you are willing to spend a little bit of money to go there.
Because we planned on driving around Florida a car would be handy. After comparing prices directly from Alamo with the prices from a dutch travel agent Aireka a few years ago i learned renting directly from Alamo is more expensive. So every trip to the states i pre-rent the car at http://www.aireka.nl.
I had good experiences with Alamo, forgetten key, flat tire they resolved these problems quickly. Even when your far away from the rental station just be shure to take the 24 hour support number with you.
From the airport in Miami the offer free shuttle service to the station just walk out of the arrivals door and wait for the bus. Alamo is open 24 hours / 365 days.
Being in Miami ( or for that matter anywhere in the USA ) without a car is no fun. So I rented one at Avis on Collins Ave somewhere between 80th and 90th Street in Miami Beach. Since I was there already and had not much of a choice I got a car that was bigger and more plush than I needed or wanted but I ended up falling in love with it.... A Lincoln with even ( sensation for me ) A/C vents in the seat.... (!!). My life saver in the extreme heat and humidity that almost left me breathless..... Paid in total about 60 U$ per day, way too much....
Well, many car rental places today ( it seems ) rent non smoking cars only but I just like to smoke a cigarette or two while driving, have done so for the past 40 years...... When I returned the car the lady at the desk came back at me and asked me indignantly with a sour puss face if I had smoked in the car.... I answered "yes".
She started a sermon, a lecture about company policies and the more......
Well, I already feel like belonging to a discriminated and persecuted pariah minority because I still smoke, so what ? I shut her down by asking what she was going to do about it ? Have me arrested ? ( Remember Sharon Stone in "Basic Instinct" ? )... She said that all their cars were non-smoking and I said I didn't ask for a non smoking car and they should have told me that when I rented the car, being a foreigner and not familiar with the US smoking paranoia. She said there was a little non-smoking sign in the door, I said little yes because I had not seen it.
That was it..... For 60 U$ a day I smoke in the car, period.
The new car rental building within a short ride of MIA is a fantastic improvement on the old system whereby you waited for the shuttle bus of your company. Invariably you would see many other companies' vans going by but not yours.. and also the drivers were a breed to content with even though i had good relationships with many of the AVIS drivers.
Now you come out of the flight or after picking up your luggage, walk outside and catch the common shuttle and it takes you to the brand new Terminal to rent cars.. all the cars are there.. By the way did you know that very soon there would be only three national companies left in the business.. Enterprise which is NO 1 company in america at the moment and Hertz has become no 2 and AViS no 3 which owns Budget.. soon alamo/thrifty would be bought by either AViS or Hertz.. National is already gobbled up... Like airline consolidation , now it is rental car consolidation
once you reach the terminal for cars, you go to the spacious area where your particular company is and if you are a preferred member go directly to the spot where the car is parked and you drive out. the exits are well marked and when you come back to return the car, the entrances from Le Jeune road are well marked so that you dont have to waste time looking for the car terminal
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