Guide to Hiring a Car from Orlando International Airport (MCO)
Orlando, Florida, is a bustling hub of entertainment, culture, and natural beauty. To make the most of your stay, hiring a car from Orlando International Airport (MCO) can offer unparalleled freedom and convenience. Here's a handy guide to help you navigate the process and the roads beyond.
1. Car Rental Facilities at MCO:
Rental Car Center: Orlando International Airport's Rental Car facilities are located on the A-Side and B-Side of the Terminal. Each side has its own set of rental agencies, so it's good to know where your reservation is ahead of time.
Pre-booking vs. Walk-in: While pre-booking ensures the availability of your desired car model and potentially better rates, several agencies cater to walk-in customers, based on car availability. We always suggest pre-booking, you will avoid queues and increased prices!
2. Essential Documentation:
Required Documents: A valid driver's license, credit card, and your car hire booking confirmation (if pre-booked) are mandatory. International travelers should have an International Driving Permit if their license isn't in English.
Insurance Options: Familiarize yourself with our insurance offerings and decide which coverage fits your needs.
3. Exiting Orlando International Airport:
Primary Exit Routes: The main exit routes from MCO are Jeff Fuqua Boulevard for North exits and Boggy Creek Road for South exits. These connect to the main arteries leading to Orlando's attractions and other parts of Florida.
4. Distances, Tolls, and Routes:
Downtown Orlando: Approximately 12 miles away, a 20-minute drive via FL-408 W. This route has tolls, so keep some change handy or inquire about electronic toll options with your rental agency.
Walt Disney World:
Around 18-20 miles, usually a 20-30 minute drive via FL-417 S. This is a toll road.
Universal Studios: Roughly 16 miles away, a 20-25 minute journey via I-4 W.
Lake Buena Vista:
About 18 miles, typically a 20-25 minute drive via FL-417 S, another toll route.
5. Road Conditions and Traffic:
Road Quality: Orlando, as a major tourist destination, maintains its roads diligently. The primary routes are in good condition and clearly marked.
Traffic Patterns: Orlando can get congested, especially during morning (7-9 am) and evening (4-6 pm) rush hours. The areas around major attractions can also see heavy traffic, especially during peak seasons. It's wise to allocate extra travel time during these periods.
6. Tips for a Seamless Journey:
Navigation Tools: Equip yourself with a reliable navigation app or GPS system. This can be invaluable for real-time traffic updates and route recommendations.
Fuel Up: While there are plenty of gas stations around Orlando, it's a good practice to keep the tank at least half full, especially if you're heading to more remote areas or traveling long distances.
Parking: Popular attractions often charge for parking. It's advisable to check parking rates and conditions before you head out.
Renting a car from Orlando International Airport is a strategic move for those wanting to explore the myriad attractions of Central Florida at their own pace. With this guide, you're all set for a journey filled with adventure and convenience in the Sunshine State.