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Florida Holiday Auto Hire Tips

My first trip to Florida consisted of buying a UK Fly drive deal. The idea of fly drives being; if you bought a flight you got the hire car thrown in free. On the surface it appeared a fantastic deal.

We arrived at Orlando airport and was transported by bus to the off airport site to pick up our holiday auto. When we eventually arrived at the desk, the amount to secure the car in extras such as insurances seemed excessive. I now realised that the free car was in not anyway free. I had known there would be insurance to pay but did not comprehend it would be this much.

After a great holiday I arrived home to compare my extra charges to normal hire charges and sure enough, there was very little difference between the extra insurance charges as a fly drive against had had I booked and paid for the hire car separately.

I vowed I would never buy a fly drive again and source my own car separately to ensure I could take advantage of any deals going, for when I would return to the States. This is exactly what I did the second time. We did not pay any more than taking a fly drive; we also got the car we wanted at the price we could afford.

There was one similarity though, in that every time you Visit Florida the person at the car hire desk will try to sell you an upgrade. Normally they offer 2 upgrades for the price of 1. We had ordered the right sized car for our party so we did nit take him up on his offer.

By the third trip, this time to Miami it was time to put everything I had learned from this holiday autos game, to get the best deal possible. We ordered our car online as usual, the difference being, we ordered the smallest and cheapest car available including insurance. When we arrived in Miami we go th customary trade up sales talk, but this time we said we may consider it if the price was right. What car would we like? was the question. We replied, we would consider a convertible . The salesman came back with the price of 360 dollars plus tax. We said, no if it had been around 100 dollars, we would have considered it . The salesman makes a phone call and sure enough we got a Mitsubishi Spyder for only 100 bucks more than the cheapest basic car, including insurance.

I have now come to the conclusion that the hire car companies, especially in the holiday areas of the USA have an abundance of autos standing in storage, If the salesman can get an extra 100 dollars more, then that's 100 dollars on their bottom line for a car that s standing around not being used.

On our final trip to Florida, this time to Tampa airport, we decided to do this again, but this time it worked even better. We arrived late into Tampa airport to find ourselves standing in a long queue to pick up our car. 45 minutes later we eventually get to the hire car desk. He could tell by our faces we were tired and totally sick of the wait. He told us he had given us a free upgrade, because of the wait. I was so tired I would have accepted a motorbike so we took the keys and left. In the car park stood a Dodge Magnum, at least 3 upgrades free!!

I am not expecting this to happen again, but it does show the flexibility these car rental firms have. I can t wait for the next time!

Mark is webmaster for Florida Car Hire and Holiday Autos and Record Rent A Car


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