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MCO Car Rental - Any to stay away from?

Gillyanne

Well-Known Member
Title basically covers it. Any car rental places at MCO I should stay away from?

Any places I should steer clear of when they come up on Kayak or sites of that sort?

I need to go back and take notes but it looks like I can get Hertz via AAA for about $360, but there were some that came up on Kayak for cheaper, but not sure they were names I heard of.

Looked up some Uber estimates and getting about $30 each way to the airport, and $12 to the parks (3 days) (then all that + tips, and if there's more for extra person/people, surge etc) but want the added freedom of being able to go other places like shopping.
 

DISR

Well-Known Member
Title basically covers it. Any car rental places at MCO I should stay away from?

Any places I should steer clear of when they come up on Kayak or sites of that sort?

I need to go back and take notes but it looks like I can get Hertz via AAA for about $360, but there were some that came up on Kayak for cheaper, but not sure they were names I heard of.

Looked up some Uber estimates and getting about $30 each way to the airport, and $12 to the parks (3 days) (then all that + tips, and if there's more for extra person/people, surge etc) but want the added freedom of being able to go other places like shopping.
I use National with an Emerald Aisle membership and love skipping the lines. While I can't specifically point to one to avoid, I would do everything possible to book a reservation that bypasses the counter. MCO is ground zero for people who rarely if ever rent a car. The lines can get crazy long as folks have every contract option explained to them and debate each upsale the agent is trying to push.
 
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Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
I use National with an Emerald Aisle membership and love skipping the lines. While I can't specifically point to one to avoid, I would do everything possible to book a reservation that bypasses the counter. MCO is ground zero for people who rarely if ever rent a car. The lines can get crazy long as folks have every contract option explained to them and debate each upsale the agent is trying to push.
Just to piggyback on this recommendation -- do seek out a rental with a "skip the counter" option, which can save huge amounts of time you'd otherwise be standing in line. I know that you can join Alamo's rewards program for free online, and will instantly be entitled to "skip the counter" status. Hertz has a "skip the counter" for its rewards members as well, but I wouldn't recommend it as it's not instant -- you have to have at least one confirmed rental already completed and returned before you get the full benefit of their program. (Not only that, but I've had bad experiences with Hertz. Alamo - knock on wood - has always done right by me.)

Also, be aware that some MCO car rental places are in the terminal, and others require you to take a shuttle. Not every aggregator includes that information, or allows you to filter your options that way, but you'll want to keep track of the locations if it matters to you.
 
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Smiley/OCD

Well-Known Member
We always rent while down there…I usually use my points from my citi card. I’ve used Enterprise, Alamo and Thrifty thru them (depending on who has the better deal) and have had no problems with any of them.
Just an FYI…if you have E-Z Pass, bring the tag down with you!!
All FL toll roads now accept it!!
Saves $$
 
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Gillyanne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thanks all! I don't rent often (we usually travel by car). Last time I did I rent one, it was through my Cap One card, ended up with Alamo. I had a good (and fast, not sure if I landed early, but my flight was schedule in at 9, and my receipt was time stamped 9:11) experience with them, but that card's travel site is currently going through a transition and isn't allowing new reservations. I'll have to look up the rewards programs on them. I know rewards programs are usually free, but does that include the skip the counter aspect? I'm not sure why I didn't originally think to look there first, maybe I was under the impression it cost extra. I'll have to do a comparison with how much more Alamo may cost to see if it's worth it (if I can sign up in advance, and already get that perk for free), or perhaps our trip next week, maybe we'll need a car for 1 day (while half the family takes the car out of town) and I can check into hertz so I get 1 reservation in before the Feb trip.
 
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Clamman73

Well-Known Member
I’ve been using Alamo Insiders past few times. They’re a bit more than others usually but skipping the counter and picking your own vehicle from the row is great.
They’re quick when you return too.
I had Budget once some years ago and it was OK. I think that was before you could skip the counter but their skip the counter might be a they pick the vehicle for you.
I hate the counter because sometimes there’s a line, or they ask you a bunch of “do you want this” nonsense…I can’t deal with that when I want to get to Disney ASAP.
I have a month and a half to go, so I check everyday for the price since I do the “pay later” thing. Still expensive because of everything going on, but you try to catch a dip, book that and cancel the previous one.
 
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RoadiJeff

Well-Known Member
First, if you're renting from MCO, check out a really nice program called Visitor Toll Pass. There is no charge for the use of their transponder and you get a discount on the cost of the actual tolls. You'll save lots of money off what the car rental companies charge for using their transponders and there are no hidden fees. I've used it in the past and it works great. Sometimes the car rental agent will try to intimidate you by saying that since the rental car is registered to them the Visitor Toll Pass will not work but that's not true. Read through the FAQ on the link above for more information.

I've rented from Alamo and a few others at MCO. When you do a search with a travel site such as Expedia, one of the low price off-site rental companies that seems to always pop up is called Economy Rent A Car. They show a very low price initially but they will try and nickle and dime you to death after you get to the counter. To avoid all that, use the Visitor Toll Pass service that I previously mentioned and bring a copy of you car insurance declaration page(s) with you. Not the little proof of insurance card, the actual declaration page. If you do not have proof that you have at least $100k of liability insurance they will make you purchase it from them at a cost of $30 or more per day. I've rented from them a few times and I always go prepared. Their cars frequently have higher miles and plenty of scrapes and dings, so take pics of everything before you drive off the lot. If you're willing to deal with a little inconvenience their prices are pretty good.
 
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DISR

Well-Known Member
First, if you're renting from MCO, check out a really nice program called Visitor Toll Pass. There is no charge for the use of their transponder and you get a discount on the cost of the actual tolls. You'll save lots of money off what the car rental companies charge for using their transponders and there are no hidden fees. I've used it in the past and it works great. Sometimes the car rental agent will try to intimidate you by saying that since the rental car is registered to them the Visitor Toll Pass will not work but that's not true. Read through the FAQ on the link above for more information.

I've rented from Alamo and a few others at MCO. When you do a search with a travel site such as Expedia, one of the low price off-site rental companies that seems to always pop up is called Economy Rent A Car. They show a very low price initially but they will try and nickle and dime you to death after you get to the counter. To avoid all that, use the Visitor Toll Pass service that I previously mentioned and bring a copy of you car insurance declaration page(s) with you. Not the little proof of insurance card, the actual declaration page. If you do not have proof that you have at least $100k of liability insurance they will make you purchase it from them at a cost of $30 or more per day. I've rented from them a few times and I always go prepared. Their cars frequently have higher miles and plenty of scrapes and dings, so take pics of everything before you drive off the lot. If you're willing to deal with a little inconvenience their prices are pretty good.
This is a good point...basically the more budget the car company, the less smooth the process tends to be. You can save some money, but you will wait in longer lines, be prepared to accept or avoid (with proper documentation) the up-sells, and deal with the potential for unexpected post return charges if you fail to document the condition of the car or miss a toll booth. These hassles tend to be drastically reduced if not eliminated at the more upscale car rental companies. I don't tell people how to spend money...that is a judgement call. There are pros and cons each way.

For example, I believe some of the budget companies charge a significant premium for tolls billed to your rental's license plate. When I go with National, I do not get a transponder and usually blow through the tolls on the way to Disney or Universal. A couple of weeks later I get a charge or two for around $7 on my credit card...probably the cost of the toll plus a nominal service fee. To me this is much better than renting a transponder for the crazy premium they charge or waiting in the toll lane lines. Again, this is a values thing. If you want or need to save every penny, you can do the budget car rental and get the visitor toll pass (or bring a compatible one from home if applicable). In my case I pay a bit more for a seemless and stress free experience.
 
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macefamily

Well-Known Member
Stay away from Thrifty. I thought they would be cheap, but that only happened once. I joined their Member's Club, and after that, the prices just kept going up. Also, two cars we rented from them were ghetto. One windshield was uncleaned and covered with mashed up lovebugs. The other one had a big stain on the backseat and had an odd smell.
 
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CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
Stay away from Thrifty. I thought they would be cheap, but that only happened once. I joined their Member's Club, and after that, the prices just kept going up. Also, two cars we rented from them were ghetto. One windshield was uncleaned and covered with mashed up lovebugs. The other one had a big stain on the backseat and had an odd smell.
Why would you have accepted either of those vehicles? You have every right to decline a vehicle that isn't in proper condition.
 
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Smiley/OCD

Well-Known Member
We’ve used Thrifty in the past at MCO with no problems…I know with the shortage of cars, the companies are holding on to rentals longer than usual, but I would never have accepted a car in that condition unless I absolutely had no choice and if that were the case, it would have been at a STEEP discount.
 
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Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
I have used many different companies. While my preferred is Alamo, because you can choose the care, with how expensive rates have become book the cheapest that is actually onsite at the airport.
 
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Gillyanne

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Last week I checked out Alamo again and found a pay later for just about $300. I don't recall seeing it that cheap before so I don't know if it had something to do with the IP of where I was or if they did go down I'm going to check again through my company savings plan when I get back to a computer it will work on...
 
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