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Car Hire in Orlando

Car Hire in Orlando is an excellent idea for those confident to drive in a foreign country and for a few the wrong side of the road. British citizens will need to be aware that this is the right hand side of the road. Car Hire information is shown below, to help you decide on who and when and how to hire a car........

Car Hire in Orlando

CAR HIRE IN THE USA. In Europe we zip around, often at a great rate of knots, we overtake, undertake, tear down autobahns at unlimited speeds and are generally in a rush, even though the traffic jams may stop this. In the USA driving is much more relaxed.
Drivers are more polite and aware of their fellow road users, people drive slower and surprisingly the law is applied firmly and everybody knows this! Don’t be confused by films such as “Bullet” as car chases just don’t happen, its only in the  movies!
There are a few notable differences between driving in the USA and driving in Europe and ours.

THE ROUTES: You will invariably do a lot of driving on these road networks and you should be prepared for the vagaries of the US system.  First of all you may confused by the plethora of names that these highways (autostrade/motorways) are called; They "Freeways", "Turnpikes", "Expressways" and "Parkways" are just a few . All of them however can be "Interstates" which cross the entire United States. These routes are numbered as the East-West Routes and are even numbered and the North-South Routes which have odd numbers. You will need to pay on most of these as they are tolls, so make sure you have some cash!  These tolls generally have booths but many will have automatic systems for depositing cash and paper notes.Road

SIGNS: Signs that stick up or get attached to buildings are pan-global! What is written on them is the issue! Many, you will be glad to hear are the same or very similar. One very common sign is "Right of Way". It is a red and white triangle but says "YIELD". You must give priority to the traffic on the road you are joining when you see this sign. Yield may seem a little unusual word, but it does translate the sign conveniently. Speed limit signs are presented as black on white with clear numbers. These speed limits can change as each city or town can decide on its own speed limit. This is quite different to national guidelines found in the UK for example. On Expressways there are two signs. One is for the maximum speed and one for the minimum speed. The top speed in most states is 65 mph on expressways however in some States this may be reduced to 55 mph.Please note that speed limits may well strictly enforce. You will have seen on many occasions on film and TV, cops pulling up offenders. They will and they do! You have been warned, so avoid you and your car hire being fined, arrested or even impounded. To avoid the panic of getting lost take note of the directional signs. These are on all major routes and road junctions. They are usually green in colour and give details of routes usually by number. Although towns and cities may be noted its best not to rely on these signs giving accurate directions. Points of the compass are often used for signs and directions e.g. "361 North to L-6".

CAR POOL LANES: Expressways in many US states may have car pool lanes during busy times of the day. Cars must have two or more people traveling to use these.

DRIVING AROUND TOWN: Turn right on a red light provided that the road is clear. This well known statement does actually apply all over the States, except in certain cities such as New York and may be banned by signs in other areas. These signs may be found like traffic lights suspended on cables above the road.
Watch out for pedestrians however when turning right. They still have right of way!!!

PARKING : Parking tends to be "off street" and there are many well signposted car parks. No parking signs, mean No Parking (not maybe). However if you want to park on-street then:
  • Do not park within 10 feet of a fire hydrant on either side
  • Do not park in space for the disabled
  • White lines and prohibited for parking
  • Bus Stops are prohibited for parking
  • NEVER face the traffic when parking
  • Red or yellow painted curb-stones are reserved for emergency vehicles.


  • Never make a left turn at a junction without first giving way to all oncoming traffic.
  • There are no countdown exit markers on Expressways so get in lane well in advance.
  • Unlike many European countries you can overtake on the left and the right on multi-lane Expressways
  • Joining an Expressway can be a little disconcerting as you are expected to be let into gaps in the traffic without stopping.  This is why many US citizens hate driving in Italy as the reverse seems to apply!!
  • On Expressways the lanes on either side can be an exit lane, hence stay in a central lane, otherwise you will be forced off the highway.
  • You are not allowed to overtake a yellow school bus from either direction on a two-way street when it is stationary with flashing red lights.
  • In the event of in a road accident, you must remain at the scene of the accident and call the Police. If you fail to do this, or are found liable for the accident your car hire company may cancel your agreement and you will be liable for costs and have no insurance indemnity!

CAR HIRE AMERICAN STYLE: These can pose a few problems compared to their European counterparts. “Stick shift” or manual gearbox is not that common and hire cars invariably have automatic transmission! So here are a few tips that may help and are the most commonly encountered issues.

  • To start the engine, depress the brake, ensure the gear is in Park and turn the start key!
  • To engage the gears, the gear shift lever may either be centrally located between the front seats of next to the steering wheel on a stalk.
  • Most cars normally have at least 4 gear positions: P (Park), R (Reverse), N (Neutral), D (Drive),  “Drive” is the normal driving position and the car will automatically adjust as the car changes speed.
  • This point catches many people out: some cars have a foot operated parking brake. This is often located next to the brake pedal. To release the brake before pulling away you will need to use the release lever which is likely to be located on the lower left dash panel. If this doesn’t work try pressing the parking brake pedal a second time to release.
  • We would recommend that you get familiar with the car before pulling away, so run through this checklist and if you can’t operate it, then ask the car hire company first before leaving the lot!
  • Fuel Tank Filler Release
  • Automatic Boot (Trunk) Release
  • Hazard Warning Lights
  • Windscreen Wipers Cruise Control

You will need your driving licence and carry it with your rental documents in the car at all times.

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