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Florida Guide > Travelling

Tips for driving in Florida

You have just arrived in Florida for your holiday and you are about to collect your rental car. Here are just a few tips to make sure everything goes smoothly.

When you go to your allocated car, check for any damage and report it to the company before taking it away. If you do not do this and there is damage that they have not noticed, you may be charged for it when you return the car to them.

Take the time to familiarise yourself with all the controls and operations. For example, many American cars have a button on the dashboard to release the boot lid. (Knowing this can save a lot of time trying to open the boot). Some interior light switches will be found on the multi function light switch on the steering column and not near the interior mirror where ours usually are.

Always ask for directions when leaving the airport car park, although all rental companies will provide you with a simple map, just check with the person who raises the barrier for you which exit you take to get to out of the airport complex.

Some of the major roads in America are toll roads, so make sure, before you leave the airport that you have small change or small notes (under $50) for these tolls. Keep the money ready in the car so you will not be scrabbling about trying to find your wallet when you arrive at the toll booth.

Always carry your drivers licence in the car with you as this is the law in Florida and keep your rental papers in the glove box in case of emergencies as these are also your insurance documents. (It is also useful to keep you drivers license on you as an ID card which they expect us to be carrying and sometimes ask us for when using a credit card).

It would be handy to have a compass in the car if you have one as most of the highways are directing you North, South, East or West.

In America the law on highways is unlike ours in the UK. They do not have laws of undertaking as we do. You can travel in any lane you wish as long as you travel below or at the speed limit. Be warned they have ways of catching all speeding drivers.

It is illegal to overtake any school bus that is stopped at a bus stop on EITHER side of the road, so even if you are travelling in the opposite direction you MUST stop if there is a bus at the stop.

It is also legal in Florida (but not all other states) to turn right when the lights are red as long as the nearside lane is clear and there is no sign which states No Right Turn On Red.

I hope these few tips will keep you safe, unconfused and within the law

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 9 April 2009
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