Car Rental - What extras do we need to factor in?

Hi! Just wondering in addition to the rates and taxes what other fees we might run into (i.e. tolls, gas, extra "hidden" fees)? Thanks!

It's been a while since we rented but there are taxes (though sometimes I think those are quoted when you book) and there is a toll from the airport. Gas on WDW is actually not too expensive so that's nice.

A few things we did learn:
1. Don't take the insurance, your car insurance should cover rentals (though i guess you should check, ours does).
2. Don't take a bigger car than you need. We were given a "free upgrade" to an SUV once. Sure, nice but the gas $$ was a lot more than our little car.
3. Sometimes they seem to include an easy pass which is great if included but one seemed to charge you for the service, in that case, I would rather just pay the toll.

Good luck. Hopefully others will have more info for you.


There are lots of add-ons that a rental car company will "encourage" you to get. There's the liability coverage insurance if you want anything wrong with the car to go through their insurance instead of taking a hit on yours. In Florida, you can rent a Sunpass transponder from most rental companies, but you'll still need to pay the tolls if you choose that option. You can rent a GPS. And the big one that every rental car company has tried to sell me on is the "fill up the tank" option, where you pay for a full tank of gas at their price (usually 5-10 cents more expensive than whatever is cheapest outside the airport). You can then bring back your car on fumes as needed -- you don't need to fill it up before you return it. (If you don't take that option and don't fill it up before you return, you will be paying an extra 50 cents to $1/gallon to fill that sucker up.)

If I'm in an area where I'm not real familiar, or if there's bad weather coming in (for example, knowing I'd have to drive a car in a blizzard in Boston during a stay up there), or if I'm driving in a pretty crazy city (LA, NYC), I take the insurance package just for my peace of mind. I tend not to do the fill up the tank option, though -- but a caveat on that: The nearest gas station to MCO has a bunch of crooks running it who charge $6/gallon and don't always have their prices posted. Drive a little further down Semoran and you'll find regular-priced gas.

It ends up being a comfort level in terms of your budget and what risks you want to take. If you've got awesome car insurance that covers rental cars (not all policies do!), then you might skip the insurance, for instance.

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Insurance is a whopper. It can double the cost. If you run across a toll and either end up using a sunpass in the car or don't have one and run the toll, there will be fees there: some amount for the toll itself in addition to the 'rental' of the pass. If your car doesn't have a sunpass, some companies have an agreement w Fla whereby you aren't fined anything extra if you run a toll (there are situation in Fla where cash isn't an option). Think not all companies have this agreement in which case a fine may be applied. Been my preference to not pay for gas upfront. Be mindful of the upsell: 'upgrade to a medium sized car for just a few bucks per day' type of stuff. Other add-ons like 'roadside assistance', etc come up too and are a waste in my opinion. Obviously, it may come in handy and insurance (like all insurance I guess) mitigates that risk. Plan where you fill up ahead of time when you return your car. Gas stations near MCO can hike the price quite a bit.

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Thank you all for the super helpful advice! Forum liners are always soooo helpful!

We were charged extra for a booster seat, I believe. So if you aren't bringing your own, keep that in mind. Florida law recently changed with respect to what age child needs a booster or car seat. They may also charge you for a GPS - bring your own if you have one.

As for the insurance, many credit card companies, if you use them for the rental, offer complimentary insurance. Check with your credit card company. I never buy the rental car insurance because I have a very good policy, but if you don't have great coverage yourself - i.e., no collision coverage, high deductibles, or low limits for liability, you may want to consider their option.

If you are staying offsite, you also need to factor in the cost of parking at the parks - $17 per day when we were there in May.

Also, whatever company I used gave me a toll pass, but really didn't explain how it worked. I wondered if they would later charge me for the tolls and they never did! I don't know if I just got lucky or what. But definitely something I would ask about last time because there are tons of tolls, especially if you don't really know your way around (which I did not).

I think I answered this question on Chat. LOL. And hope you saw my responses @wallygirl!

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