CAR rental experience at MCO (through Costco)

Girl of the South

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 31, 2018
Hi all! Needing to rent a car at the end of November to drive to Key West before our cruise on Dec. 3. Using Costco (maybe) and the options are Alamo, Avis, Budget and enterprise. In terms of ease of pick up, etc, does anyone have any recent good experiences OR nightmares with renting a car from any of these places?? I see a recent thread about Alamo - are all these car rental places on site at the airport or do you need to take a shuttle? THANKS!
 

Princess Disney Mom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
I've been renting only from Alamo via Costco. The price is competitive and Costco will give you an Alamo number in which you may add to go straight to the car of the class booked. When we get to MCO we just go to Alamo and look at the signs for the type of car we booked pick one and hop in. No waiting in lines and the cars I have gotten so far are clean. We do have to stop at the booth on the way out to show the drivers license etc . On a side note we bring our own Sunpass and set it up before leaving the parking lot via the Sunpass app and sticking it to the windshield.
 

cvjw

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Just rented a Jeep thru Costco for a week in key west. Used budget. No issues what so ever.
 

Intr3pid

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 2, 2018
Unless there is a significant difference in cost, we book our cars direct. No third parties. Use a premium credit card or another shortcut to get status with the car rental companies. This will allow you to upgrade for free, choose any car on the lot, skip the counters, get late return hours, and earn frequent flyer miles.

That said, through Costco, most car rental majors in MCO will provide a very similar experience. Avis/Budget or Enterprise would be our choice if you were really splitting hairs.
 

mmouse37

DCL Diva!!
Joined
Jun 29, 2001
Any rental company on any given day could have issues. It really is just hit or miss. We have rented from all the ones you mention....many through Costco at MCO. No major issues.

MJ
 

DISNEYFAN3260

"My other car is a monorail"
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Have rented both Avis and Budget cars through Costco with pickup/dropoff at MCO. No issues at all and super easy, though the lines at the rental desks in the airport can sometimes be long so plan accordingly just in case. Once you checkin at the desks on the ground level and get your car assignment/paperwork, it's a piece of cake. Just walk across the street and into the garage, find your car, and you're out of there.
 

Girl of the South

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 31, 2018
Finally corrected the title of this post - Comcast has been in and out the last week - ARGH!

Thanks much for all the replies! I haven't had to rent a car in many years. I did reserve a car through Costco. Just checked the price directly with Budget and it was $100 more, as of today. Renting it in the middle of the Thanksgiving holiday so wanted to make sure to have SOMETHING rented in advance.

I have a very old (2003) EZ Pass from up North. Not sure if the technology (?) in it would still work. Going to try and contact them to see if it's still usable. Gosh, nearly 20 years ago. Also saw something on Amazon called a Uni-Pass that is supposed to work everywhere? It's $15 just for the unit. I read that car rental agencies in FL charge you $10 a day to use theirs. Only driving to Key West for 3 nights, and back. NOT driving around Key West at all.

Thanks again!
 

anricat

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2014
We often rent through Costco with Budget. I have a Budget FastBreak account (it's free) and when I rent from Costco I can put in my number there and go right to my car. The only caveat is if you're a new FastBreak member, the first time you rent you can't go right to the car, you have to check in at the counter so they can verify your ID. But after that, it's so nice to skip the counter.
 

PalmettoPath

WDW Since 03/72
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
We rent at MCO every summer through Costco. We pick the lowest rate. We've rented from all the major companies (the counters are all in a row in the terminal) and never had a problem with any one over another.
 

abdgeek

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 29, 2012
Finally corrected the title of this post - Comcast has been in and out the last week - ARGH!


Thanks much for all the replies! I haven't had to rent a car in many years. I did reserve a car through Costco. Just checked the price directly with Budget and it was $100 more, as of today. Renting it in the middle of the Thanksgiving holiday so wanted to make sure to have SOMETHING rented in advance.

I have a very old (2003) EZ Pass from up North. Not sure if the technology (?) in it would still work. Going to try and contact them to see if it's still usable. Gosh, nearly 20 years ago. Also saw something on Amazon called a Uni-Pass that is supposed to work everywhere? It's $15 just for the unit. I read that car rental agencies in FL charge you $10 a day to use theirs. Only driving to Key West for 3 nights, and back. NOT driving around Key West at all.

Thanks again!
Not sure if your EZ Pass will work in lieu of the Sun Pass, but this website may help: SunPass. However, I can tell you from experience that an EZ Pass that old probably doesn’t still work—not the account, the transponder. If your EZ Pass account information is up to date, they should have sent you an updated transponder. As you suggest, definitely call their customer service number to have them send you a new one. I believe my replacement transponder was free but they charged the shipping to my account. Also, they are cracking down on the license plate of the car you’re using the transponder with being on your account. This was a couple of years ago, but I was told to list the license plate of the car I’ll be in (even if it’s a rental or someone else’s) in my account and then delete it when it’s no longer valid. Also, check with the rental car company to see how they handle tolls. Some people have posted that certain companies provide a transponder or just charge you after the fact for the tolls. Good luck.
 

Girl of the South

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 31, 2018
Wow. They just don't make it easy, do they? I remember using my old EZ Pass with a rental car . . I agree, my EZ Pass will maybe now become a Christmas Tree ornament. I did Google rental cars and EZ Pass and it seems to be sometimes it does work but if it DOESN'T you could be fined by the rental car company and they take their time - like weeks - to pass on the fine meaning it can get to be very large.

So, two questions . .

1. How easy is it to change or add the rental car license plate to your EZ Pass Account? Reviews on the "Uni-Pass" from Amazon, mentioned above, say that it's really hard.

2. How easy is it to (shock!) pay the tolls with cash/quarters/debit card? Realizing there may be a line.

I checked the Budget website and it says that for every day you use the rented transponder they will charge you a 'convenience fee' of $5.95 a day. Since I will only be using it for two days - maybe that is the path of least resistance? At the moment I am not driving my car through any states where it would be needed. And this is the first time I have rented a car in forever!

In fact, I am asking my sister to give me a 'driving' lesson in her new car. MY car still has a cassette deck . . . which will give you a hint how old it is. Works with an actual key. To check behind me I have to turn my head and look . . . .

Thanks again!
 

abdgeek

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 29, 2012
Wow. They just don't make it easy, do they? I remember using my old EZ Pass with a rental car . . I agree, my EZ Pass will maybe now become a Christmas Tree ornament. I did Google rental cars and EZ Pass and it seems to be sometimes it does work but if it DOESN'T you could be fined by the rental car company and they take their time - like weeks - to pass on the fine meaning it can get to be very large.

So, two questions . .

1. How easy is it to change or add the rental car license plate to your EZ Pass Account? Reviews on the "Uni-Pass" from Amazon, mentioned above, say that it's really hard.

2. How easy is it to (shock!) pay the tolls with cash/quarters/debit card? Realizing there may be a line.

I checked the Budget website and it says that for every day you use the rented transponder they will charge you a 'convenience fee' of $5.95 a day. Since I will only be using it for two days - maybe that is the path of least resistance? At the moment I am not driving my car through any states where it would be needed. And this is the first time I have rented a car in forever!

In fact, I am asking my sister to give me a 'driving' lesson in her new car. MY car still has a cassette deck . . . which will give you a hint how old it is. Works with an actual key. To check behind me I have to turn my head and look . . . .

Thanks again!

Changing the license plate or adding one in your EZ Pass account is very easy. You just login and change or add the make/model and plate number of the new car. The change is immediate. Not sure how long it takes for EZ Pass to recognize it. They can let you know when you call them. Unfortunately, most states no longer accept cash for tolls. Everything is electronic. If you don’t have their transponder or toll sticker on your car, they take a picture of your plate and mail you the toll bill. Of course, you pay a higher rate for not having it.
 

JenLovesMM

Mouseketeer
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
It's been 3 years since I rented a car in Florida but I had done my research and since we only go every few years, I simply went with the toll option the rental company offered. Whatever their system is. We only got charge a few dollar on the days we actually used the tolls + the toll fees. Since there were only 3 days where we would travel on a toll road, this made it much easier. I believe some tolls in Florida don't have the cash option anymore so I figured this would be much easier and it was. Did not regret it.
 

Sykes

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
As a general rule I tend to avoid Alamo at MCO. They've historically been the official rental car provider of Walt Disney World, and as a result they tend to have a lot more customers than any of the other agencies. Every time I've walked by an Alamo counter it was a zoo while the adjacent counters were empty. Having said that, if you can get the "go straight to the car" service, the experience is pretty similar regardless of who you rent from, so I prioritize getting that and then choose mostly based on cost.
 

anricat

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2014
If you're picking up and dropping off at MCO AND staying in FL, this is your best option: https://visitortollpass.com/
I'll second this. We used it a few years ago and it worked great. When we went back our first trip after the pandemic, they were not offering it. However, we used the one in the rental car and oddly, we were never billed, so I have no idea what happened.

I didn't realize they had started the visitor toll pass up again so I'll probably grab it again, in the event we aren't so lucky!
 

TreeFalls

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Finally corrected the title of this post - Comcast has been in and out the last week - ARGH!

Thanks much for all the replies! I haven't had to rent a car in many years. I did reserve a car through Costco. Just checked the price directly with Budget and it was $100 more, as of today. Renting it in the middle of the Thanksgiving holiday so wanted to make sure to have SOMETHING rented in advance.

I have a very old (2003) EZ Pass from up North. Not sure if the technology (?) in it would still work. Going to try and contact them to see if it's still usable. Gosh, nearly 20 years ago. Also saw something on Amazon called a Uni-Pass that is supposed to work everywhere? It's $15 just for the unit. I read that car rental agencies in FL charge you $10 a day to use theirs. Only driving to Key West for 3 nights, and back. NOT driving around Key West at all.

Thanks again!


One tip... since the rental isn't charged until you pick up the car and can be canceled any time, it's worth checking prices periodically because they fluctuate. You can easily book a new reservation if a better price shows up, and then cancel the old one.
 

terri33inne

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 16, 2013
This is a great thread. Just booked a last minute trip for next month, and am considering a rental car for the first time. How much of a hassle is returning them? I know with waits at airports now, I want to factor that in. Also, does anyone know which companies at MCO don't require a shuttle?
 



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