Home Airports Renting A Car At MCO? Here’s A New Way To Save A Ton On Your Car Rental Bill

Renting A Car At MCO? Here’s A New Way To Save A Ton On Your Car Rental Bill

by SharonKurheg

Note: This program is temporarily suspended due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.

When you’re budgeting a visit to Central Florida and planning on renting a car, there are lots of things to keep in mind:

That last one is important, because the way different car rental companies handle tolls and rental of their toll transponders run the gamut from a low of $5 administrative fee + tolls paid, to a high of huge penalties for going through electronic tolls without a transponder.

However that might all be changing, and the groups in charge of tolls in Central Florida are in the midst of pilot study that you could potentially be a part of…

The Central Florida Expressway Authority is piloting a new automated toll payment solution for select visitors to Florida traveling between May 1, 2019 and July 30, 2020 (it had originally been through August 31, 2019 but was extended) and renting a car from the Orlando International Airport. It’s called Visitor Toll Pass™.

VTP

Visitor Toll Pass™ is a hang tag that you place on your rental car’s rearview mirror. Once you’ve registered and hung the hang tag, you automatically pay tolls electronically on Florida toll roads without needing to stop in cash toll lanes. You’ll pay the lowest toll rate (saving as much as 80% compared with rental car toll programs, plus an additional 23% on tolls by paying the electronic toll rate), without any additional fees.

From the Visitor Toll Pass™ website:

How does it work?

Visitor Toll Pass™ is the smart alternative to costly rental car toll programs. Use Visitor Toll Pass™ to pay tolls electronically while traveling on any toll road throughout Florida. Visitor Toll Pass™ is accepted at all electronic toll collection points, allowing you to travel nonstop without fumbling for cash. Plus, you will pay a reduced toll rate – with no additional fees or charges.

Reserve Visitor Toll Pass™ for FREE during the pilot phase for travel throughout Florida.

Step 1: Reserve Visitor Toll Pass™

Hit the ground running when you arrive in Florida. Reserve your pass online now for your next trip. Travel must be between May 1 – August 31, 2019.

Step 2: Pick up Visitor Toll Pass™ at Orlando International Airport

Upon arrival, look for the Visitor Toll Pass™ counter on the rental car level of the airport.

Step 3: Explore and Enjoy

Use Visitor Toll Pass™ for nonstop toll travel throughout Florida. Simply hang the pass from your rearview mirror* and GO! Use Visitor Toll Pass™ in all electronic and express lanes. Works everywhere you see E-PASS, SunPass, or LeeWay (Note from Sharon: That’s virtually every pass in the state of Florida. So even if you go far out to Miami, Key West, St. Augustine, the beach, etc., the Visitor Toll Pass™ will still work).

Step 4: Return Visitor Toll Pass™ at Orlando International Airport

Remove your pass from your rental car when you return and drop it in one of the Visitor Toll Pass™ return dropboxes or at the airport counter.

Step 5: Tolls Charged to Credit Card

The credit card you provided will be billed within 3 days of the conclusion of your trip.

There’s no surcharge to use the Visitor Toll Pass™ and you do need to tell your rental car company that you’re opting out of using their transponder if you’re going to use the Visitor Toll Pass™.

You have to be picking up and dropping off your rental car at Orlando International Airport to be able to use Visitor Toll Pass™. Click here for their FAQ.

The Visitor Toll Pass™ is in trials at this time and the hang tags are available via reservation (or in person, 9am to 1am, at their sign up desk, which is by the car rental counters at MCO) for visits to Central Florida, only through August 31, 2019.

My Opinion Of This

If the Central Florida Expressway Authority continues Visitor Toll Pass™ after the piloting session, I think it will be a beautiful thing. Because of the car rental companies’ greed, too many tourists have paid WAAAY too much for tolls/transponders/penalties in Florida, and this would be an excellent way for them to only pay for the tolls.

As it should be.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

9 comments

coworkaholic July 15, 2019 - 9:49 am

This is the COOLEST thing I’ve seen in a long time. I’m usually good at remembering to bring my own EZpass but there have been times where I left it in the car back at home or forgot I had a friend borrow it. It took me 2-3 Hertz rentals to realize I was paying daily fees and tolls that were 2x what they are to really set my hair on fire.

Reply
SharonKurheg July 15, 2019 - 10:20 am

I know, right? I realize it’s just a trial/pilot now but I hope they find is successful and it sticks around or comes back or whatever. Car rental companies totally rip you off with those fees.

Heads up with that E-ZPass – it doesn’t work for all roads in Central FL.T his is from last year, when E-ZPass was just starting to be accepted down here, but the general info of what roads it works on, and which ones it doesn’t, is the same
https://yourmileagemayvary.net/2018/08/24/effective-september-1-e-zpass-can-be-used-on-central-florida-expressway-authority-roadways/

Reply
Peter Fabian August 4, 2019 - 8:12 am

Based on the reservation form on https://visitortollpass.com/Reservation:
> Travel must conclude on or before July 30, 2020, to be eligible to participate in this pilot program.

So perhaps it the trial runs for a longer period now?

Reply
SharonKurheg August 4, 2019 - 9:39 am

That would be awesome if it does! I’ll give them a call next week and see what I can find out. Thanks for the heads up!

Reply
Jeff W. October 28, 2019 - 2:16 am

This is so nice. Companies are constantly coming up with ways to get more and more money out of people. This program is a refreshing change in that it is a way to save Florida visitors some money versus paying the inflated fees through the car rental companies. I hope they decide to keep this program around. I have a reservation for a Visitor Toll Pass in December and I am looking forward to trying it out.

Reply
Sarah October 28, 2019 - 3:25 am

I guess you have to pickup/drop your car off at the Orlando (MCO) airport in order to use this pilot program? We are flying into Orlando/out of Miami on an upcoming trip and I would love to use this pilot program! Per your post it looks like you have to pickup and drop off at MCO though. If so, we are out of luck.

I am fed up with toll tag/fee roulette in FL. Your blog about the different toll tag charges by various rental car companies has helped me avoid the most egregious rental car toll programs in the past and I really appreciate that but this program sounds amazing and way better than even the cheapest toll tag programs offered by the various rental car companies in FL. Usually the cheapest car rental companies don’t have the cheapest toll tag program and this pilot program would get around that issue. I hope the state keeps this program. This would really stick it to the rental car companies, which they deserve.

Reply
SharonKurheg October 28, 2019 - 9:20 am

Hi! I’m not sure about the answer to your question. But I looked at Visitor Toll Pass website and it looks like there’s a $10 charge if you don’t return it. Also, it’s just a piece of plastic…maybe you could snail mail it back? Might be good to contact them (phone number/email is on their website) and ask what they recommend.

Reply
MC March 9, 2020 - 10:16 am

Just reserved our visitor pass after reading the fine print in my rental agreement and googling and stumbling upon your article, thanks for the info!!

Reply
SharonKurheg March 9, 2020 - 10:26 am

Terrific, glad we could help! We have all kinds of helping and interesting stories…if you want to keep reading them we’d love if you signed up for our email list. 😉

Reply

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