Hiring a car in Miami International Airport
Miami International is huge, and passengers looking to rent a care must head to the Rental Car Centre (RCC) which is offsite, a mile east of the airport. MIA provides a bus service called the MIA Mover to the rental centre. You can find the station on the 3rd level of the airport.
Once you are in the RCC, you will have 16 rental car companies to choose from, a full list of which can be found here. All the main trusted brands can be found here, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and Thrifty.
You will find lots of choice when it comes to the types of cars you can choose from. There are large passenger vans, economy sized sedans, and luxury vehicles available for hire. Standard transmission in the United States tends to be automatic, so you should double check with the company in advance if you’d be more comfortable driving a manual.
Leaving Miami International Airport
The most straightforward route from the airport into the city is to get on the FL-112 E until you see the exit for the I-95 S to Downtown Distributor, take exit 2C. Please be aware that this route has tolls.
If you want to avoid the tolls you can take the FL-836 E to Downtown Distributor, and then take the exit 2C from the I-95 S.
There are lots of fuel stations right near MIA Airport if you need to fill the tank before returning your car. The closest ones being Lira Chevron on 2190 36th St, NW Sunoco on 3501 22nd Ave, or the Cisco Gas Station on 4770 17th Ave.
Driving in Miami
Miami, like many cities in North America was built for the car. The roads are wide, everything is well signposted, and the road system is easy to understand, with streets going east to west, and avenues going north to south. However, it is worth springing for a GPS as if you are not used to driving on the right, or in big cities, it can be confusing. Miami is a very busy city for cars, and can get congested easily, so avoiding peak traffic times in the morning (7-9:00am) and the evening (5-8:00pm) is paramount if you do not want to be sitting in traffic.
Parking can be difficult in the centre of the city, but Miami has compensated for this by most large hotels and restaurants offering valet services that park your car for you, so carrying around dollar bills for tips is a must. Keep in mind that in busy areas like South Beach, you can be waiting a while to get your car back from the valet service.
Some states in the USA do not require an International Driving Permit (IDP) to hire a car, but as this varies state-to-state we highly recommend that you get one anyway, especially if you want to drive out of Florida to nearby Alabama or Georgia. Please make sure you carry your IDP and license with you when you are driving in USA.
What can you see and do in Miami?
Glamorous beachside Miami has always been the jewel of Florida’s cities, with its Cuban vibe and its Art Deco architecture, this neon city has lots of things for visitors to see and do.
Stroll down Ocean Drive, and imagine yourself back in the Miami of the 1920s, see the flamboyant Imperial and Park Central hotels, or drop into the Art Deco District Welcome Centre, so you can learn all about this historic part of the city.
A visit to this city wouldn’t be complete without dropping into Little Havana, where you can indulge in some Cuban cuisine; try vaca frita, or bistec de palomilla, for a taste of Miami’s Caribbean side.
Of course, much of Miami’s attraction for its tourists lies down its fantastic coast. Take a drive along the magnificent Florida Keys, on the Overseas Highway, which runs a staggering 113 miles (181km) across the water, linking all the keys with Miami city. To drive the length of the highway will take around 3 and a half hours, but you can stop along the way to enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches that Florida has to offer.
Please note all information is current as of October 2015.