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QUESTION FOR ANY FL RESIDENTS

Posted by on Jan. 2, 2018 at 6:58 AM
  • 17 Replies

So we need to rent a car when we go to Key West.  Who knew it would be so complicated.

Seems most of the tolls in S. Fl now are unmanned and you need to purchase a transponder or a Sunpass you put in your window and it reads it as you go past.  

The car rental companies supply these (of course they do) but at a ridiculous charge to you.  This seems like another scam by car rental companies.   There is tons of info online about this whole thing.  you can rent a car for as cheap as $150 a week but then you pay $19.99 - $36.99 a day for the transponder whether you are going through tolls or not.  The only tolls we hit are through the Miami area and they come to around $6 each way.  The more expensive car companies like Enterprise charge only for the tolls used and around $5 a day to rent the transponder BUT the cost of their cars is over $500 for the week.  

Its all very confusing.  Apparently you can buy your own Sunpass but you have to find a Publix or CVS when you leave the airport to do this and then some of them are not activated for 24 hours so you can't use immediately.  WTH.  

There is a no-toll route down to the highway that goes to the Keys but is longer and complicated and if you end up on "express lanes" in Miami you are charged also.

So if you live in FL or visit frequently and can offer any advice I'd appreciate it.  

by on Jan. 2, 2018 at 6:58 AM
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Replies (1-10):
lucky2Beeme
by Member on Jan. 2, 2018 at 7:51 AM
I don't live in Fl but we go often. We don't get the transponder. We get a bill in the mail for the tolls after vacation
annie-durham
by Silver Member on Jan. 2, 2018 at 7:58 AM

We will be getting a rental car though, and they add on fees in addition to the tolls.  We are also in Canada. 

Quoting lucky2Beeme: I don't live in Fl but we go often. We don't get the transponder. We get a bill in the mail for the tolls after vacation


lucky2Beeme
by Member on Jan. 2, 2018 at 8:01 AM
We do rental cars as well. I don't know if living in Canada will add more fees .

Quoting annie-durham:

We will be getting a rental car though, and they add on fees in addition to the tolls.  We are also in Canada. 

Quoting lucky2Beeme: I don't live in Fl but we go often. We don't get the transponder. We get a bill in the mail for the tolls after vacation

lucky2Beeme
by Member on Jan. 2, 2018 at 8:04 AM
https://www.sunpass.com/rentalcar

Read this then call your car rental company and ask how much they add. Remember to tell them you're in Canada. Then decide which is best option
louannwilkins
by Louann on Jan. 2, 2018 at 9:06 AM

That is very confusing for sure.  Is there a number where you could call the actual people who handle tolls etc...get info from them?  If so have you a note pad close by to take notes and take down the person's name you speak with.  Let us know what you find out because it seems VERY confusing to me!!  LOL

annie-durham
by Silver Member on Jan. 2, 2018 at 10:15 AM

Well from what I read, the unmanned ones are the problem because they scan the license plate and the bill goes to the rental car company not you and they add on whatever.   We have used rental car companies in florida before too and if we come across a toll we just pay cash.  Its south Fl and specifically renting at Miami airport or Ft Lauderdale airport that this responder thing is happening. 

Quoting lucky2Beeme: We do rental cars as well. I don't know if living in Canada will add more fees .
Quoting annie-durham:

We will be getting a rental car though, and they add on fees in addition to the tolls.  We are also in Canada. 

Quoting lucky2Beeme: I don't live in Fl but we go often. We don't get the transponder. We get a bill in the mail for the tolls after vacation


annie-durham
by Silver Member on Jan. 2, 2018 at 10:16 AM

I have gone to that link and read it.  Apparently they don't have to disclose any of this online and are pretty sketchy about it on the phone too.  I am going to definately call and ask a lot of questions before booking though.

Quoting lucky2Beeme: https://www.sunpass.com/rentalcar Read this then call your car rental company and ask how much they add. Remember to tell them you're in Canada. Then decide which is best option


annie-durham
by Silver Member on Jan. 2, 2018 at 10:19 AM
1 mom liked this

The tolls which are unmanned scan the license plate and then send a bill.  If its a rental car the bill goes to Alamo or whoever and they add on their fees.  It is very confusing and I was online over 3 hours last night reading through stuff on this.  I have made some notes of the various companies which are the worst and which are not bad.  I think Payless is one that is capped at $14.95 for a 30 day period plus you pay the tolls on top of that and I think they are around $10.  But thats better than $19.99 a day.

I have 3 weeks to figure this all out though.

Quoting louannwilkins:

That is very confusing for sure.  Is there a number where you could call the actual people who handle tolls etc...get info from them?  If so have you a note pad close by to take notes and take down the person's name you speak with.  Let us know what you find out because it seems VERY confusing to me!!  LOL


atlmom2
by Susie on Jan. 2, 2018 at 2:27 PM
Get a transponder if you can. They charge you so much more if you don't. It is ridiculous. The unmanned tolls are a total rip off.
annie-durham
by Silver Member on Jan. 2, 2018 at 3:00 PM

I am going to call the 1-800 number for the sun pass and get them to mail me one out.  Its $4.99 and you load $10 on it that is the cheapest option hopefully it works.  When we arrive in Florida I have to input the license plate of the rental car we get on my phone (good luck with that) or my ipad and then we should be good to go.  If I need to add more money I can do it from my sisters house in Key West.  I think that is easier than trying to find a CVS or Publix from the airport.  

Quoting atlmom2: Get a transponder if you can. They charge you so much more if you don't. It is ridiculous. The unmanned tolls are a total rip off.


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