Travel

LPT: Best Florida rental car toll option if flying in to MCO

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 30th, 2019 10:24 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
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Jan 9, 2010
920 posts
174 upvotes
Edmonton, Alberta

LPT: Best Florida rental car toll option if flying in to MCO

Last year I bought my own SunPass transponder at the start of my Florida vacation (at a Publix supermarket) to try to avoid the toll plan charged by my rental car company, which can be substantial. It was cheap enough at $5 USD, but creating a SunPass account and using it were just a PITA. I also wound up with charges after I arrived back home...the stupid thing didn't get picked up on the Sanibel Island toll gate, so that wound up being an extra charge. All in all it was a pain....better than using the rental car toll plans, but a pain nonetheless.

I just found out about a great option which you can use if you're flying into Orlando. It's called "Visitor Toll Pass". Essentially it's a deal from the Central Florida Expressway Authority where you pick up their special transponder tag at a booth at Orlando airport (after you pick up your rental car) and hang it from your rearview mirror. It's free--all you need to do is give your credit card information, name, and the licence plate of your rental car, as well as the date you're returning the pass. After you return the pass, your credit card is charged for the tolls--no extra fees. In fact, you get a discount on the tolls for using the pass! You need to return the pass to the Orlando airport....you just drop it in a bin near the same booth where you picked it up. However, even if you don't, there's only a $10 USD fee--which is probably worth it, seeing as how the alternative, a Sunpass transponder, costs $5 USD. And I think you can even mail the Visitor Toll Pass back to the airport to avoid the $10 if you want to (I read that somewhere but have not been able to confirm it).

The program is a pilot project that started earlier this year but keeps getting extended. I just emailed them to ask a question and found out they are extending the pilot again to July 2020 at a minimum.

More information about the Visitor Toll Pass: https://visitortollpass.com

This is by far the simplest option to cope with Florida's road tolls if renting a car at MCO.
Last edited by canadave on Oct 29th, 2019 10:06 am, edited 3 times in total.
6 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2013
1716 posts
925 upvotes
Durham
Thanks, this will come in handy!
Deal Addict
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Aug 14, 2001
4169 posts
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Yesva Scotia
That's very interesting. Thanks!

I've used Alamo before, they only charge an extra fee on any days you actually used a toll road. Some rental companies charge for every day of the rental, even if not using a toll road.
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Sr. Member
Jan 14, 2007
784 posts
277 upvotes
Toronto
I frequent Florida enough that I have a sunpass. Been using it for about 6-7yrs now. For me it's the only way to go if you travel to the sunshine state. used it mostly in the orlando area but also on the west cost from fort myers to st pete's and back to orlando, even on sanibel island. this year we used it from orlando to miami for our cruise and back to orlando again.
sunpass also has an app with everything you need to do like load $$$, check balance, add plate numbers, etc.

this pilot project is a welcome bonus for occasional visitors to florida.
[OP]
Sr. Member
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Jan 9, 2010
920 posts
174 upvotes
Edmonton, Alberta
Agreed--if you're a regular visitor to Florida then it probably makes more sense to get a SunPass and be done with it. For occasional visitors, as you said, I think the Visitor Toll Pass is an easier option.
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2005
4589 posts
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Scarborough
I have a transponder since I'm in Florida 3 or 4 times a year. The website is fine. no issues logging into it. Also, there's no need to update your license plate. They only need it if the transponder doesn't pick up. Also, why just MCO? This should apply to the rest of Florida?

There's also another old thread around here that talks about using an app called Paytollo and the thread confirms that it works.
[OP]
Sr. Member
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Jan 9, 2010
920 posts
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Edmonton, Alberta
Paytollo doesn't work for rental cars unfortunately; I was going to use that last time (and on this coming trip), and they have a disclaimer in their app saying you can't use it for rental cars. It's also a more clunky way to handle FLA tolls than this Visitor Toll Pass (although admittedly, if they sort out the rental car issue and someone isn't flying into MCO, it might be a viable option at that time).

The reason the Visitor Toll Pass is only MCO right now is because it's a pilot project. I totally agree it should be expanded to all other airports. Tourists arriving in Florida may not even be aware of the toll issue, and are in for a nasty surprise when they go to get their rental car.

As I said earlier, I agree that if you're in FLA three or four times a year, it probably makes sense to get a transponder. For those who aren't there that often, this is a simpler system.

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