Flying into Orlando to visit Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando? If you are planning to rent a car during your vacation, check this out. One of my favorite discounts for central Florida visitors has returned.
It's the Visitor Toll Pass, and it's a great way to escape the ridiculous surcharges and fees that rental car companies try to charge to visitors flying through Orlando. You buy the Visitor Toll Pass directly from Central Florida Expressway Authority, and it is good on all toll roads in the state of Florida. That means you do not have to pay any fee to rent a transponder from your rental car company.
The Visitor Toll Pass also will charge you the lowest available toll whenever you drive one of the state's many toll roads. Yes, you can still stop to pay cash on some roads, but you would be paying more than you would with the electronic pass. And you don't have to pull over to wait for an open toll booth with the pass, either.
Many rental car companies have been trying to get visitors to "prepay" for their Florida tolls in addition to renting a transponder, often leading to visitors paying far more to drive around than they would even if they stopped to pay the high cash rate on toll roads. The Visitor Toll Pass is pay-as-you-go, with no upfront costs.
To use the pass, go to the authority's website and follow the links to download the Visitor Toll Pass app. That is where you will set up your account and form of payment. After that, you just scan the app at the Visitor Toll Pass vending machine located on Level I, Side A at the Orlando airport to pick up your temporary hangtag. Hang that tag from the rearview mirror on your rental car, and you're good to go. Just return the tag in one of the designated drop boxes at the airport when you return to avoid a $10 charge.
The authority introduced the Visitor Toll Pass on a trial basis in 2019. But that required visiting a customer service desk in the airport rather than signing up with the new app. The last time I rented a car in Orlando before the pandemic, I arrived on a red eye, so the desk wasn't yet open and I could not use the pass. Now, early or late arrivals are not a problem. Anyone flying through the airport can use the Visitor Toll Pass to save money to Florida tolls.
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