For years rental car customers have faced something of a Sophie’s Choice dilemma when it comes to toll roads: Pay an exorbitant fee to an e-toll rental provider or spend way too much time stopping at booths, hopefully with correct change. Visitors traveling to Central Florida now have another option.
The Central Florida Expressway Authority launched the Visitor Toll Pass, allowing travelers flying to and from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to pay the discounted e-Toll rates and without a daily rental fee for the transponder.
And the best part is that the system really “just works.” The app is intuitive and easy to work with (at least on Android; I didn’t test on iOS).
Alas, it is barely advertised and details are hard to find. But it is worth the extra few minutes on a trip.
Booking a pass is trivial; set the dates and rental car company and submit the form. Picking up the pass is similarly easy. The QR code scanning process is efficient and, at least for now, there’s a support representative helping customers at the machine.
The app tracks toll usage in (near?) real-time, so you can see what you’re paying as you drive. And, as promised, the charges are the lowest ePass rates.
The main downside today is that there’s only one pickup kiosk, and it is on the A side at MCO. If you arrive at B or C you have to trek across to collect the tag. And, in my case, that also meant getting the rental car company to move my reservation from the B pickup to A since I was already standing there and didn’t want to walk back across.
There are some limits to the program. Pickup of a transponder is only available on the A side of the airport. And the rules state that it is only valid for rentals that are both picked up and returned at MCO. But there’s also a $10 fee if you forget to return the tag, which seems like it could be the cost to use the program for a one way rental starting at MCO.
It also only works with a subset of rental car companies, though the list covers most the majors with on-site service at the airport:
- Dollar Rent A Car
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car
- Payless Car Rental
- Sixt Rent A Car
The program has been around since 2019, though it took a hiatus during the peak of COVID. Still, it has been back since late 2021 and doesn’t get nearly the attention it should given how easy it is to secure those savings. And it should get even better later this year when additional pickup kiosks are added at Terminals B & C.
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