Tampa International Airport is a large airport in the United States of America serving just over sixteen million passengers every year. It is located only six miles from the central area of Tampa, in the state of Florida, and is recognised by its IATA code of TPA. Passengers of this airport have access to a wide range of airline companies and destinations, facilities and options for ground transportation. Arriving passengers are also able to hire a car from one of the top US airport car rental stations. The Tampa International Airport car hire companies offer all their customers a wide selection of high quality vehicles, as well as many services that can save time and money.
The airport of Tampa consists of a large central terminal building and four satellite buildings that are where the airline gates are found. The satellites are referred to as A, C, E and F, and are reached from the main terminal building by an automated people mover system. Passengers will also arrive at one of the satellites and move to the main terminal for baggage collection via the airport train system. Many aspects of the airport are colour-coded, for example, all baggage claim areas, airline companies and car rental counters on the south side of the airport are ‘blue’, and all facilities and airline companies on the north side are ‘red’. The car rental counters at the airport can easily be reached from the baggage claim areas by following the applicable sign posts.
Passengers can choose to hire a car from Hertz, Avis, Budget, Alamo, National, Easycar, Thrifty, Dollar, Auto Europa, Enterprise or Europcar at Tampa International Airport, and will find that a rented car is one of the most convenient ways to travel the city and the areas surrounding Tampa. There are a number of main roads leading from the airport, one of which is the Veterans Expressway, leading to the north towards Spring Hill. The Interstate 275 heads west across Old Tampa Bay to Pinellas Park and St Petersburg, as well as north for a connection to the Interstate 75. The Interstate 4 is the road to take east towards Plant City and Lake Land, and the Interstate 75 heads south towards Bradenton. Most of the cars for hire come with unlimited mileage, therefore all these areas can easily be accessed without any additional fees to pay. Within the city of Tampa there are several popular attractions, including Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, the Florida Aquarium and the Lowry Park Zoo. A car is most convenient for travelling to these sights, and all areas of the city are quite easy to navigate. Public parking garages can also be found along Ashley Drive, North Tampa Street, North Florida Avenue, East Madison Street and South Harbor Boulevard.
Always drive a rented car as if it was your own, taking careful note of the road signs and the speed limits. In Tampa, motorists should not exceed 30mph in urban areas, 65mph on open roads and 70mph on motorways and highways. Similar to most other large American cities, all main roads can be busy during the rush hours.
Vehicles hired will need to be collected from the Tampa International Airport car rental companies and returned to the same location, unless a one way hire has been arranged. This option is convenient for passengers who are not driving back to Tampa Airport, as one way hires may be delivered to an alternative rental location. Most vehicles may be driven to all parts of Florida and into the neighbouring states, however, cross border rentals are seldom permitted, and therefore hired cars may not enter Canada, Mexico or Alaska. Return your vehicle with a full tank of fuel if no fuel was purchased at the start of the rental period, or as empty as possible if fuel was purchased.
To rent a car in Tampa the primary renter will need to be at least 25 years of age, and should be able to show a valid drivers license and major credit card. Although 25 is the minimum age to hire a car, persons younger are permitted to rent a vehicle as well, but will pay higher rental rates for young drivers insurance. Other restrictions may apply as well, for example, younger renters do not have access to all vehicle categories and they may not use a debit card for the hold that is placed on the renter’s account for the rental charges. A major credit card such as American Express, MasterCard, Diner’s Club Int’l or Discover should be used.
Driving licenses should have been issued in the United States of America, or they should be Canadian-endorsed. The car rental company chosen should be contacted to make enquiries if from another country, as an International Driving Permit, passport, return airline tickets and other documentation may be required.
Vehicles for hire from the Tampa International Airport car hire companies include the smaller Chevy Aveo, Ford Focus, Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent, as well as slightly larger vehicles similar to the Toyota Corolla, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Impala. The larger varieties are often chosen by families who need a greater space for their luggage items. All cars are arranged into various car categories, and are hired accordingly rather than by their specific makes and models. Besides the Economy, Compact, Midsize and Fullsize categories, there are several SUV classes available, Premium and Luxury vehicle categories and Minivan and Passenger Van categories, with larger sized vehicles able to accommodate between seven and fifteen passengers. They include the Dodge Grand Caravan, Toyota Sienna, Ford Econoline and the Chevrolet Express. The SUVs that are popular include the Ford Escape, Ford Edge, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevrolet Traverse, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, Ford Expedition and the Lincoln Navigator.
Persons who require a rented car on a more frequent basis should consider becoming a member of their favourite car hire company’s loyalty program. Fastbreak is available from Budget, the Avis Preferred membership is a favourite from Avis, the Hertz #1 Club can be joined by occasional and frequent renters and Thrifty offers the Blue Chip Program with priority counter services and many other benefits. From Dollar and Thrifty customers can even earn free rental days with their reward programs.
Information in further detail can be supplied by your favourite Tampa International Airport car rental company. Keep in mind that advanced, online car hire reservations are often cheaper. An advanced reservation is also recommended/required for equipment such as child seats, satellite navigation systems and hand controls for disabled drivers. From the car hire companies of Tampa Airport, hand controls are free of charge.