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Question about tolls

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Meridian, Idaho
posts: 1,168
reviews: 36
Question about tolls

I have reviewed the following website https://www.sunpass.com/rentalcar

I am confused-I live in a state with no tolls so I guess I don't really understand how it works. I have Google mapped a route from MIA to Key West that avoids tolls taking US1 (or so Google says). Do I still need to buy this SunPass? (I am renting from Enterprise). We are only driving from MIA to our rental house, then back to MIA to drop off the car. We plan on taking US1 both ways. (We then leave out of MIA for a cruise).

Tampa, Florida
posts: 7,213
1. Re: Question about tolls

The US1 route out of Miami will take forever and a day to get you to KW. Enterprise has one of the better deals for using their Toll feature - in addition to the actual tolls they charge a fee of $2 for the entire rental period.

If you still prefer to avoid the tolls a better road is hwy 997 which is only 6 miles west of the Turnpike but parallels the Turnpike untin they both merge at US 1 which is then the only road to KW.

Forest, Virginia
posts: 9
2. Re: Question about tolls

It's possible to get from the Miami airport to the Overseas Highway without using a toll road. We did it on our first trip to Key West. But it really does make the trip much longer. Once choice is to pay the tolls thru your rental car company - that's the page you linked. Another choice is to buya stick-on Sunpass. You can buy one at a CVS or Publix store after you land, or you can order one online ahead of time from the same site you referenced. If you buy it online, you can activate it by phone once you land and get your car. We've done it - it's easy and quick. Just start here: https:/…displayPurchaseTransponderAgreement If the automated toll readers detect there's a Sunpass on the car, the charge won't be sent to your rental car company. (At least it worked that way for us last October.)

Edited: 9:30 pm, December 09, 2012
Melbourne, Florida
Destination Expert
for Melbourne, Florida
posts: 10,525
reviews: 87
3. Re: Question about tolls

Its so much easier to do as suggested above and take the toll road. If you make a wrong turn trying to find the other roads or get stuck in traffic its just not worth the aggravation and the extra time added on. We went the alternate route once and will not do so again. And we have made many trips to the keys.

Meridian, Idaho
posts: 1,168
reviews: 36
4. Re: Question about tolls

Thanks for all of your suggestions. We will be arriving at 7pm in MIA this coming Wednesday night, stopping for groceries, then going straight to KW.

Do you all still think the no-toll option will take forever this late in the day? Your advice is greatly appreciated by this Idaho girl :)

Forest, Virginia
posts: 9
5. Re: Question about tolls

The Rt 1 option is city streets. Lots of stoplights, and you have to watch the signs like a hawk as Rt 1 isn't a single road but will take turns at intersections. If you're stopping for groceries anyway, it's worth it to buy a stick-on Sunpass at the store and take 5 minutes to activate it by phone. We tried to avoid the tolls our first trip. It was a mess, and I'll never try it again! :)

Edited: 10:03 pm, December 09, 2012
key west
posts: 3,339
reviews: 14
6. Re: Question about tolls

Don't stop for groceries. Its a waste of time. We have grocery stores in kw and the prices in Miami are no cheaper. As for taking us1 instead of the turnpike, it will take you an extra 30 minutes at that hour, I've timed it. Nothing to see at night however and no stops of merit unless you love target. I dlnt think its worth the few dollar savings. Pay the rental car fees and make it to kw for a late dinner or grocery store stop.

Meridian, Idaho
posts: 1,168
reviews: 36
7. Re: Question about tolls

Ok, you guys have talked me out of it! I didn't realize the US1 route was stoplights, etc-I was picturing a freeway.

Do you all think my best bet is the Sunpass, or just paying through Enterprise? I went to the Sunpass website and it said I would have to have my license plate to buy one ahead of time, which obviously I don't have.

The website I referenced in my OP says that Enterprise charges $6 plus toll charges. Is this a better deal that Sunpass? I have no clue what tolls usually cost each or how many there will be. Am I talking a difference of $5 here between the 2 options? Or like $30?

Meridian, Idaho
posts: 1,168
reviews: 36
8. Re: Question about tolls

jdjn9-

Thanks you for the local tip on groceries. Usually resort cities groceries are significantly more than bigger cities. But if you say there isn't a big difference we will buy local. I am staying at 1330 Simonton St.. Where would you recommend we look for groceries? (We will most likely be on foot or bicycle as we plan to park the car when we arrive and not drive it around the island).

Google maps says there is a place called Ana's cafe across the street, but some places say there are groceries there-any idea? We would like to find beer and wine at a reasonable price. Maybe some snacks. Nothing more than that really.

Thanks!

key west
posts: 3,339
reviews: 14
9. Re: Question about tolls

Stop on the way into old town. Winn Dixie is 24/7 and you can pass it if you take the right onto roosevelt as you enter town. It will be on your left. Btw, we are a tourist town but certainly not a "resort town" lots of employment opportunities having nothing to do with tourists and people who have lived here for generations. Miami is not a cheap destination either so I have not found the cost of groceries to be any different. FYI, if you wait till morning there are two publix grocery stores as well and two local grocery stores, faustos, one on fleming and one on white.

Meridian, Idaho
posts: 1,168
reviews: 36
10. Re: Question about tolls

Thanks, jdjn9!