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Old Jun 13, 11, 12:12 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Toronto, ON
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SunPass or Shunpike the Florida turnpike?

Sixt Car Rental at MIA is asking for my 9-day car rental either 7$/day for a SunPass or 10$/day extra for each day if I don't opt for the Sun Pass but I end up using non-cash toll roads (i.e. unserviced by attendants).
As I drive towards and from the Florida Keys, what would be the best recommendation for how to drive my rental from/to MIA and what to buy/not to buy from Sixt?
Using SR 836, SR 826, and US 1 would be a big headache or would work just fine and won't make me also pay highway tolls of anykind? Please locals or frequent Keys travellers, advice.
I might also copy this post on the Car Rental section because it also applies to that forum I guess.
Thanks!
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Old Jun 13, 11, 3:26 pm   #2
 
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US-1 is the only road that goes all the way to Key West, but it's pretty slow in metropolitan Miami: during rush hour, it can take me ten minutes to go two miles on it.

From the MIA rental car center, I'd probably take 836, 826, and the Turnpike to US-1. With this you will have to go through some tolls, so you'd probably want to rent the SunPass.
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Old Jun 14, 11, 3:49 pm   #3
 
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Sorry, I am confused by your post in regards to the cost of the rental....

$7 x 9 days = $63 (w/Sunpass) or $10 x 9 days = $90 (w/o Sunpass)??
Unless I am missing some important information, (which I probably am), I would get the Sunpass option.

Having a Sunpass in Florida is a good idea. It can make car travel easier and quicker for many reasons (here are a few):
1. some toll roads do not have collection booths.
2. you do not have to worry about having cash for the booths.
3. you do not have to wait in traffic (if it is busy) to pay necessary tolls.

Will you be spending any time in Miami or surrounding areas? Or is this trip........ airport to the keys-keys back to the airport.
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Old Jun 14, 11, 10:32 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CokeandTaco View Post
$7 x 9 days = $63 (w/Sunpass) or $10 x 9 days = $90 (w/o Sunpass)??
Unless I am missing some important information, (which I probably am), I would get the Sunpass option.
The Florida Turnpike south of the Golden Glades Interchange (at the North end of Miami-Dade County) is all unattended; several other toll roads in MDC are too. You have no option to pay with cash or change on these roads.

If you don't have SunPass, any tolls you pay are more expensive (usually by 25), and have to be billed by tracking down your license plate. Hertz contracts this out to PlatePass, who charges $10/day plus the higher tolls.

If you do rent a SunPass, Hertz can simply track whose it is for a given period of time, and bill you directly.

In addition, the SunPass-only I-95 Express lanes are great when trying to get from the Broward border to MIA, Downtown, or anything South of Brickell; and going from anywhere South of Brickell to Broward.
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Old Jun 15, 11, 12:14 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CokeandTaco View Post
Sorry, I am confused by your post in regards to the cost of the rental....

$7 x 9 days = $63 (w/Sunpass) or $10 x 9 days = $90 (w/o Sunpass)??
Unless I am missing some important information, (which I probably am), I would get the Sunpass option.

Having a Sunpass in Florida is a good idea. It can make car travel easier and quicker for many reasons (here are a few):
1. some toll roads do not have collection booths.
2. you do not have to worry about having cash for the booths.
3. you do not have to wait in traffic (if it is busy) to pay necessary tolls.

Will you be spending any time in Miami or surrounding areas? Or is this trip........ airport to the keys-keys back to the airport.
It's most likely a MIA-KEYS KEYS-MIA trip over 9 days of rental from Sixt.
So the tolls would add-up to let's say 4 dollars for the 9-day rental period.
Paying Sixt $63 for tolls just doesn't make sense to me.
You are right with regards to sunpass vs cash - that's what they told me on the phone. I asked if it's 10 dollars only for the days that I use the toll highway and they said no, it's 10 dollars for each day of the whole rental period. Weird, isn't it?
Now, I come from Canada. If I buy a "sunpass mini" would I be able to activate it/use it with my Canadian driver's licence info and address? And then just stick it to the windsheield, and remove/distroy it and cancel the account (for a refund eventually) when I return the car? That would be 15 bucks without a refund or about 4 buck with the refund and would make more sense to me then what Sixt is trying to feed me with.
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Old Jun 15, 11, 12:20 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticu View Post
It's most likely a MIA-KEYS KEYS-MIA trip over 9 days of rental from Sixt.
So the tolls would add-up to let's say 4 dollars for the 9-day rental period.
Paying Sixt $63 for tolls just doesn't make sense to me.
You are right with regards to sunpass vs cash - that's what they told me on the phone. I asked if it's 10 dollars only for the days that I use the toll highway and they said no, it's 10 dollars for each day of the whole rental period. Weird, isn't it?
Now, I come from Canada. If I buy a "sunpass mini" would I be able to activate it/use it with my Canadian driver's licence info and address? And then just stick it to the windsheield, and remove/distroy it and cancel the account (for a refund eventually) when I return the car? That would be 15 bucks without a refund or about 4 buck with the refund and would make more sense to me then what Sixt is trying to feed me with.
They can't make it that easy on you. It takes 24 hours to activate them. And when you register it, you need to provide the license plate number.


From the user manual: https://www.sunpass.com/pdf/MANUAL_E.pdf

Open your prepaid account either on
SunPass.com or over the phone with
a credit card before noon, and under
normal circumstances your transponder
will be activated after 4 p.m. when
you drive through a SunPass lane. Do
it after noon and the transponder will
normally be activated after 6 a.m. the
next day. SunPass will make every
effort to ensure the transaction is
processed in a timely manner.
Exception – If driving on Miami-Dade
Expressway, E-Pass or LeeWay toll
roads, your transponder will be active
after 6 a.m. the next morning regardless
of website or phone activation.
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Last edited by pbiflyer; Jun 15, 11 at 12:42 pm.
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Old Jun 15, 11, 12:25 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticu View Post
It's most likely a MIA-KEYS KEYS-MIA trip over 9 days of rental from Sixt.
So the tolls would add-up to let's say 4 dollars for the 9-day rental period.
Paying Sixt $63 for tolls just doesn't make sense to me.
You are right with regards to sunpass vs cash - that's what they told me on the phone. I asked if it's 10 dollars only for the days that I use the toll highway and they said no, it's 10 dollars for each day of the whole rental period. Weird, isn't it?
Now, I come from Canada. If I buy a "sunpass mini" would I be able to activate it/use it with my Canadian driver's licence info and address? And then just stick it to the windsheield, and remove/distroy it and cancel the account (for a refund eventually) when I return the car? That would be 15 bucks without a refund or about 4 buck with the refund and would make more sense to me then what Sixt is trying to feed me with.
I don't see why you couldn't do that but it generally takes Sunpass about 24hrs to activate once your account is established. You can order them online so I assume they would ship them to you in Canada. I assume this what all of the snowbirds do. If you think you will come to FL often you can also get a portable option for $25 that suction cup mounts so you can take it with you for reuse. As for the license plate you can change that online so you might be Ok doing it that way. Actually I just looked and they even have a spot to specify if it is a rental vehicle and the period you want the subscription to start and end.
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Old Jun 15, 11, 12:38 pm   #8
 
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We have never had to pay that much for a sunpass from a hire company. alamo/Dollar etc normally charge about $6 a day with a maximum of $36 per week. The sunpass we eventually bought in Walmart can be activated after you pick the car up. The license plate number is on the car, to enter, just activate it online. We have done it with multiple hire cars. Personally, I'd change your car supplier.
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Old Jun 15, 11, 12:47 pm   #9
 
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Paying $63 to collect probably $5 dollars in tolls is insane. The Turnpike Enterprise / Sunpass needs to find some better solution given the sheer number of tourists renting cars here.

You may want to investigate some other rental car companies, the major ones (Hertz/National etc) all charge $2.00 per day + cost of tolls, and the $2.00 charge is only for the days which you use a toll road. So if going down and back to the keys you would only need to pay for the first and last day here. Its all tied into the toll vendor the car companies use:

https://www.sunpass.com/rentalcar

and unless you are arriving late at night, you definitely will want to take the toll roads to get the keys, as driving the length of US-1 in Miami is a miserable experience.
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Old Jun 17, 11, 9:58 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLLDL View Post
Paying $63 to collect probably $5 dollars in tolls is insane. The Turnpike Enterprise / Sunpass needs to find some better solution given the sheer number of tourists renting cars here.

You may want to investigate some other rental car companies, the major ones (Hertz/National etc) all charge $2.00 per day + cost of tolls, and the $2.00 charge is only for the days which you use a toll road. So if going down and back to the keys you would only need to pay for the first and last day here. Its all tied into the toll vendor the car companies use:

https://www.sunpass.com/rentalcar

and unless you are arriving late at night, you definitely will want to take the toll roads to get the keys, as driving the length of US-1 in Miami is a miserable experience.
Called again SIXT.
They told me if I come with my own Sunpass and use a non-attended toll road I will be double charged: once on my sunpass and once by SIXT at 10 dollars violation fee for every day of the rental plus tolls that I incur, as they will get a picture from the toll highway "office" and will bill me (i.e. charge my credit card) later.
Aparently there is no other way of handling this then either:
1. buy their sunpass service for 37 (week)+14(2 days) = 51 dollars for my 9-day rental
2. waive their sunpass offer and use only highways either toll free or that let you pay tolls in cash.

In the second case, my question is:can one still pay tolls in cash on SR 836 (Dolphin Expwy) from SR826 to Miami Beach or this became a cashless toll road too?
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Old Jun 17, 11, 10:41 am   #11
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: FLL or MIA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticu View Post
Called again SIXT.
They told me if I come with my own Sunpass and use a non-attended toll road I will be double charged: once on my sunpass and once by SIXT at 10 dollars violation fee for every day of the rental plus tolls that I incur, as they will get a picture from the toll highway "office" and will bill me (i.e. charge my credit card) later.
Aparently there is no other way of handling this then either:
1. buy their sunpass service for 37 (week)+14(2 days) = 51 dollars for my 9-day rental
2. waive their sunpass offer and use only highways either toll free or that let you pay tolls in cash.

In the second case, my question is:can one still pay tolls in cash on SR 836 (Dolphin Expwy) from SR826 to Miami Beach or this became a cashless toll road too?
Frankly I think they are BSing you. The only time a picture is taken is when the toll is not registered as paid. Since you have a Sunpass a picture would not be taken and a bill would not be submitted. Like others have said unless you are getting a bargain on the rental these guys seems way out of line compared to other rental companies.
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Old Jun 17, 11, 1:18 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by stonecrd View Post
Frankly I think they are BSing you. The only time a picture is taken is when the toll is not registered as paid. Since you have a Sunpass a picture would not be taken and a bill would not be submitted. Like others have said unless you are getting a bargain on the rental these guys seems way out of line compared to other rental companies.
I also thing they BS-ing me. But should I take my chances? I don't know how this transponder/ toll by plate thing works to make sure that if the transponder registered the pass under the gantry then they don't take a picture at all or if they do, they don't care about it.

It's true, it's kind of a bargaing what I got so I'm not really too much willing to move and rent from others ( this comes down to 14 bucks a day, LDW and tax included). Even with their $7/day of sunpass I still am in a better rate then from any other rental company at MIA. It's also true I did the booking more than one month before I need the car and I ran into SIXT by mistake(I had no idea who they were or that they existed). If I mock a booking now on their website I get the same price like from others (after all, aren't they all located together in the same place???)
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Old Jun 20, 11, 1:54 pm   #13
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$14/day sounds very cheap. Are you sure that's your rate? Robyn
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Old Jun 20, 11, 5:59 pm   #14
 
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$14/day sounds very cheap. Are you sure that's your rate? Robyn
I have it in writing and this is why I love them sooo much and don't want to kiss them good bye (at least yet). It were even cheaper if I wanted to pay upfront, but I didn't. But like I said, I reserved well in advance. But they will compensate that by ripping me off on toll charges
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Old Jun 23, 11, 8:11 am   #15
 
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Maybe you could try one of these suggestions:
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/tr...a-1556896.html
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