Car Rental in Tampa
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Tampa?
Tampa is the largest city and main hun of West Central Florida. It is a bustling metropolis of business and tourism and is visited by millions every year.
As is usual for American cities, the car is king. While some may only be staying in Downtown Tampa for conventions, most travelers and tourists stay in resorts in the surrounding area. And the overwhelming majority of them rent a car to get around, even if just to drive to eat or shop.
Of course, with a car, you can explore the Gulf coast beaches, head to Busch Gardens, hit the outlets, and even take trips to destinations further afield.
One-Way Car Rentals in Tampa
The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Tampa and drop off in another city include:
- From Tampa to Orlando - 48 offers from $65.77 per day
- From Tampa to Miami - 33 offers from $71.37 per day
- From Tampa to Fort Myers - 45 offers from $61.89 per day
- From Tampa to Springfield - 14 offers from $104.91 per day
- From Tampa to Fort Lauderdale - 47 offers from $65.77 per day
Top ways to enter Tampa
- Tampa International Airport - The largest airport in West Central Florida is of course its primary entry point.
- St. Petersburg Airport - On the other side of Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg Airport is less than 20 miles from Tampa International Airport. The airport is served by regional and low-cost airlines and is, therefore, an incredibly popular entry point to the Tampa Bay area. It’s easy to fly into the airport and reach any destination in the entire metro area.
- Driving from Fort Myers or Orlando - The Tampa Bay area is a popular destination for those vacationing in Orlando as it is only an hour’s drive or so away. I-4 will take you all the way from Downtown Orlando or the Lake Buena Vista area to Downtown Tampa. The drive from Fort Myers to Tampa itself is a little longer (about 2 hours), but St. Petersburg is closer.
Top destinations and activities
- Busch Gardens - Likely, Tampa’s most popular attraction, the Busch Gardens is a theme park that people from around the country flock to. Many that visit Disney World or Universal Orlando also make the trip to Tampa just for Busch Gardens. It is north of Downtown Tampa and is an excellent place to spend the day with your family.
- Adventure Island - Just next door to Busch Gardens, Adventure Island is its water park. You can, and probably should, get combined tickets for both. The park is a great place to have some fun and escape the Florida heat at the same time. It is open from March to November.
- The Florida Aquarium - Located in the Channel District, this Aquarium is the place to go to learn about the aquatic life of Florida. It has more than 250,000-square-feet of space, so plan to spend some time. The Aquarium is a non-profit dedicated to preservation, conservation, and education and so is certainly worth supporting.
- The Riverwalk - The most famous part of Downtown Tampa is the Riverwalk, which is well a pedestrian trail down by the river. But it’s much more than that. It’s the center of life in the city. It has all types of restaurants, places to shop, and host events around the year. A trip to Tampa isn’t complete without wandering around the area for the day (or evening if nightlife is your thing.
- Sports - Tampa is a great city for sports fans. It is the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, winners of Super Bowl LV, the Rays of the MLB, and the Lightening of the NHL, so almost any time of year you can attend a game of one of the major leagues. The Buccaneers and Lightning play in Downtown Tampa, while the Rays play in St. Petersburg.
Traffic and parking
As the Tamp Bay area is a major metropolitan area, traffic can be hectic, particularly during rush hour. As a tourist, it is best to avoid the commuting hours as much as possible.
Parking in Downton Tampa, for example, if you want to visit the Riverwalk, can be a hassle. While on-street parking is available, using a garage is probably better. The Poe garage on Ashley Dr. is the most convenient. You could also park further away, say in Ybor city, and catch a trolley or the free streetcar.
The water taxis are a great way to get around Downtown Tampa once you’ve found a good parking spot. You can buy a hop-on-hop-off ticket that is good for an entire day and take the taxis up and down the river to all of the attractions and dining options.
If renting a car in Tampa as a tourist, it is unlikely that you will need to use a SunPass transponder that your rental car supplier may offer. There are two toll roads in the area that are electronic only (that is, they don’t accept cash), but most tourists will not need to use either of them (though be sure to check where you will be staying beforehand to be certain).
The Selmon Expressway connects the neighborhood south of Downtown Tamp with the Downtown area and bedroom communities to the east. It is more widely used by commuters rather than tourists.
As a tourist, you may need to use the Veterans Expressway (State Road 589) which connects the airport with the Spring Hill area to the north. If your destination is to the north of the city, this may be useful. But again, this toll road is primarily used by commuters.
Finally, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, the portion of I-275 crossing Tampa Bay between St. Petersburg and Rubonia, is tolled. Cash payments are accepted on it, unlike the previously mentioned toll roads. So if the toll booths at either end of the bridge are the only places you think you will incur a toll, it is best not to use any prepaid toll package offered by your rental supplier.
Ideas for day trips
Tarpon Springs - North of Tampa, and along the coast, you will find this quaint town that looks almost as if it were a Greek Island. An excellent place to just visit, but it’s best if you bring your appetite because there are numerous Greek restaurants serving up delicious food.
Orlando - Yes, Orlando is closed enough to Tampa to visit on a day-trip, though most choose to spend more than a day there, for obvious reasons. Head to Disney World, Universal Orlando, or one of the other theme parks if Busch Gardens isn’t enough for you!
Beaches - The real reason most visit Florida is, of course, the beaches. There are many great beaches up and down the Gulf coast. Clearwater Beach is perhaps the closest, but there are many others. Indian Rocks Beach is a notable one.
Miami - The largest city in Florida is certainly within reach of Tampa. The nightlife is unrivaled, as is the swankiness of Miami Beach. So if this is your big trip to Florida, don’t miss the Latin flair of the city. Simply take I-75 south and across the peninsula.
Fort Myers - South of Tampa is Fort Myers and the rest of Southwest Florida. Quite popular with vacationers and retirees, the area is also worth a trip from Tampa. The main draw being, of course, the excellent weather and beaches.
Big Cypress National Preserve - If heading to Miami and wanting to take a break in nature along the way, Big Cypress National Preserve is a great place to stop. A great place to camp and to stargaze due to its lack of light pollution, it is also a great place to simply go for a hike. And it’s conveniently right off I-75!
Everglades National Park - A destination in and of itself, Everglades National Park protects the unique landscape of the very southern part of the state. There are three different visitor centers, the nearest one to Tampa being in Everglades City on the Gulf Coast side of the park. There isn’t a whole lot of hiking to do in the park, but you can get an airboat tour to experience it or travel by kayak if you are experienced.
Car Rental Prices in Tampa
- Convertibles - from $154 per day
- Station wagons - from $26 per day
- Large cars - from $17 per day
- Medium cars - from $17 per day
- Vans - from $53 per day
- Premium cars - from $60 per day
- Small cars - from $20 per day
- SUVs - from $20 per day
Top 20 Cities near Tampa
Clearwater Car Rentals from $53.68 per day16.8 km / 10.4 miles away
Sarasota Car Rentals from $44.79 per day64.5 km / 40.1 miles away
Punta Gorda Car Rentals from $53.68 per day129.1 km / 80.2 miles away
Orlando Car Rentals from $28.10 per day130.2 km / 80.9 miles away
130.6 km / 81.2 miles away
Sanford Car Rentals from $51.23 per day155.1 km / 96.4 miles away
Fort Myers Car Rentals from $42.83 per day177.6 km / 110.4 miles away
Melbourne Car Rentals from $54.47 per day185.8 km / 115.5 miles away
Gainesville Car Rentals from $42.66 per day192.3 km / 119.5 miles away
Cape Canaveral Car Rentals from $69.52 per day193.5 km / 120.2 miles away
Daytona Beach Car Rentals from $51.23 per day196.7 km / 122.2 miles away
Naples Car Rentals from $37.81 per day216.2 km / 134.3 miles away
West Palm Beach Car Rentals from $30.35 per day280.4 km / 174.2 miles away
Jacksonville Car Rentals from $47.50 per day291.8 km / 181.3 miles away
Fort Lauderdale Car Rentals from $13.23 per day316.8 km / 196.9 miles away
Tallahassee Car Rentals from $54.47 per day321.8 km / 200.0 miles away
Miami Car Rentals from $8.56 per day329.0 km / 204.4 miles away
Miami Beach Car Rentals from $35.18 per day340.8 km / 211.8 miles away
345.4 km / 214.6 miles away
Key West Car Rentals from $43.00 per day388.1 km / 241.2 miles away
Top 20 Locations near Tampa
Tampa Airport Car Rentals from $17.14 per day
St. Pete–Clearwater Airport Car Rentals from $53.60 per day16.8 km / 10.4 miles away
Sarasota–Bradenton Airport Car Rentals from $44.72 per day64.5 km / 40.1 miles away
Disney Car Care Downtown Car Rentals from $69.42 per day104.7 km / 65.1 miles away
109.4 km / 68.0 miles away
Punta Gorda Airport Car Rentals from $53.60 per day129.1 km / 80.2 miles away
Orlando Airport Car Rentals from $28.06 per day130.2 km / 80.9 miles away
Sanford Airport Car Rentals from $51.15 per day155.1 km / 96.4 miles away
Fort Myers Airport Car Rentals from $42.76 per day177.6 km / 110.4 miles away
Melbourne International Airport Car Rentals from $54.38 per day185.8 km / 115.5 miles away
Gainesville Regional Airport Car Rentals from $42.60 per day192.3 km / 119.5 miles away
Daytona Beach Airport Car Rentals from $51.15 per day196.7 km / 122.2 miles away
West Palm Beach Airport Car Rentals from $30.31 per day280.4 km / 174.2 miles away
Jacksonville Airport JAX Car Rentals from $47.42 per day291.8 km / 181.3 miles away
Fort Lauderdale Airport Car Rentals from $13.21 per day316.8 km / 196.9 miles away
316.8 km / 196.9 miles away
Tallahassee Airport Car Rentals from $54.38 per day321.8 km / 200.0 miles away
Miami Airport Car Rentals from $8.55 per day329.0 km / 204.4 miles away
Miami Coral Gables Car Rentals from $42.93 per day334.6 km / 207.9 miles away
Downtown Car Rentals from $42.93 per day337.8 km / 209.9 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Tampa?
This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.
What’s the usual rental length in Tampa?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Tampa?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||3|
|Popular suppliers||Easirent, York Car Rental, One Switch Rent a Car, Ace Rent a car, Thrifty|
|Popular car categories||Medium cars, Large cars, SUVs, Small cars|
|Lowest price||$17 per day|
|Cheapest supplier||HDC Rent a Car|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Easirent||Nissan Altima||4||1||Large cars|
|York Car Rental||Honda Civic||4||1||Medium cars|
|Easirent||Toyota Yaris||5||Small cars|
|Easirent||Nissan Sentra||4||2||Medium cars|
|Easirent||Hyundai Santa Fe||5||2||SUVs|
|One Switch Rent a Car||Hyundai Accent (i25)||4||3||Medium cars|
|GreenMotion||Mazda 6||4||2||Large cars|
|HDC Rent a Car||Honda Civic||4||2||Medium cars|
|One Switch Rent a Car||Chevrolet Cruze||4||2||Medium cars|
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