Key West

Should you rent a car in Key West?

Should you rent a car in Key West USA > Key West

Situated right on the western tip of the Florida keys, Key West is literally situated at the end of the road, as far as driving within the United States is concerned. This might make it a natural consideration for being the start or end of some phenomenal road trip, but in reality, the chances are that if you do want to do a driving tour around Florida, you will pick up a rental car in either Miami or Orlando.

Key West Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings

So any visitor who is actually flying into Key West itself, or the “Republic of Key West” as some locals prefer it to be known, will no doubt find that there is simply no need at all to have your own rental car for driving around the town, since land here is in such finite supply that everything tends to be pretty close to everything else!

So what about the rest of the Florida Keys, and the amazing driving roads that this part of the world offers, including so many causeways and bridges? Well there is no question that this is all amazing driving territory, but a lot of this can also be visited using scheduled or tour bus services. A rental car might still make a lot of sense for visiting the Florida keys, but why start your journey in Key West, when there is a much wider choice of inbound flights and also a far greater range of rental car options at Miami International airport?

If you only intend to see the Florida keys in one direction, then be prepared to pay more for one way car rental fees, although with this being tourist oriented Florida, this isn’t always the case.

Why should you rent a car in Key West?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Key West?

Key West Car hire summary

Overall drive rating



Cheapest rate for one week




How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?





Free parking score

Total 179 - of which 51 have free parking. [full notes - parking]



  • Makes sense as a one way rental back to mainland Florida.
  • Start a mammoth road trip here – but be prepared for hefty fees!
  • It’s always more flexible to appreciate the Florida Keys at your pace, and to be able to make stops, especially at Seven Mile Bridge.
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  • No need for a car in Key West itself – it’s compact and walkable.
  • Limited range of flights to Key West.
  • Generally it makes more sense to fly in to Miami and rent a car there – see our Miami car hire advice.
  • Usually much cheaper to visit Florida Keys in a tour bus, whether one way or return.

Should you rent a car in Key West? Verdict – no


Car rental in - Key West Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Key West?

Based on comparison with transit, walking and cycling.

Is it worth hiring a car in Key West?

Based on value for money

Should you rent a car in Key West?

Weighing up the above, if you are asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Key West if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

For families?


Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Key West if we are staying in a central area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the city/resort?

Or in a rural area?


What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Key West if I prefer not to drive?

If I am easy either way?

If I prefer to drive?



Final score:


Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Would you hire a car in Key West?

Have you driven in Key West? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Key West?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:
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