Do You Need a Car in Miami?

Depending on which parts of Miami you want to see, a rental car is the way to go. Here are more details to help you decide if you need a car in Miami!
Written by Christelle Agustin
Reviewed by Brittni Brinn
If beaches aren’t the only thing you want to see in Miami, it’s a good idea to have a rental car during your stay. With attractions so spread out, you’ll find more freedom in being able to get around on your own.
Planning how to get around Miami is key when it comes to seeing everything the city has to offer. But what’s the best option? Should you depend on public transit, order an Uber, or rent a car? 
To help you make the best decision is
, the top-rated
car insurance
app. Learn about where to get a rental car, if rental car insurance and a car are truly necessary for Miami, and how to find cheap
car insurance in Florida
. Let’s get started!
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Where to get a rental car in Miami

Miami may not be a large city, but with spread-out attractions and the not-so-reliable Miami-Dade Transit, having a rental car to explore the city can save you a lot of time.
As a tourist hotspot, you’ll have zero problems finding a car rental company in Miami. From the most popular in the biz, like
Enterprise Rent-a-Car
, to more budget-friendly options like
, or
, your choice will boil down to your budget, location, and vehicle preference.
On that note, Miami’s roads can get extremely busy during rush hour and vacation season. That’s why we suggest you choose a small rental car if possible. A boxy doorless Jeep will certainly achieve those summer drive vibes, but you’ll be wishing for a compact car when the last parking spot requires you to pull out your parallel parking skills. 
A small car will not only make driving in an unfamiliar city a breeze, but you’ll pocket more savings to do what you actually want—for instance, if you rent the compact
Toyota Corolla
from Enterprise, it will cost you around $67 a day, which is a pretty average rental price. But if you splurge on a
Jeep Wrangler Sport
? That’s a staggering $100 a day

Do you need rental car insurance?

You’re only visiting Miami, so is rental car insurance really necessary? 
If you’re a car owner with the tip-top coverage of
collision insurance
comprehensive insurance
, you can pass on rental car insurance. The perk of having full-coverage insurance means your rental car is covered, too—yes, even in a different city!
However, if you only have basic
liability car insurance
or don’t own a car at all, we recommend you purchase the collision damage waiver (CDW). This optional coverage will relieve you of potential repair costs, giving you one less thing to worry about while cruising around Miami. And if you’re paying for a rental car with your credit card, you may be offered a CDW from your credit card company—so check with them first. 

Do you need a car in Miami?

Let’s be real—driving in Miami can be a huge hassle, especially if you have no experience driving in busy cities. That means keeping an extra eye out for reckless drivers and their flashy
hardtop convertibles
and navigating unfamiliar streets. But that shouldn’t deter you from renting a car because it all depends on where you’re going
If a chill vacation in
Miami Beach
and its surrounding restaurants and bars is your itinerary, then scrap the rental car and go on foot, ride the free
Miami Beach Trolley
, and even stroll around on a
Citi Bike
. With the city essentials and the beach footsteps away, driving won’t be necessary.
But if you’re looking to visit all corners of Miami, having a car at your disposal is your best bet. Whether it’s your own car, a rental, or an Uber or Lyft, getting a ride when you want means a fuss-free experience (especially if you’re traveling with kids!). 

Where public transportation can take you

Planning to take public transport? All aboard on Miami-Dade Transit where you can make use of the
(train service to Miami International Airport), and the free
The Metrobus is the city bus that serves most of Miami-Dade County with 95+ routes. Whether you want to shop for luxury fashion brands at Aventura Mall, visit the Miami Art Museum, go back in time in Downtown Miami’s Historic District, or snap pics in the Instagram-famous Art Deco Historic District, it’s all possible on a $2.25 fare.
If you’re all about cheap thrills, the Metromover will be your best friend. The free electric and elevated people-mover has 20 stops around the Downtown Miami, Brickell, and Omni areas. It may not be as extensive as the bus system, but you'll still be able to reach Pérez Art Museum Miami, Patricia & Phillip Frost Museum of Science, and explore all the fun Downtown Miami has to offer.
Here are other places you can visit that have travel times of 10-30 minutes on public transportation:
  • Bayside Marketplace
  • Skyviews Miami Observation Wheel
  • The Wharf Miami
  • FTX Arena
  • Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County
  • Calle Ocho
  • Main Library
  • Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College

Where public transportation can’t take you

While Miami-Dade Transit’s many routes cover the county, it isn’t always the most efficient way to travel. It’s a much better use of your time experiencing new places than wasting it commuting. That’s why we recommend you drive to the following destinations which would otherwise take 30+ minutes to more than an hour on stuffy public transit: 
  • Wynwood Walls
  • Zoo Miami
  • Upper Buena Vista
  • Institute of Contemporary Art
  • Miami’s Children’s Museum
  • Little Havana
  • Coconut Grove
  • LoanDepot Park
  • Deering Estate
  • Monkey Jungle
  • Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
  • Dolphin World

How to save on car insurance in Miami

Excited to explore all of Miami? Make sure to save all your energy and money where you can. In a bustling city like Miami, the expenses add up: gas, meals at the most popular al fresco restaurants, and boardwalk gift shops. The fastest way to tackle savings is by starting with transportation costs—whether you’re renting a car or have your own car,
can save you hundreds.
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