Hiring a car in America is easy even if you require hand controls or a wheelchair accessible vehicle
Most car hire firms such as Avis or Dollar will have a fleet of cars which can be supplied with hand controls. Beware though hand control in the USA may be quite different from what you are used to in the UK.
Wheelchair accessible vehicles can also be hired, these are normally a minivan with a lowered floor and a ramp into the side or rear of the vehicle, if travelling with a small group and one person in a wheelchair these are great. Alternatively you can hire a Full size van which has more space and hydraulic lift.
I use Wheelchair Vans of America (please tell them I sent you) who have both types of vehicle and can supply some with hand controls.
Specialist companies are not based at the airport, you will need to phone them once you have passed customs and collected your bags in the main terminal, they will then bring the car to you at the airport and complete the paper work.
Normally there is only the minimum of insurance provided with these vehicle. You should purchase CDW/LDW policy for all drivers before leaving the UK Insurance4CarHireis one example. An insurance claim in the US can amount to $10's million. We do not endorse them as a company, but just informing you as to options you might choose
The vehicle should be supplied with a full tank of gas (petrol). Ensure the hire company show you how the car and adaptations work, especially wheelchair securing straps and that they are adjusted correctly.
The UK blue badge is not accepted in Florida. The vehicle will not be supplied with a parking placard (similar to UK Blue Badge) you will need to obtain a Tempoary Parking Placard from the Polk Tax Office you will need to email a copy of your blue badge and then call them to make a payment. The temporary placard is around $15.
Or they can be obtained from:-
Office of Joe G. Tedder, Tax Collector for Polk County, Florida, 430 E Main St| Bartow, FL 33830
Phone: 863-534-4716 | Toll Free 1-855-765-5829, www.polktaxes.com
Sat Nav is a good option to take when hiring your vehicle, however please follow our directions to the villa