Driving in Miami, like most major cities, has its own customs and challenges. With a little preparation and familiarity with common driving mistakes, you'll be ready to cruise down the interstate in no time.
Miami is overall a safe city, especially for tourists. It has some dangerous areas that should be avoided, but they are far from the usual tourist landmarks. You are advised to remain vigilant around tourist landmarks, since pickpockets are an issue there, and keep an eye out for suspicious activities wherever you go.
Drive on the right-hand side of the road. Right turns are permitted at red lights unless otherwise indicated. Always note posted speed limits: 15 mph in school zones, 30 mph in business or residential areas and higher on most expressways, unless road conditions warrant lower speeds.
If you are counting on exploring the city, even to a modest degree, a car is essential. Miami's restaurants, hotels, and attractions are far from one another, so any other form of transportation is relatively impractical.
Miami's morning and afternoon rush hour traffic (which runs from 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 7 pm) is the worst time to hit the road. While you can't always avoid it, consider driving to work earlier in the morning or hanging out in the city until rush hour ends.
Do not come South between 7-9 AM or go north between 3-7:30. These are our rush hours and they pack 95 with people who are too afraid to live in Miami (aka Broward County residents) who still insist on working downtown. Let them sit in the traffic.
The public transportation in Miami is great; its elevated Metrorail and Metromover train systems can make commuting possible without a car, if you live close enough to your home station and you can get off near your destination. Traffic is one of the issues Miami residents complain about most.
Parking in Miami can be not only hard to find, but also expensive. The average hourly rate in downtown Miami is $7.00. To park for 24 hours at a lot or garage, you will have to pay between $28.00 and $30.00. Monthly parking, however, is not too expensive with an average cost of around $110 per month.
Visitors to Florida who wish to drive while here are required to have in their immediate possession a valid driver license issued in his or her name from their country of residence. If renting a car while visiting Florida, we suggest you check with the rental car company prior to your visit to see what they require.
Uber currently charges $0.10 per minute and $0.81 per mile in South Florida. The catch: Unlike a regular Uber POOL, which picks up and drops off passengers wherever they happen to be located, an Express will calculate pickup and drop-off points that are mutually convenient to the rider and driver alike.
Speed limits: Unless posted otherwise, the speed limits are 15 miles per hour (mph) in school zones, 30 mph in business or residential areas, and 55 mph on most expressways, unless road conditions warrant lower speeds.
You may not turn right or left during the red light. You must wait for the signal to turn green.
No you don't have to use the toll roads, but for long distances down south they make sense.
Remember to avoid the areas of Liberty City, Little Haiti, parts of Miami Riverfront, Overtown, and South Beach (between 8th and 11th Streets). If you can, though, the best idea is to show your map to a local at your accommodation or at your restaurant and ask them if it's a safe route.
Although the area is far less dangerous today than in its past, don't wander into the neighborhoods late at night, particularly East Little Havana (east of 17th Ave) where high crime rates and gang activity is still a concern.
Singles and couples should avoid the beach during all night time hours. Remember to be careful with your wallets and purses, and never ever leave valuables unwatched on the beach at any time, or leave a purse on a table or hanging on a chair when you go for a drink or to the bathroom.
You only need your documentation of identification, such as your driver's license from your native country, to drive in Florida. You do not need an international driving permit.
A driver is limited to up to one year after entering the country to drive on a foreign driver's license before getting a license issued by the state of Florida, Trooper Steve said.
What are the fare costs to ride Miami-Dade Transit? The cost of a trip aboard Metrorail or Metrobus is $2.25 each way, or $5.65 for a 1-Day Pass. Metrorail and Metrobus transfers are now free. However, the transfer fee for Metrobus and Metrorail to an express Metrobus route will remain 95 cents.
South Beach, AKA SoBe, is a picture-perfect 4-mile (6.4km) strip of coastline and is one of the most famous beaches in the world. It surely cannot be missed, especially because it's free! So, pack up a cooler and hit the sand!
Miami Parking Rates
Typical rates for street parking in Miami can range anywhere from $2 to $4 per hour. In general, everything south of 23rd Street (South Beach Zone) charges $4 per hour for street parking and $2 per hour for lots, with enforcement times set between 9 AM and 3 AM.
The area is generally bounded by 5 Street to the south, 16 Street to the north, Pennsylvania Avenue to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east along with public beach areas. The following measures will be in effect: All direct or indirect consumption of alcohol will be prohibited on public beaches.
The MIA mover is an elevated train connecting the big MIA airport with the car rental center and shuttle center. The service is free and frequent.
The Trolley is free and accessible to all! If you need assistance with the trolley or schedules, please call 305.416. 1132. NOTE: The City of Miami trolley does not go to Miami Beach.
Metrorail, Metromover and Metrobus all provide low-cost or free ways for you to get around Miami without splurging on taxis and rental cars. Not only is it an excellent way to see the sights, it's also great for the environment and a smart way to avoid parking and garage fees.