Perhaps car rental companies figure that people won’t pay much attention to the continuously creeping up of additional fees tagged on car rentals. The airlines have mastered this and car rental companies are taking pages out of the airlines’ playbook.
I booked a trip last Friday including a car rental. The base rate for a full-size car (which is a Chevy Malibu and something I would not consider to be ‘full-size’) was $ 84.00/day including unlimited mileage. Since I will drive more than 250 miles on the trip, unlimited mileage was a must-have. I am not even certain it’s easy to rent a car without unlimited mileage these days, or if it would be any less expensive.
The car rental company we chose offers an estimated rental total as part of its confirmation. When I looked at the total it came to $ 108.35/day. This represents a nearly 29% increase over the ‘quoted’ daily rental price. And I am a frequent renter a perquisite that apparently entitles me to an automatic best-rate or discount. I don’t want to buy the car – just rent it for a couple of days!
The additional fees are listed below and maybe they will cause you to scratch your head the way I did mine.
1) Airport concession fee – $ 16.96 – no explanation given. I guess I am forced to make a
concession as well.
2) Fees – $ 5.04 – no explanation given. Perhaps it’s filling the tires with air.
3) Energy recovery fee – $ 0.66/day or $ 1.98 (for the 2 days and 2 hours but somehow it counts for
3 days). I cannot figure what this could mean since I intend on having all the gas stay in the
4) Vehicle license fee – $ 0.50/day or $ 1.50 for again the 2 days 2 hours which kicks up to three
days. Another bizarre fee since I would have thought the vehicle was licensed to and paid for
by the car rental company. Apparently not.
5) Customer facility fee – $ 3.75/day again – three days charge here too for $ 11.25. Is that a
facility fee to make it easy for me to pick up the car? A ride on the shuttle bus?
6) Taxes (no explanation which is no surprise) – $ 11.98 for the 2 days 2 hours (or three days
depending on how you look at it. There always have to be taxes right?
BTW – I have no ‘protections’ and no options as part of my rental.
Perhaps there are some good explanations for the fees – I am sure they are creative ones and I’d welcome your take and postulation on what those explanations might be. In the meantime like everyone I will just fork it over.
It makes you feel violated doesn’t it?
You got off light, go to a place where they are building, or built, a stadium based on “out of towner” taxes. In Seattle you will pay an 18% tax on rental cars to pay for the baseball stadium.
A lot of those fees sound borderline criminal, unreal.