As inflation rises and profits sink, rental-car companies have been sneaking in extra fees.
- Renting a car can sometimes be a huge hassle and expense—now rental companies are sneaking in extra (sometimes mistaken) fees adding even more money to the bill.
- Some such examples include…
- fuel service charges regardless of the car being returned empty
- cancellation fees that can add up to the cost of the actual rental
- service fees to utilize the toll collecting device
- The thing is most of the time the fees shouldn’t be there in the first place and they are added on after the fact to up the price.
Why it’s news
In order to add revenue, rental-car companies have been tacking on extra fees and frustrating customers.
Many car rental customers report checking their bills and finding extra fees that shouldn’t be there.
A major add-on recently has been fuel service charges. Customers have made a point to fill up their rental before returning and still being charged for it.
When renting a car customers are typically given the option to prepay for fuel with the company (which tends to be more expensive than refueling yourself) or to refuel on your own. But some customers have chosen the latter option and are still being charged for not fueling, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Another fee irritating renters is cancellation fees. Years ago car rental companies would let you reserve a car in advance without adding a card to the account meaning you wouldn’t have to pay if you canceled or didn’t show up.
Now when reserving you must put a card on your account to hold a vehicle and the card is charged if you need to cancel.
Rental company Hertz charges a $100 cancellation fee for prepaid reservations canceled more than 24 hours before pickup and $200 if the cancellation is within 24 hours. Travelers with prepaid reservations forfeit all their money if they simply don’t show up, according to Wall Street Journal writer, Dawn Gilbertson.
The companies offer little to no mercy for emergencies and still charge the big cancellation fee.
Toll charges are another thing renters should watch for. Car rental companies typically offer some sort of toll package, but oftentimes it is just cheaper to pay the tolls.
Hertz charges a $5.95 “convenience fee” each day drivers incur tolls, in addition to the “highest, undiscounted toll rate.” There is no cap on the convenience fee for longer rentals, according to The Wall Street Journal.
It is important to check the receipt as some customers have been charged toll fees even though they paid themselves.
In all, it is important when renting a car to always check the fine print and make sure in the end you are not being charged for services you did not use.