Car Rental hidden fees??

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by Splashboat, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Splashboat

    Splashboat Always looking for cheap airfare

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    We are thinking of renting a car for 1 day this trip - just to do some shopping and see if we might want to rent a car for longer in the future...
    I went on the Alamo and National rental sites and got prices. The info. says unlimited mileage (I think it comes out to about $35 for the day for a small vehicle). My question is, are there hidden fees on top of this? How do they charge for gas used?
     
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  3. lost*in*cyberspace

    lost*in*cyberspace DIS Veteran

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    They don't charge for gas used. You are expected to return the car with a full tank.

    There really aren't hidden fees, just pressures to upsell - insurance, bigger vehicle, etc. Refuse these; make sure your regular car insurance policy covers rentals.
     
  4. gmeh1

    gmeh1 DIS Veteran

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    No, there are not hidden fees, the bottom line of the reservation is what you pay. You can opt to prepurchase the gas or return it full. If you do not opt to prepay or if you do not return it full, there will be a refueling charge. If you need to add an additional driver, there will be a charge, if you need a baby seat or a GPS, there will be an additional charge. Nothing, however, is "hidden".
     
  5. lost*in*cyberspace

    lost*in*cyberspace DIS Veteran

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    Never opt to pre purchase gas - this is a rip off.

    Many companies do not charge for an additional driver.
     
  6. gmeh1

    gmeh1 DIS Veteran

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    Many companies do charge for additional drivers, however, some coupons, codes and company memberships waive that charge. It is best to check the policies of each rental company and the location you are renting from.

    Often Pre purchased gas is less than the outside world. Many people find it to be a convienance and the trick is to return the car as close to empty as possible.
     
  7. OKW Lover

    OKW Lover Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle. DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    I'm not familiar with the Alamo/National website so I don't know where you saw the $35 price or what it did include. Be aware that there are state/local taxes and fees charged on auto rentals and they may not be insignificant.
     
  8. Splashboat

    Splashboat Always looking for cheap airfare

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    Thanks to everyone for all the responses.
     
  9. jlewisinsyr

    jlewisinsyr DIS Veteran

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    It depends, I agree in most cases it would be, but there are some cases where it really is a time saver (cannot emphasize enough, time is money) when you'll be using close to a full tank and running short on time.

    All charge for additional drivers unless you have status (some status is easy to get and free) or are using a discount code/rate code/membership code that gives a free additional driver.

    That said, you have to weigh the various discounts and benefits as some will give you better rates during certain rentals and locations then others.
     
  10. lost*in*cyberspace

    lost*in*cyberspace DIS Veteran

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    I can't agree that it ever saves you money not to fill up the tank before turning your car back in.

    All rental car agencies (in the US) do not charge for an additional driver, even if you are not a member of any special group.

    1. No rental car agency in California charges for an additional driver, as this is against the law in CA.

    2. Companies charging for additional driver (unless driver has membership in any organization for which fee is waived for a spouse or relative, and sometimes for an employee): Alamo, National, Hertz

    3. Rental companies where additional driver fee is waived for spouse or domestic partner without belonging to rental car club or other organization providing a fee waiver - Avis, Enterprise

    4. Companies which don't waive the fee, period - Dollar and Thrifty, Payless.

    A number of companies also waive the fee if you are added as a driver for a disabled person.

    Of course, rules may vary depending on state and individual franchise.
     
  11. jlewisinsyr

    jlewisinsyr DIS Veteran

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    Okay, I get your trying to justify your statement that many companies do not charge for an additional driver, but I think you're going out on a major limb here.

    One state, and although possible, most likely this traveler is referring to FL, which your statement is not applicable and in the end only represents one out the 50 states (plus add a few for territories).

    So this represents about 2/3 of the rental companies.

    Limits on additional drivers for spouses/domestic partners doesn't define many rental companies as these are merely exclusions to the general policy of applying a fee.

    And these would be about a 1/4 of the rental car companies.

    Basically in the end, the idea that many companies do not charge a fee is a falacy.
     

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