Avoiding Hidden Fees In Your Car Rental
Have you ever thought you got a fantastic deal on a rental only to be blown away when you discovered a bevy of fees, taxes and surcharges on your final bill? Most consumers are completely unaware that unlike airlines, car rental companies aren’t required to list all taxes and fees when quoting a rate. Those extra charges can often raise the overall price drastically, as well as confuse the renter. In fact, recent consumer awareness on those exorbitant fees has led to a class action suit against a big name rental car company.
While you may not always be able to avoid extra taxes and fees, knowing what they are ahead of time might alleviate the sticker shock of your final bill and help you find out which companies don’t charge them. Below, you’ll find the extra fees, taxes and charges we’ve found to be not only the most common but most frequently misunderstood.
Additional Driver Fee – An Additional Driver Fee is a charge you receive when another driver is added onto the rental agreement. Fees vary greatly from company to company.
Airport Concession Fee – This fee is a way to recoup the charge the airport charges for the privilege of doing business through them. Even if you’re using a rental company that’s located off-site, you’ll incur these fees if you’re picked up from the airport because the rental company is charged it by the airport.
Convention center/sports arena/stadium tax – Here’s a bizarre one! In 120 different US cities, you could be charged a stadium tax or a convention center tax. Cities such as Detroit, Boston, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Las Vegas have out-of-towners carry much of the load of funding their coliseum through this extra tax on car rentals.
Drop-off Fee – If you pick up a rental at one location but return it to a different one, you could be charged this fee. Charges can vary greatly depending on each company and the distance between locations.
Energy Recovery Fee – It’s been long debated what the Energy Recovery Fee some car rental companies charge applies to but no one seems to know exactly. Company websites from those who charge this fee often say it’s “To help recover the escalating energy costs related to our business operations”. Broadmoor Motors Hastings is proud to say it imposes no such fee to its customers.
Equipment Rental Fee – Most car rentals have car seats, booster seats, rooftop luggage carrier or GPS devices you can rent if needed for a daily fee.
Frequent Flier Tax – This is a relatively new charge and may apply when you use your Frequent Flier Miles to book a rental. Rates vary greatly from company to company.
Fuel Charge – If you don’t fill up the tank before you return it, it’ll cost you. Rental companies will charge you a fee for having to gas it for you. To avoid this fee, make sure the tank is on Full before you park it on their lot.
Late Fee – Rental companies work in a 24-hour cycle. This means, if you pick the car up at noon, you’ll need to return it by noon on the final day of your rental to avoid a late fee. Some companies, such as Broadmoor Motors Hastings, offer its customers an hour grace period.
Mileage Fee – If your rental didn’t come with unlimited mileage, you’ll pay a per-mile fee for the total miles you drive or if you go over the mileage previously allotted in your agreement.
Parking Tax – Some companies charge this to help offset the cost of renting their parking lot. Broadmoor Motors does not charge this tax at either their Caledonia or Hastings locations.
Peak Season Surcharge – If you are renting during a peak travel time, you might end up paying a lot more for it by way of a peak season surcharge.
Toll Fees & Administrative Fees – While the toll itself may cost far less than what you find later on your bill, some car rental companies have taken to charging not only the automatic toll fee but an additional administrative fee on top of it. This fee can be as much as $24.75 per day!!
Vehicle License Fee – This covers what the rental car company spends to register and title the car.
Young Driver Fee – If you’re younger than 25 years old, expect to pay more per day to rent a car. Some companies even have limitations on which vehicles young drivers are permitted to rent. Young drivers should ask beforehand if there are limitations, exclusions or extra fees while reserving their rental.
If you find yourself doubting your car, truck or van’s ability to get you where you need to go, and are looking to replace your vehicle, we invite you to check out our current inventory of Used Trucks, Vans, SUVs and Cars. At Broadmoor Motors Hastings, we specialize in finding the right used minivan, truck, SUV or car to fit your personal or business needs, all while giving you the best deal we can on both your purchase and trade in. Our family has been in the car business for over 60 years and continues to be family owned and operated in both our Hastings and Caledonia locations with financing available to those who qualify, and we will find you the right vehicle to fit both your budget and your needs.
Let Broadmoor Motors Hastings save you time and money when buying your next quality, Pre-Owned Car or Work Truck and on your next Car Rental. Whether you need a short term car rental, long term car rental, a replacement while your vehicle is getting serviced or simply need to replace your car, minivan, truck or SUV with a great used vehicle, we can help you out. Broadmoor Motors Hastings is here for all your Car Rental, Car Sales, and Auto Service needs in the greater Barry County area, Hastings, Middleville and Caledonia. Give us a call at 269.320.6304 in Hastings or 616.698.9595 in Caledonia to see how we can get you back on the road!