Rental Cars

Are Fees Unmanageable for Electronic Tolls Using Rental Cars?

Are Fees Out of Control for Electronic Tolls Using Car rentals?

“M y daughter drove a Thrifty rental car on two toll roads in a single day. Thrifty is charging us $90 in fees, $15 for every gantry she drove under. Literal highway robbery.”

That complaint posted by FlyerTalk member dhacker is just one in the latest of a litany of complaints regarding electronic tolls for motorists – enough where the term gantry is recognized as negative.

“I get hung up on not offering the EZ-Pass discount. I realize Budget $4 each day max $16 (or whatever) however they charge for that utilization of electronic tolls but the CASH price of the toll with no EZ-Pass discount is also charged.” FlyerTalk member Brighton Line then continued with this particular statement: “For Verrazano Bridge in NYC that is $16 instead of $11.08, other MTA crossing $8 compared to $5.54, nice little extra for his or her pocket (or even the company they use to process the toll).”

…and the pain of electronic tolls remains felt by increasingly more FlyerTalk members.

Are Fees Unmanageable for Electronic Tolls Using Car rentals?

Paying tolls was already inconvenient – whether you rented or owned a vehicle: needing to stop and catch change, which delayed helping you achieve your destination…

…but even though the advent of electronic tolls eliminated the delay and inconvenience while driving, it added a host of other inconveniences – for example having an account to regularly monitor to ensure that you are make payment on correct quantity of tolls. With all the frequent travel loyalty programs, banking relationships, utilities and other accounts you are already managing, the last thing you need is an additional account to handle.

Now rental car information mill attempting to cash in on electronic tolls like a profit opportunity. Not only do some of them charge seemingly exorbitant fees; but they also charge for things that on their behalf are pure profit – such as billing the money price of a toll as opposed to the reduced price from the transponder you're already renting together with your rental car…

…and if the authority which operates and manages the highway which electronic toll gantries are installed doesn't receive its toll money of your stuff, you can potential owe or pay stiff fines – for example $17,000.00 for $36.00 in unpaid tolls in a single extreme case; or $45.00 for less than $2.75 in unpaid tolls.

Avoiding Tolls

I am usually successful in avoiding tolls – electronic or else – but that practice is becoming increasingly difficult.

Some places are simpler to avoid tolls than others: for example, if you are driving in Dubai and do not want to pay any electronic tolls that are cashless, simply avoid Highway E11 – also is referred to as Sheikh Zayed Road. That was rather easy for me, because there are alternate highways and roads which may be used.

However, I found avoiding electronic tolls in South Africa – that have been referred to as “economic apartheid” – to become harder; but I were able to achieve success typically despite driving all over the southeastern area of the country.

You can use a worldwide positioning system software or devices to help navigate your way around tolls in real time; or you can use Google Maps as an option to avoid tolls, as shown within the screen shot below-

-but be aware that Google Maps isn't necessarily accurate; so do your homework. Most highways with tolls their very own Internet web sites where you can conduct some investigation regarding more information about tolls which are charged to motorists.

If you want to capture toll roads but do not wish to spend the money for fees rental car companies are charging, opt to rent or purchasing a transponder or any other equipment from the authority which operates and manages the toll road rather than using the one offered by the rental car company.

Summary

I have already expressed my 35 cents worth of my opinion pertaining to tolls generally – but especially with regard to electronic tolls, as they can be an expensive proposition on their own…

…however the practice of rental car companies attempt to gouge customers with techniques similar to airlines with carrier-imposed fees and lodging companies with mandatory resort fees is outrageous and unacceptable, for me. I am sure that car rental companies could possibly get by but still generate increased revenue in the advent of electronic tolls without having to turn to fees which border on usurious.

In other words, renting cars and taking advantage of them on highways equipped with electronic toll gantries shouldn't have a toll on you.

Rental car companies, airlines and lodging information mill running a business to profit. I get that; and I understand that they're inside the law and never breaking it – a minimum of, as far as I understand. However, benefiting from customers by pouring on the fees – in some instances, hoping the client doesn't see them once they seem to be hidden – is a great method to alienate them whether they have a choice…

…especially when the time comes in which the economy falters – and that will happen eventually – and rather than having a legion of loyal customers who'll stick to them through those bad times, they might be necessary to “give away the store” by providing deals they would not currently offer.

It has happened before; and when this egregious behavior continues, it will happen again…

…so I asks you: must i post an article – similar to this article pertaining to a list of hotel and resort properties which charge mandatory resort fees – which lists toll roads all over the world; links to the authorities which operate and manage them; how much they cost; and the way to avoid them?

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