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Old 08-29-2014, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
14,693 posts, read 8,476,377 times
Reputation: 29375

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My girfriend and I are going back to Alaska in a couple of weeks and I was shocked at all the additional rental car fees. How can they get away with all the fees? They seem like BS, IMO, and rather like a bait and switch too. When you book online, you get a quote for $X/day. Then when you get to the airport, you get sticker shock from hell because the price is so much higher than what you are quoted.

What's a T&M? What's a Concession Recovery Fee or CONCS Rent, (depending on company)? Then there's the VLF Recovery Fee or LIF Fee, depending on company. And the CFC Fee. Let's not forget roadside assistance fee, because they want you to pay in case THEIR car breaks down. Also CUSFAC fee. In essence, the rental car company wants the renter to pay for their rent for the profit they make. Also LDW and Vehicle License Cost Recovery. So your car rental is around 16+% more that you're originally quoted. What we did instead was rent the car from a local car rental company. For a little less money, we got a rental upgrade with none of those junk fees. What are your car rental experiences? What do you think about those charges?
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:45 AM
 
35,324 posts, read 25,158,624 times
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Well, I expect some fees at airports. They're not avoidable as the airports charge them and they get tacked on. But most of the other fees are avoidable or so small that I don't sweat them. Just part of renting.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,680 posts, read 16,095,286 times
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Tourists and business travelers are an easy revenue source for many popular travel destinations, so taxes on them tend to be pretty high.

For the 'optional fees' that a lot of car companies try to strong arm you into paying, we go with the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection for $25 a rental instead of $25 per day for the rental car company's CDW coverage.

https://www295.americanexpress.com/p...verage/home.do
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:58 AM
 
35,324 posts, read 25,158,624 times
Reputation: 32409
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
Tourists and business travelers are an easy revenue source for many popular travel destinations, so taxes on them tend to be pretty high.

For the 'optional fees' that a lot of car companies try to strong arm you into paying, we go with the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection for $25 a rental instead of $25 per day for the rental car company's CDW coverage.

https://www295.americanexpress.com/p...verage/home.do

Just my luck, my AE isn't eligible for this. A bunch of them aren't. It stinks as that seems like a good program.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:16 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
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I have never run into undisclosed fees at the airport. Ever.

My Hilton AmEx covers CDW without any additional fee. I just have to use it to reserve and pay for the car. It's not valid in a handful of countries. No annual fee, either.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:01 AM
 
12,275 posts, read 18,397,848 times
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Fees are disclosed when you make the reservation online. They have a "base fee", but you always see the final and itemized charge when making the reservation. There is no excuse for anyone not knowing.
There are a number of charges however that you can opt out of when you pick up the car. The rental car agencies love to try to upsell you for. Just say no. Insurance for instance, at this point I think everyone should realize that these charges are rip offs in terms of coverage vs. the amount you spend. Opt out if you can - many times you will find that your credit card and/or your own automobile insurance will cover rental cars. Some rental car counter people will really try to sell you hard on there insurance, I think they must get some money for each insurance plan they sell there is so much profit in it. I had one ask for proof of insurance or something, I told her off. Be firm with them back.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:06 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
Reputation: 13019
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Fees are disclosed when you make the reservation online. They have a "base fee", but you always see the final and itemized charge when making the reservation. There is no excuse for anyone not knowing.
There are a number of charges however that you can opt out of when you pick up the car. The rental car agencies love to try to upsell you for. Just say no. Insurance for instance, at this point I think everyone should realize that these charges are rip offs in terms of coverage vs. the amount you spend. Opt out if you can - many times you will find that your credit card and/or your own automobile insurance will cover rental cars. Some rental car counter people will really try to sell you hard on there insurance, I think they must get some money for each insurance plan they sell there is so much profit in it.
They make spiffs on insurance sales, GPS rentals, and car upgrades.

I love it when they are trying to hard sell me into an upgraded car and I refuse. Then they give it to me for free because they have none left in the category I reserved. Usually I give them grief about it citing higher fuel costs, etc. (plus the fact that I don't like driving large cars) and they either give me a discount or a coupon for $20-50 off my next rental.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:08 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
Reputation: 13019
By the way--the OP talked about renting from a "local company." Yup, that's going to do you a lot of good when you break down 400 miles away and they have no local presence who can put you into a new car. I always stick with the majors--Budget/Avis, Hertz/Alamo, etc.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Hawaii-Puna District
3,753 posts, read 9,864,587 times
Reputation: 2455
I agree with the absurd fees.
The state of Hawaii has taken car rental fees/taxes to a whole new level.
I call it the "soak the tourist" mentality. (Democrats run this state and never miss an opportunity for a tax or fee)
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
14,693 posts, read 8,476,377 times
Reputation: 29375
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
By the way--the OP talked about renting from a "local company." Yup, that's going to do you a lot of good when you break down 400 miles away and they have no local presence who can put you into a new car. I always stick with the majors--Budget/Avis, Hertz/Alamo, etc.
You're apparently not familiar with Alaska, a state over twice the size of Texas. Budget, Avis, etc don't have offices where I'm driving anyway. They only have two offices in the entire state: the airports in Anchorage and Fairbanks. The local company I'm renting from has a wider presence within the state.
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