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Watch out for toll charges in rental cars!

March 23, 2019 Motoring No Comments Email Email

Don’t get caught out with Tolls and Rental Cars, some companies have up to a $36.30 admin fee if you use a toll road, and others are so kind they can offer you a simple way of paying a HUGE daily fee of up to $18.70 per day to use the tolls, so a 10 day trip would be an extra $187.

While RentalCover.com gives you complete cover for admin fees if you have an accident and can save you thousands on the excess charges unfortunately there isn’t any protection from these hidden admin fees when using tolls.

 Who are worst offenders:

Hertz have the toll day-pass which is $18.70 in NSW, then between $12-$17 in other states. If you’re not organised and don’t prepay the tolls that you’ve used during your trip, you will get slapped with a lovely $36.30 admin fee (plus the toll charges, of course). Ace car rentals, which was recently purchased by Hertz, offers the same cost structure around tolls.

Europcar, on the other hand, charges a service fee of $3.30 for each calendar day that you use an Australian toll road in addition to the toll charges that you’d have to pay. So if you happen to go on a trip and use the toll roads for 10 days, you’d have to pay $33 plus the toll charges on top of the car rental cost.

Similar to Europcar, Thrifty and Avis charges a service fee of $3.30 on top of the toll charges for each calendar day that the toll is used on. They also give you the option to pay these charges in cash, in which case, the service fee is $5 for each calendar day on which a toll is incurred. That is, you’d have to pay $33 or $50, depending on your mode of payment, for a 10-day trip where you use an Australian toll road every day.

Budget car rental charges a daily service fee of $3.95 per calendar day of your trip, including the days on which e-toll is not used. Budget have actually limited the cost here which positive so the amount is capped at $17.50 per month. So if you happen to go on a 10 day trip, you’d be charged a service fee of $17.50 (not $39.5) on top of the toll charges.

Make sure to watch out overseas too!

Dollar Car rental in the US also offers an extravagant billing policy for the toll service just like Hertz. So if you were to rent a car with Dollar car rental company, they’d charge you for all tolls incurred plus a $15 USD administration fee per toll, capped at $90 per rental agreement. Basically, if you were on a road-trip and you happened to cross 6 or more toll roads, you’ve have to pay $90 in addition to the toll charges!

“Imagine taking a wrong turn and it costing you $87 AUD (£47.50!)“

When you drive through a cashless toll road, it is the rental company’s job to pass on the cost of the toll incurred to you. In the US, toll service fees can be as little as $2.95 per day or on average approximately $12 per day. In fact, some rental companies use this opportunity to charge a huge administration fee per toll by presenting this as “an extra step” in their process. The service (extra) charges can be as high as $19 per toll occurrence!

Car rental companies in UK follow a similar cost structure. Most rental companies charge somewhere between £3.30 to £3.50 per calendar day that the toll is used. However, there are some rental companies that charge a ridiculously high toll fee, somewhere upto £13 for every toll incurred during the duration of your rental agreement. Also, some rental companies like Hertz and Sixt charge an administration fee of approximately £36 in addition to the toll charges, no matter how many days you use the toll on or how many toll roads you actually use.

Imagine taking a wrong turn and it costing you $87 AUD (£47.50!). Well in London it’s a possibility with Hertz or Sixt if you end up in the Congestion charging zone in London City between 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday with a standard toll of a £11.50 daily charge plus the £36 administration fee the rental car companies will add.

What can you do about it?

In Australia, if they car isn’t fitted with an eTag you can simply bring your own tag if you have one and avoid the service and admin fees, alternatively try and pre-pay for tolls if you know where you’re going via linkt.com.au which covers most tollways in Australia.

If it is already fitted with a tag you can attempt to remove the tag and use your own, although your mileage may vary depending on the tollway, if they don’t read your tag in time and match the number plate you will be stuck with those pesky fees.

While you might not be able to avoid the fees charged on tolls, RentalCover.com can certainly help you avoid the sky high price of insurance with policies which are half the price of those at the rental desk with the added bonus of having more comprehensive cover and protection against the admin fees they charge when you have an accident.

APPENDIX

➤ HERTZ

  1. Toll charges + Administration fees per toll + 10% GST

Administration fees is approximately $3.67

**Processing fees amount is not mentioned on the website.

  1. Toll Cover – Hertz toll day pass.

Hertz charges their customers a flat daily fee per day if they choose the toll cover/toll day pass at the time of rental, during their rental or when they are returning their car. This flat fee will include the toll charges plus any processing/service fee.

  • New South Wales
    • $18.70 per day including GST
  • Victoria
    • $17.00 per day including GST
  • Queensland
    • $13.20 per day including GST
  • ACT
    • $12.10 per day including GST.
  • South Australia
    • $12.10 per day including GST.
  • Trucks
    • $25.85 per day including GST.

➤ EUROPCAR
Toll charges + $3.30 (incl GST) for each calendar day on which you can use an Australian toll road.

➤ BUDGET CAR RENTAL

A daily fee of $3.95 is charged, including on non-toll use days, with a cap of $17.50 per month.

➤ THRIFTY

Toll charges + service fee for each calendar on which a toll is incurred.

Service fee

  1. Paying by card – $3.30
  2. Paying by cash – $5

➤ ACE RENTAL

  1. Toll charges + $36.30 admin fee per rental agreement.
  2. The Ace toll product
    The Ace toll product enables their customers to pre-pay their tolls for a flat fee per rental day. This cost will include all toll charges plus any processing fees.
  • NSW: $18.70 per day, per rental
  • PVIC: $17.00 per day, per rental
  • QLD: $13.20 per day, per rental
  • SA: $12.10 per day, per rental

Ace rentals also allows customers to bring their own e-tag for which they will not charge any admin fees. The customers will then have to pay only the toll charges.

➤ ENTERPRISE RENTAL COMPANY

Cost of toll + Administration fee per toll (amount not mentioned)

➤ AVIS

Toll charges + service fee for each calendar day that a toll is used.

Service fee

  1. Paid by card – $3.30
  2. Paid by cash – $5.00

➤ DOLLAR

Offers a flat-fee toll day pass in the US. For all other customers, a service fee of $19 is charged every time that a toll is incurred during the term of the rental agreement.

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