Wild industry fees are a ripple effect of the economy
The next time you rent a car, look closely at your
bill for new mysterious and absurd line-items: Tire fees, Facilities
fees, Energy surcharges, something called a Privilege fee, and hundreds
more, according to CNN.com.
Why? You are going to help the rental car industry recoup record losses. Hertz lost $73 million in Q4; Avis lost $121 million.
In the article, the American Car Rental Association,
a trade group for the car rental business, says these fees are
essential to the industry’s survival. Not only is there no end in
sight, there’s no telling what you’ll be charged for tomorrow.
Christopher Elliott, the story’s author, cautions car renters to be extra aware of things like:
A fee for something that should come with the car
Enterprise apparently charges
renters $2 “tire fee” (reportedly required by the state of Florida)
presumably for renting a car with all four tires.
Surcharge on surcharges
A man in Florida found a “privilege fee” on
his last car rental, which applied to rentals picked up within 48 hours
of flight arrival. I guess for the privilege of being their customer.
It may also go under the name “concession recovery fee.”
The stadium tax
Watch out for the $4 “downtown arena” fee on your bill in Kansas City to do your part for the Sprint Center, and a similar one in Georgia, the latter of which funds a minor league stadium for the Gwinnett Braves.
Other than renting with a vigilance, the best tip
was this: pre-pay through sites such as Hotwire.com or Priceline.com,
or through an online travel agency that guarantees it rates, without
even so much as a “convenience fee” for the added convenience.
Read the entire article here
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