Beware Of Hidden Fees.

Have you ever opened a bill from a rental car company you used on a recent vacation, to find a big bill for driving through electronic toll plazas? It only takes one experience to feel burned, at a price of $100 or more. Especially when you notice that MOST of charges in the bill aren’t for the tolls themselves, but the rental car company’s “administrative fees”.

The biggest rental companies charge as much as $15 per toll, in addition to the toll itself, for using cashless toll plazas… even if cash options aren’t available.

Now, if you live in a state that uses the electronic transponders, you could conceivably turn theirs off and use your own, although here in Texas most of ours are in the form of a metallic film glued to your windshield.

And while some companies offer a pre-paid program that could help reduce your out-of-pocket costs, some attorneys general have taken action against these companies for failing to disclose their fees to customers.

In Florida, for instance, Dollar and Thrifty agreed this past January to refund customers charged administrative fees over a 7-year period … and Hertz settled with San Francisco for $3.7 million early this year too.

So a word to the wise.. if you plan to rent a car in a state like Florida or California that has cash-less toll plazas, ask the person at the counter about your options. There’s no better way to spoil a fun family vacation than opening that bill weeks or months after your trip.