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Will I get a refund from Budget for their unauthorized eToll fee?

Will I get a refund from Budget for their unauthorized eToll fee?

Feb 17th, 2014, 08:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,802
Btw, in case it wasn't clear from the above, you can prepay OR pay within 48 hours AFTER you cross without penalty in a rental. I assume that invoices are mailed to POV's only. But maybe not??
NewbE is offline  
Feb 18th, 2014, 05:56 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,739
In March I am renting a car in FL for 2 weeks, and I have done some research regarding this problem for renters. FL has instituted "cashless tolls" on some of its highways and will continue to add cashless tolls in other areas of the state. There is no way to prepay these tolls or pay at a toll both. So you can either pay an upfront fee to the rental company, as high as $8.95 per day for Thrifty and Dollar for the whole rental period, or if you go through the toll have your credit card charged months after you return the rental for the toll plus an "administrative fee" of about $15 per toll violation. I am renting a car for two weeks from Thrifty. If I pay upfront it will cost me about $95 for the 2 weeks. I have decided to wait to get charged after the fact because the maximum penalty charge is $105, and I do not think I will be going through 7 cashless tolls. Even with the extra $105, my rental is hundreds of dollars less than at the big name companies. I do agree that this charge by the rental companies is a rip off, but there is not much anyone can do about it.
shelleyk is offline  
Feb 18th, 2014, 06:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,768
OK, NewbE, but it is still saying the notice will be sent to the RENTAL agency. Then the renter must wait for the rental agency to add that to their bill which could be ages and certainly could also end up including that fine. And what that agency wants to charge for a fee is totally up to them. I certainly can't imagine someone turning in a rental car to Avis or someone a day after going through that toll and saying "here is the extra cost of the toll I incurred, so please don't bill me anything extra."

I guess I'm still asking how one can drive a rental car through the toll and then pay just a toll without paying extra fees of fines. It doesn't seem possible to me at all.

It's like shelleyk is saying just above. There seems to be no way around getting hit one way or another by those fees.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Feb 18th, 2014, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,768
Oh, but NewbE, you also mention discussing how it will be handled with the agency. I did that with Avis on our 12 day rental in SF. The answer was, if you use the transponder once you will be charged a daily charge for the entire rental period up to a certain amount as a minimum. The bottom line? If we didn't prepay that single toll for the Golden Gate, the least it would have cost us was something like $ 59. I forget the exact amount, but that's close.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Feb 18th, 2014, 07:31 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,189
This is, regrettably, a long-standing problem with rentals in Florida. Drivers in Orlando report the same problems. But most of the rental agreements do state very clearly "use one, charged for every day of rental" or something like that for the toll pass.

This is also a problem in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which has also switched to all cashless tolls. I encountered cashless express lanes in San Diego recently. There are even certain cashless lanes on the New York State Thruway, where you bypass the toll booth, though in the northeast it's still an option in some places.

Chris Elliott has written about this a lot, including this article: http://tinyurl.com/pdbe4bu.

It's worth it for any car rental to read up on the subject since these are not the norm in many places.

The reason for the "fine" is because cashless toll lanes read license plates if you don't have a transponder. So there's an additional administrative fee. Or in some places the transponder is simply built into the car, so you have no choice.

The issue bothers me, particularly in areas that depend on tourists ... so Dallas less than in Florida, where it's a big and ever-growing problem. I think many of the fees are rip-offs, but it's not against the law for car-rental companies to charge these fees, even if it seems unfair. All the companies cover this on their web sites and deep in the fine print of their rental agreements.

But this is an issue renters need to be aware of.
doug_stallings is offline  
Feb 18th, 2014, 08:01 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 197
In FL, you can prepay for a mini transponder by mail, and then opt out of the rental car company's transponder program. BEWARE - some rental companies include a fee to opt out!

However, I have read that there could be an issue regarding the length of time it might take to activate your own transponder, which requires the rental car license number.
travelottie is offline  
Feb 18th, 2014, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,802
1. I did not say you should discuss it with your rental agency, the website did.
2. You are obfuscating when you say "I'm still asking how one can drive a rental car through the toll and then pay just a toll without paying extra fees of fines. "

Listen: Pay in advance OR pay within 48 hours of crossing, ONLINE, without penalty. No transponder necessary. That's how.

Enough about SF now, where the problem has been solved in a more consumer friendly way. The policies in Florida are terrible.
NewbE is offline  
Feb 18th, 2014, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,317
NewbE--Seattle has these as well for a few roads, including the 520 bridge. It works fine if you know the system, but it is very unwelcoming for visitors. The car rental places have registered the cars, so when a visitor comes they cannot register the car. There is no way to pay the toll at the time of crossing, so it goes to the registered owner of the car, the rental agency. They tack on an admin fee of around $20 when the tolls get sent to them, which of course is charged to the renter. So for visitors with their own cars, it works fine to do a short term account. For those renting cars it is not and is not a great way to welcome them to the area, IMO. I think rental agencies and/or the State DOT should provide a flier to renters that explains the local system and alternate routes to avoid the tolls. In Seattle there is the 90 bridge that is a great alternative, but renters are not advised about it. So yeah, other areas are facing the same issues. Too bad because it is an easy fix but one that is not being implemented.
mms is offline  
Feb 18th, 2014, 09:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
Thank you for your comments. With the help of the internet I was able to find some locations of cashless toll roads in Florida, after the fact. Cashless tolls are new to me but now I'm a more savvy traveler and the lesson learned wasn't too expensive

cranachin, thanks for those links. I will send a comment or two because I do feel I was not properly informed at the time of the rental.

shelleyk it sounds like you have done the research but I would be concerned of any fees the rental company would add as their charge if they must provide the state your rental information--they could charge you for each infraction. Good luck.

Doug, thank you for providing some of the other states that have added cashless toll roads. It is helpful information for unlucky tourists who might only be passing through. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Feb 18th, 2014, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,739
Per their website, Thrifty will charge me $15 for each infraction (plus the tolls) up to a maximum of $105 (equalling 7 infractions). The only cashless highway I plan to use is Sawgrass highway, so I think I will have to pay Thrifty $15 plus the $1 toll for that infraction. I think these cashless tolls will be a bonanza for the rental companies, but there is not much we can do except ventilate. BTW, the $15 charge per infraction is assessed by Thrifty, not the state.
shelleyk is offline  
Feb 18th, 2014, 10:34 AM
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shelleyk, good research!! It seems you have found a way to do as little damage as possible to your travel budget regarding the cashless toll roads. Have a great trip and mind those sneaky toll roads Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Feb 18th, 2014, 11:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,396
Can't help with Florida but I have a lot of experience w/ GG Bridge
1) CA atty general investigated Hertz and other companies charging crazy fees for using the GG Bridge transponder,so Hertz at least now has a cap of $25 or so for using the transponder and that's if you used it for a month.
2) As we rent cars locally relatively often we just do the one time pay as soon as we pick up the car and sign on for the rental period. That way whenever we cross we are covered.,
3) You can access the site form a smartphone so once you pick up bridge you can set up a payment on your phone.
newtome is offline  
Feb 18th, 2014, 01:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,768
NewbE, despite what you think, I'm really not trying to be difficult here, but there's one part I still didn't understand. When you say "Listen: . . . OR pay within 48 hours of crossing, ONLINE, without penalty. No transponder necessary. That's how.", you mean you can go online and give the license number of the rental car you are driving and pay for that crossing? I guess so, and that is news to me. But if so, hooray, then there IS a way to pay afterwards. In all my studying of the site I never got that part at all!
NeoPatrick is online now  
Feb 18th, 2014, 02:22 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,768
ooops, sorry. and here is why I didn't know that before. The website specifically says:

"A One-Time Payment can be made 30 days before you cross the Bridge, or within 48 hours after your crossing (if traveling in a rental car, payment must be made BEFORE crossing)".

so I'm still saying I think you HAVE to pay in advance if you are driving a rental car. I don't see any way you can pay afterwards, without enduring extra charges at the whim of the rental car agency.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Feb 19th, 2014, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,540
What really needs to happen in the fantasy world is an single transponder for all systems. Probably too simple and cuts into revenue. We hit Chicago area frequently enough that we final bought an ezpass for Chicago and Indiana toll road. Originally I was concerned that our permanent installed transponder for our local system might cause problems. But it didn't.
fmpden is online now  
Feb 19th, 2014, 11:46 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,716
Actually, that is coming. The federal government has set an Oct. 1, 2016 deadline requiring the nation's toll roads to allow drivers to use one transponder on any toll road.

Florida and North Carolina are now compatible for use on each other's roads, and I am sure many other states are farther along in their progress.

Good news, as far as I am concerned.
sludick is offline  
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