Home Rental Cars Learn What You May Have To Pay For Toll Roads BEFORE Renting A Car (Updated July, 2020)

Learn What You May Have To Pay For Toll Roads BEFORE Renting A Car (Updated July, 2020)

by SharonKurheg

When you rent a car anywhere in the U.S.A., you will always encounter some charges tacked on to the cost of the actual rental. Taxes. Fees. Surcharges. Upcharges. You know what I mean. If you’re going to be on any toll roads during your rental period, you should know ahead of time what the charges will be for tolls, especially if you’re going to be on a toll road that doesn’t take cash (a situation that is happening more and more often). Not following each rental car company’s respective rules for same could potentially gain you extra penalties that could run from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. Here’s the rundown on what to expect:

BACKGROUND INFO THAT’S GOOD TO KNOW:

  • Several rental car companies are owned by the same companies, so their rules, if not exactly the same, are very, very similar.
  • Different states have different electronic systems for payment of their tolls that, depending on the state, may or may not be interoperable with the electronic systems of other states (or portions of states).
  • Some toll roads are now 100% electronic, and therefore cashless and no longer offer a cash option. Others might, but don’t offer change.
  • You can often (BUT NOT ALWAYS!) use your own transponder if you have one that works on the particular road in question (i.e. E-ZPass works for some toll roads in Central Florida and will soon be compatible through the entire state) – consult with the car rental company for details.
  • Although often listed as toll pass “options,” renters should know they may have no choice. i.e.: by law, renters in Texas are not able to decline a toll pass feature; all rental vehicles are equipped with either video tolling capability or toll transponders and you MUST use them (and pay the administrative fees that are tagged on).
  • Always read ALL of the fine print and ask questions if something doesn’t make sense.
  • Get things in writing if what they tell you sounds different from what’s in the fine print.
  • You should always request a full disclosure of any toll pass program available and/or mandatory and request a clear breakdown of all charges– both from the toll authority, as well as the car rental company.
  • Your GPS can most likely be set to avoid toll roads.

Here are the majority of the major, U.S.-based nationwide car rental companies and their policies about tolls. There are some where I just COULD NOT FIND that information – and I am REALLY good with the Google fu ;-). If I couldn’t find it, well, I would personally think twice about renting a car from those companies – who knows what else they’re trying to hide?

Ace Rent A Car

Case in point, I could not find any information about tolls on Ace’s corporate website, but was able to find only one regulation from one place – Puerto Rico: ” Express Pass Option: All vehicles are equipped with an easy pass for the toll roads. At the time of rental you will be offered a $10.00 one time express pass service fee. The amount of tolls used for any particular day you use it will be charged to your credit card at a later time. The Express Pass authority sends Charlie Car Rental all toll activity for our fleet every 24 hours so in most cases the toll charge will appear on your contract before the contract closes. The Express Pass authority can take up to 2 or more weeks to process any toll activity therefore you may see charges from Charlie Car Rental after your contract has been closed .If you do not go through the easy pass lane no charges will be made for toll use. WARNING: Should you choose not to use this service and an express lane is used you will be charged a $25.00 service fee plus any tolls used. Should you tamper with, remove or use any toll transponder other than the one originally assigned to the vehicle by Charlie Car Rental you will incur in a $250.00 fine.” There is nothing I could find that would suggest that rule would or would not apply in other states or other franchisees. Therefore I cannot recommend Ace Rent-A-Car in terms of their policy for tolls.

Advantage Rent A Car

Advantage used to use Plate Pass Automated Toll Payment but as per their website, they now use their own E-Z Toll package. From their website’s FAQ: “…you can purchase our E-Z Toll package for a daily fee, which varies by location, at most of our U.S. locations. Please check with the counter-agent for the specific fee at your rental location (Note from Sharon: There are no prices for E-Z Toll on Advantage’s website, so I called them. Prices vary from location to location; most are $9.99 to $12.99 per day, but some, such as New York City, it’s as high as $23.99/day). E-Z Toll would cover all toll charges and waive administrative fees for tolls. If you do not add E-Z Toll to the rental then you would be charged for each toll along with an administrative fee of $15/day with up to a maximum of $90 charged for the length of the contract. Please note you would not be charged for those tolls until after we receive and process the toll invoices from the toll authority. If you choose not to add E-Z Toll to your rental, be sure to turn off the toll transponder in your car before driving through tolls. Depending on your location, there may be toll roads that do not provide the option to pay with cash or credit/debit cards. Purchase of E-Z Toll or administrative tolling fees can be avoided staying off of toll roads, using a personal transponder, or by making direct-pay arrangements with the toll-authority, where allowed.”

Alamo

Alamo uses HTA TollPass and, as per their website, the car rental program is offered in different ways, depending on where you rent.

Avis

Avis uses the e-Toll program. Avis e-Toll is offered in the Northeast (from Maine to North Carolina), California, Chicago Area, Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington and Puerto Rico.

Budget

Budget uses the e-Toll program. Budget e-Toll is offered in the Northeast (from Maine to North Carolina), California, Chicago Area, Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington and Puerto Rico.

Dollar Car Rental

Dollar uses Plate Pass Automated Toll Payment. The charge for Plate Pass used to be on their website, but is no longer found; it’s only described as a “low daily rate” (I called and “Rob” said it’s, “only $5.95 per day”). You must opt-in or decline this service at the time of reservation or at the rental counter. If you decline PlatePass at the start of the rental period, but still use electronic toll roads and/or bridges during the rental period (including “cashless” or “all electronic” toll roads and bridges), you will be liable for and will be charged for: (a) all tolls incurred for such use (at the highest, undiscounted applicable toll rate); (b) a $15 administrative fee for each toll incurred (in Florida & Boston it’s $9.99 per occurrence, subject to a $90 cap for such toll-related administrative fees for the rental period); and (c) all other applicable toll charges or fees, if any.

Enterprise

Enterprise uses HTA TollPass and charges $3.95 fee per usage day (24 hour interval) that customers incur tolls (so they don’t charge you for the 24 hour period you don’t use toll roads, which is nice), plus tolls (at the posted cash/toll-by-plate rate). There is a $19.75 maximum fee per rental period (not including the tolls). Your opt-in decision is made when you elect to use a cashless toll lane – it’s billed automatically.

E-Z Rent A Car

E-Z Rent A Car uses its own E-Z Toll program. “You can add E-Z Toll to the rental when you arrive at the counter. For a daily fee, which varies by location, E-Z Toll will allow you to drive through unlimited tolls and waive all administrative fees. Please check with the counter-agent for the specific fee at your rental location. Without E-Z Toll, you would be charged for each unpaid or automated toll you drive through, and you could be charged an administrative fee of $15/day with up to a maximum of $90 charged for the length of the contract for each of those tolls.” Call 800-277-5171 to reach E-Z’s Customer Service.

Fox Rental Car

Fox uses PlatePass All-Inclusive Service, which includes the following charges:

  • Florida:
    — Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Fort Myers: $8.99 per rental day. Maximum charge of 15 rental days or $134.85.
    Orlando: $7.49 per rental day. Maximum charge of 15 rental days or $112.35.
    Tampa: $6.99 per rental day. Maximum charge of 15 rental days or $104.85.
  • California, Colorado, Texas, Washington: $11.49 per rental day. Maximum charge of 15 rental days or $172.35.
  • Chicago, Illinois: $12.99 per rental day. Maximum charge of 15 rental days or $194.85.

From their website: “If you choose not to purchase the optional PlatePass All-Inclusive service at the commencement of your rental, and you utilize a PlatePass Toll Road, then you will be charged a USD/15 admin fee per toll (USD/90 maximum per rental agreement) plus the price of the toll and fees from the tolling authority.”

Hertz Car Rental

Hertz uses Plate Pass Automated Toll Payment. The charge for the transponder is $5.95, on top of the actual tolls you have to pay. Your opt-in decision is made when you elect to use an electronic-only lane – it’s billed automatically to all drivers who use an eligible cashless toll road, and they charge you every day of your rental, whether you use a toll road each day or not.

National

National uses HTA TollPass and, as per their website, the car rental program is offered in different ways, depending on where you rent.

You can avoid the convenience fee and any other charges by paying the toll in cash, using your electronic toll device, or avoiding any cashless toll road or passage.

Note: For nearly all rental car companies, the price of the toll transponder usage varies from state to state. Hertz actually lowered the price of TollPass usage for their Emerald Club members in some states in early 2018 ;-).

Payless Car Rental

Payless uses the e-Toll program. As per their website, Payless e-Toll is offered in the Northeast (from Maine to North Carolina), California, Chicago Area, Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington and Puerto Rico. Go to this page of their website for specifics.

Rent-A-Wreck of America, Inc.

Many Rent-A-Wreck locations offer electronic toll transponder devices for use during the rental for an additional daily charge. A toll transponder allows the driver to use all electronic lanes on all the toll roads in that region, as applicable; and, as many times a day as necessary. If you decline to rent the toll transponder, you will pay Rent-A-Wreck for all unpaid toll road violations (including violations captured by camera) charged by the toll authority plus up to a $50.00 administrative fee per violation. If you have a personal transponder or account, it may not transfer to the rental vehicle and you may be charged a toll violation by the toll authority. Please be advised that some toll roads are managed electronically and have no manned booths for cash payment.

So they’ll rent you a transponder, but they don’t tell you how much it will be? Hmmm… Anyway, call 1-888-898-0808 to reach Rent-A-Wreck’s Customer Service.

Silvercar

As part of their “car rental the way it should be” campaign, Silvercar only charges you for the actual tolls you incur, plus a one-time (not per day) administrative fee of $4.95 per reservation. Of all the car rental companies out there, Silvercar is our favorite, even though we never get to use them, LOL.

Sixt

Sixt has their own Sixt Express Toll Service program and a huge explanation of it, but no actual price on their website short of “fees.” We used Sixt for the first time when we were in Texas not too long ago, but had no tolls to go through, so we didn’t sign up for the program. PROCEED WITH CAUTION, READ ALL OF THE FINE PRINT and MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND HOW YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR TOLLS before accepting a rental car with Sixt Rent A Car.

Thrifty Car Rental

Thrifty uses Plate Pass Automated Toll Payment. The charge for Plate Pass used to be on their website, but is no longer found; it’s only described as a “low daily rate” (I called and was told it varies from $8.99 to $21.49 per day and she could not give me a specific price for Florida)).  You must opt-in or decline this service at the time of reservation or at the rental counter. If you decline PlatePass at the start of the rental period, but still use electronic toll roads and/or bridges during the rental period (including “cashless” or “all electronic” toll roads and bridges), you will be liable for and will be charged for: (a) all tolls incurred for such use (at the highest, undiscounted applicable toll rate); (b) a $15 administrative fee for each toll incurred (in Florida & Boston it’s $9.99 per occurrence, subject to a $90 cap for such toll-related administrative fees for the rental period); and (c) all other applicable toll charges or fees, if any.

U-Save Car Rentals

“To avoid toll changes and fees pay cash for tolls where available and avoid travel on facilities with cashless tolling. If you choose to decline you will be charged $14.99 PER TOLL for administration fee plus the cost of each toll occurrence at the highest posted rates and any additional charges.” There you go, folks – just don’t drive on cashless toll roads. Sheesh! Call U-Save at 1-800-272-8728 to for questions.

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and get emailed notifications of when we post. Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group – we have 14,000+ members and we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

 

Leave a Reply

Stay Updated

* indicates required




Want to keep up to date with our latest posts?

* indicates required




BoardingArea
%d bloggers like this: