Earlier this month, we spent a long weekend in Florida visiting friends and going to Walt Disney World.
Like many tourists, we rented a car to get from the airport to our destination. Having done this drive on previous trips, we knew we would go through one toll plaza before we got to the hotel. Our rental car company said that we could use the car’s onboard toll transponder for $10.00/day, but we declined that service and said we’d just pay the toll.
As we approached the toll plaza, there was construction around the booth, and a large digital sign said “NO TOLLS DO NOT STOP.”
So, we didn’t stop. I was in the passenger seat, and I had the idea to snap some photos of the sign.
Once we arrived at our hotel, we turned our rental car in, so that car never went on the highway again.
A few days after we returned home, I received an email from Hertz:
Of course, I immediately called Hertz to tell them that the one toll plaza we drove through had a big sign stating that they weren’t collecting tolls. The rep I spoke with said that the charge could be reviewed if I had photographs supporting my case!
Luckily, I did.
I emailed these photos to Hertz, and today I received a reply:
If I’d been the driver, I wouldn’t have tried to photograph these signs as I drove through, but it does make me wonder how many people are unable to fight a charge like this without proof they didn’t intentionally avoid paying the toll.
These pictures were worth $8.45!
Thanks for sharing Jill! I am looking for any money-saving tips for renting a SUV in July for one week (non-airport/unlimited miles). Thanks!
Coupon Maven says
Jerry, start looking sooner than later – I like to use a site where you can compare multiple rental car companies on one site, like Travelocity or Expedia. Most rental companies do not even require a credit card deposit, so I sometimes make multiple reservations. If I find a good rate at Company A, I make the reservation, but I look periodically after that to see if anyone else has come up with a cheaper rate. If so, I will make a new reservation to lock that rate in, then drop the first reservation.
It’s typically cheaper to rent and return to the same location vs. picking up in one spot and returning at another.
Rental car companies are resorting to gotcha fees more and more. It’s getting harder to truly price comparison shop because the fees that aren’t clearly disclosed vary by company. Orlando is a piece of work too. I got nailed by those multiple tolls from the airport to the area near the parks only once and varied my route afterwards to avoid them. Really glad you had the presence of mind to take the pictures Jill. I suspect even if you hadn’t it might’ve been possible to have FDOT confirm that the toll booth had been closed then. A $6 fee for the transponder is ridiculous though.
Coupon Maven says
I am too – and I agree, if we had to get the DOT involved to prove that the tollbooth was actually closed that day, we would have. This just made it easier.
I agree that there are way too many fees involved with renting a car. Our daily rate for this car was $35. After fees, it was $57 – and those were the “legitimate” fees, not including this toll. Whatever the daily rate is, it’s close to double once they add fees in!