Parking Ticket? What Parking Ticket?

Car renters are often in new territory, driving unknown streets and coping with unfamiliar dilemmas, such as where to find parking close to their meeting site when they’re running late. Not knowing the tricks to driving in a new city leaves these drivers vulnerable to parking tickets.

In a perfect world, once a parking ticket is issued, the driver will inform the auto rental company and pay the fine when he or she drops off the car. While most clients are honest and pay their parking tickets, some feel free to toss the parking ticket away and not tell the rental company. "Many renters truly believe that if they receive a ticket while in a rental car, the issuing authorities will not be able to locate them and pursue this," says Bill Plamondon, president and CEO of San Antonio, Texas-based Advantage Rent A Car.

Violations Pile Up
In some cases, the auto rental company does not receive notice of the ticket until it is too late to charge the driver's credit card. If this happens time and time again, the charges, administrative fees and late fees can really pile up.

The typical rental transaction in the U.S. is valued at $180, according to research by Abrams Consulting Group. If the profit margin on one transaction is $20, "the average unpaid parking violation ($67) has the potential to wipe out the entire profit contribution of several transactions," says Dennis Round, president of Nashville-based Violation Management Services (VMS).

"The biggest problem is that different authorities have different rules," says Round. "With some, you can transfer the violation by providing the name and address of the renter. With others, the violation is nontransferable. In that case, the auto rental company pays the fine and then has to go after the customer."

"If the city will accept the customer's information and completely release us of responsibility, we submit the information. If not, we pay the citation," says Jason Logan, spokesperson for Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. "We attempt to charge the customer's credit card or we bill the customer. If the customer does not pay, we use a collection agency."

When a customer does not pay a parking ticket, Advantage will pay the ticket to stop the late fees and penalties, says Plamondon. The company then uses a third party to collect the amount of the ticket plus any late fees, penalties and administrative fees.

The collection process can create tension between the rental companies and their customers. "When the auto rental company goes after the customer, it is unfortunately a negative interaction," Round says. "It's a customer service nightmare."

CONTINUED:  Parking Ticket? What Parking Ticket?
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Comments

  1. leroy crooks [ October 25, 2011 @ 03:26PM ]

    i dont no what tickets i got but my criedit card has been charge $200 and my other card has been charged $80 i dont no whats going on but some one need need to call me a.s.a.p #510-4725102

  2. rob [ January 9, 2012 @ 04:42AM ]

    same thing happened to me. credit card billed $100. I didnt get any tickets. and if i did nobody contacted me. charged a year later. sounds like a scam

  3. manuel ramirez [ August 13, 2013 @ 09:01AM ]

    I´ve got a $100.00 charged on my Credit Card.

    I don´t know why, where, facts. This is white collar robbery!!!

  4. Colin Sloan [ August 29, 2013 @ 06:13PM ]

    I have been charged over $ 200 for 4 parking tickets while renting a car from Thrifty car rental in Palm Springs . Something is not right . First , I was very aware of where I was parking. Paying attention to signage and asking the locals. Thrifty Car rental sent no copy of the actual citation with the notice ;nor was a citation ever left on the the windshield . In addition Thrifty car Rental charges a $15 administration fee for each citation. Two possibilities appear . This may be an after the fact cash grab by the rental company or another form of taxation by the city of Palm Springs If the later is the case who a better target (non voting) than tourists in rental vehicle's

  5. Charlene [ January 6, 2015 @ 08:59AM ]

    My husband and I just received a notice of a $100 fine for speeding and $25 for admin fees. The fine was dated and time 2 minutes past when we picked up the car. We weren't even out of the parking lot in 2 minutes. We tried to get a copy of the ticket but no one seems to have it. This whole deal sounds like a scam to me also. We won't be renting from Thrifty anymore.

  6. Suzan [ July 6, 2015 @ 03:30PM ]

    I had same with Fox rental. I closed the card befor charged 40 dollars

  7. nicole [ August 22, 2015 @ 10:27AM ]

    I just looked at my cc statement there is a 51.52 parking ticket on there I have not rented a car since may! And I also never got a notice in the mail or anything to a parking ticket while in use of the car. Can someone contact me as to what this is in regards to? I rented from enterprise. It just seems so late to be charging for something and never being notified of such ticket.?

  8. Philip [ May 23, 2016 @ 06:28AM ]

    Dispute this with your cc company. It is a scam

  9. BrendaP [ August 16, 2016 @ 08:58AM ]

    I just received a notice from VMS for "traffic citation (s)" from March 14, 2016! I rented from AVIS that day when I arrived in FL. Huhh? Having been there at least 15 times before, I had a FL SunPass for tolls. Not sure how to proceed because I know I did not speed, skip tolls, park illegally or anything else. To say the least, I'm miffed.

  10. Tammy Junker [ September 6, 2016 @ 07:32PM ]

    Rented a car from Thrifty in Spokane WA in June, just got $180 pending charge on my account and its September from a company called Traffic Ticket Fines in Great Falls MT. My bank researched it and found that they used this name as a rental car company name. Thrifty's violation department ran my license number and they found no violations at all in WA for any time, its the only car I rented with that card in 6 months. So now I put a hold on the card and the Bank is doing an investigation on this. I have suspicisions that this is VMS since they have the same address.

  11. Natalie McGinty [ November 2, 2016 @ 02:36PM ]

    I went to Florida on 7-20-16 for family vacation. I rented a car from Budget in Tucker Georgia (the worst experience ever). Now I'm being charged for a traffic violation. I'm sure it's for the Florida tolls, but I paid a human that stands in the booth. I'm not sure why I ever charged. I would like to the see the ticket myself instead of sending it to the rental company who has a 3rd party company charging people what they want. This really does sound like a scam. A class action law suite needs to be brought against these people.

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