Columnist Bashes Rental Car Fees and Taxes

A Florida newspaper columnist ranted against car rental taxes and fees on Oct. 24, writing that the rates are so high that they are approaching rates “that used to be the domain of millionaires.”

The column by Michael Mayo in Florida’s Sun-Sentinel, uses Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport as his first example, stating that “You might pay a whopping 55 percent in taxes and fees on top of the base rate, lending whole new meaning to the term sticker shock.”

He goes on to mention the 28 percent in taxes and fees that car renters pay at Palm Beach International Airport.

Checking rental car rates for visiting relatives, Mayo found a 13-day rental at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport at $284, which he thought was fair until he found that the taxes and fees were another $156, or 55 percent of the base rate – bringing the grand total to $440.

He adds that in addition to state sales tax and a $2 daily surcharge that goes to the Florida Department of Transportation for road projects, rental customers must also pay airport and other fees, and that doesn’t include optional extras such as insurance, fuel, toll transponders and multiple drivers.

In the column, Mayo quotes Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom as saying he thinks the fees and taxes hurt tourism.

Mayo provided a breakdown of the $156 his relatives will soon pay for the rental: a $51.35 customer facility charge; a $3.95-a-day charge to pay for construction and operation of the central rental garage and shuttle buses at the Fort Lauderdale airport; a $36.85, airport concession recovery fee; a $26 state surcharge for road projects; $22.11 in Florida sales tax; a $13, energy recovery fee; and a $6.11 vehicle license fee.

“Perhaps the biggest surprise is how local car rental fees don’t go toward usual tourist tax beneficiaries like convention centers or tourism boards,” the columnist wrote. "Not to give anybody any ideas."

Comments

  1. Steven [ October 26, 2011 @ 01:07PM ]

    Whats next? Labor and Overhead recovery fee?
    Rent Recovery fee? Utilities to keep the lights on fees? Where will it end?

  2. MARCOS [ October 26, 2011 @ 03:00PM ]

    NEXT WILL BE CAR COST AND MAINTENANCE RECOVERY FEE.

  3. Mark Taylor [ October 26, 2011 @ 03:02PM ]

    Most of the charges appear to be Govt imposed charges - not the fault of the rental car company!

  4. MARCOS [ October 27, 2011 @ 11:49AM ]

    MOST OF THE CHARGES ARE NOT GOVT. IMPOSED, THEY ARE RECOVERY FEES SUCH AS AIRPORT CONCESSION, ETC. THE HONEST WAY IS TO PUT THE TOTAL PRICE INCLUDING EVERYTHING WHEN THE RESERVATION IS MADE, SUCH AS WHEN YOU BUY AN AIR TICKET

  5. Jason [ October 28, 2011 @ 07:16AM ]

    Marcos, you are wrong. Airport concession fees are imposed by the airports, and airports are basically govt. Rental companies have to compete against each other on price, and it is more than fair and honest that these charges are itemized. When you make a reservation with a rental company, you do get a total price. You are way off in everything you say.

  6. Jack [ November 14, 2011 @ 02:42PM ]

    It's about time someone took a look at this, I was in the car rental business for a long time and as management it really ticked me off. Legislators look at this as revenue without hitting the locals, however, there are many people that rent cars in their home towns for various reasons. Not to mention this is on all tourism aspects of travel. Take a look at the Government imposed fees between air, hotel, and car. We have many places in the U.S. where your $800.00 trip will approach $1600 because of taxes and non-provider fees!! Tell your reps. enough is enough!!

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