Avis, Budget Offering Electronic Toll Collection in Rental Vehicles

PARSIPPANY, N.J. --- Cendant Car Rental Group, which operates Avis and Budget, announced two new programs to enable their customers to bypass cash toll lanes.

Beginning in April, customers can rent a vehicle allowing them to drive through electronic toll collection booths on highways in the Northeast United States and the Houston, Texas metropolitan area.

The programs will be available to Avis and Budget customers for an additional fee of $1.50 per day for rentals at metropolitan New York locations, including Northern New Jersey and Southern Connecticut. The cost at Houston locations will be $2 per day, plus toll charges. There are plans to roll out the systems to additional areas in the Northeast, Texas, Florida and Illinois by the end of the year..

The announcement follows a recently completed test of electronic toll collection devices in rental cars at the Newark, N.J. Budget location. During the 18-month test period, Budget customers rented vehicles equipped with transponder collection devices more than 25,000 times.

In the New York area, Cendant partnered with Highway Toll Administration LLC to offer vehicles equipped with E-Z Pass, the electronic toll technology service used throughout the Northeast United States. Customers will be able to use the service on toll roads, tunnels and bridges from Maine to Virginia. HTA will equip both Avis and Budget vehicles with E-Z Pass transponders. In Houston, Cendant is using PlatePass, a service offered by American Traffic Solutions. PlatePass will allow Avis and Budget customers to utilize high-speed toll lanes throughout Texas without the need for a vehicle transponder. In both programs, toll charges accrued will be processed as a separate charge to the credit or debit card that was presented by the customer at the time of rental.

Meanwhile, United Press International reported that Hertz is testing toll-collection devices. It may expand availability in the coming months.

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