Michael LaPlaca Cautions Calif. and N.Y. Rental Companies

Michael LaPlaca of Washington, D.C.-based LaPlaca Law, advises that contrary to his conclusion in the January/February Auto Rental News article titled “Adding Extra Fees: What’s The Law?,” rental companies in California and New York should act only with advice of local counsel. LaPlaca concluded in the article that extra fees, such as energy recovery fees and the like could be added provided the rental company disclosed the fees in advance.

However, he notes that California Civil Code, section 1936 and New York General Business Law, section 396-z apparently prohibit the charging of any mandatory fee in addition to rental rate, taxes, mileage charges and airport concession fees. Added fees for extra services can be charged in both states but only for services that the customer could avoid if the customer chooses not to accept the service.

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