Columnist: Hertz Charged More To Refill Gas Tank Than To Rent Car For 2 Days

News that car rental companies are charging more than $9 per gallon for failure to fill up the gas tank upon return caught a Sports Illustrated columnist by surprise.

In his Monday Morning QB column, the writer, who rented a Hertz car for two days in North Carolina, returned the car with an about half-filled gas tank and ended up paying more for the gas ($89.40) than he did for the two-day rental ($88).

He grouses about the fees:

Then there was the $17.98 for NeverLost GPS (which did its job; I was never lost on the trip) and the usual collection of cloudy charges — “concession fee recovery,” $11.92 … “customer facility charge,” $7 … “vehicle licensing cost recovery,” 62 cents — that makes the renting of cars in America so joyous.

Three-eighths of a tank of gas for $89.40? If that’s not price-gouging, I don’t know what is.

What’s the most you’ve had to pay for forgetting to fill up a rental car gas tank?

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week I [Sports Illustrated]