Watch Out For Car Rental Companies’ Convenient Service To Pay Tolls

A convenience fee is just that: a fee that you pay to avoid doing something inconvenient. For the convenience of not reading every page of his rental car agreement, reader Dov had to pay an extra $24.75 on his recent car rental. How does that work? He encountered PlatePass, a program where rental car companies charge customers extra for the privilege of breezing through toll gates.

“Back in May I used your service and was uninformed of a system they use call PlatePass for paying the toll,” he wrote in his letter to Hertz. “I have before used Hertz and have had my credit card charged subsequently for my toll, and assumed that would happen again.”

Instead, he received a separate bill for $26: a $1.25 toll on I-95, and a $24.75 “administrative fee” from PlatePass. He was not happy.

We’ve written about PlatePass before, but that was in 2010, and the fee for the convenience of not paying a toll was much lower: only $10 at that office, compared to the $24.75 that Dov had to pay.

He wrote to Hertz, complaining about this program, but mostly wants Consumerist readers to be aware of the possibility that they might have to pay many times the amount of their tolls for the privilege of paying a toll.

“I take responsibility for not reading every page of the rental agreement at midnight that night,” Dov’s letter to Hertz continued, “but I never expected that one toll can increase my rental cost by almost 20%.”

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  1. theoriginalcatastrophegirl says:

    yep, i got hit with this last spring when my roommate was driving my truck, wrecked it and then was driving a rental car (also Hertz) on my insurance (yes, i am the world’s most lenient roommate)
    she went out of state and borrowed her dad’s ez pass transponder to go visit family via toll road, but the toll (device?)didn’t read the transponder (from the glove compartment) and i got a $29.75 toll/convenience fee.
    apparently if the transponder had read the ezpass also and a receipt was available i could have gotten it refunded. but it didn’t so there wasn’t

    where i live now, there is no option to pay a toll on the road. you either have a transponder or you get a bill at the mailing address on your license plate. i would never drive a rental car on one of those roads