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Car Rental Toll Charges

How it works and how to avoid/reduce these charges


With the increase in cashless tolls throughout the country, rental car companies have found a way to offer the convenience of managing these charges for you (and, of course, also profit from it).

How it works:

Cashless tolls are exactly what the name implies – electronic payments only – but it is not the same as payment with a credit card. Vehicles are billed by reading a transponder on the car or by scanning a license plate as vehicles drive through an open lane.


Toll services are an optional service selected at the time of rental. In some cases, you will have to opt-in, and for others, you will need to opt-out, so be sure to read the policy of the car rental company of your choice to avoid unpleasant surprises.


It works similarly to the “prepaid” fuel option they offer where you will likely pay more for the convenience – there is no need to stop at the toll booth with the exact change (in many locations you won’t even find a booth).


Toll Charges

By offering you this service, all car rental companies have different policies for how to handle such charges:

  • Flat service fees: administrative fees charged for each day of rental regardless of whether you pass through a toll or not + the cost of the tolls

  • Daily service fee: administrative fees charged for each day you use tolls + the cost of the tolls

Why am I being billed for both the Toll Pass Service and the tolls?

Toll pass service enables customers to drive without worrying about unexpected tolls or having exact change at the time of passing through a toll gate. The daily Toll Pass Service fee does not include the actual toll charges.


Policies for our favorite car rental companies:

Avis Toll Program


Enterprise Toll Pass


Hertz Plate Pass


National Toll Pass

How to avoid/reduce toll fees

  • Avoid toll roads

Applications, such as Google Maps, allow you to define your route options with the choice to avoid tolls

  • Bring a transponder from home or buy one for the road

If you already have one transponder in your personal vehicle, chances are that you can use it somewhere within the US as well.


In cases where you cannot (depending on the pass program each state uses on their roads), you can buy one for the road.


In both cases, make sure the car rental company’s transponder is turned off, add your car rental’s license plate to your account for the dates of your travel, and take a picture in case the car company changes you at the end of your trip.

  • Choose a car rental company with the policy that better suits your needs

Map out your route to see how many tolls you will encounter, as you may want to go with a company that offers an all-inclusive package versus a company that charges an administrative fee per day of usage.


U.S. Cashless Toll Locations and Pass Programs Per State

Click below to open PDF:

U.S. Cashless Toll Locations and Pass Programs Per State
.pdf
Download PDF • 142KB


10808 NE 145th Street, Bothell, WA - 98011

425.822.2333 or 800.678.8202

tangerine@tangerinetravel.com


Sources:

blog.autoslash.com, "Dos and Don’ts for Dealing with Rental Car Tolls" by Michael. May 1, 2023

upgradedpoints.com, “The Ultimate Guide to Car Rental Tolls Across the U.S." by Amar Hussain. June 11, 2023


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