Car rental agencies charging more


13Motorists were surprised by the new charges that the car rental agencies came up with. Car insurance advisor Bob Lapthal said that car rental agencies may be out to get back lost revenues, which may have been caused by the unrelenting inflation and rapidly diminishing demand.

Lapthal said that it had been a tough time for the auto insurance industry. He noted however, that the car rental agencies were the ones most hardly affected. With increasing gas prices, these agencies are forced to find new ways to earn more. However, the biggest factor in the increase in car rental prices is the decrease in demand, which can be connected to low local tourism, says Lapthal. Aside from car rentals, fees have also increased.

A recent report by the New York Times confirms that car rental agencies indeed have imposed new charges to their customers. Among these are the collision insurance packages and roadside assistance bills. These packages are charged to the customers despite already having an auto insurance coverage.

The New York Times reported that the customers do not have enough “bargaining room” when renting a vehicle. As a result, they are forced to take the packages, which the car rental agencies offer. The packages may not even be useful for the customer, but are requirements to be able to rent a vehicle, New York Times added.

Oakdale Minnesota customer Dean Moeller told the New York times that he was surprised to see an uncommon fee once on his rental car statement. He said that it was a collision damage waiver fee of $22.95 for his business trip last November. Though Moeller said he insisted that he did not need such a waiver, he still agreed to it. He did this despite having his own car insurance coverage. The New York Times said that 90 percent of customers are like Moeller, they agree to what the car rental agencies ask them to have as a requirement for renting vehicles.

Aside from the collision damage waiver, Moeller said that he also knew some of his friends who were asked to agree to roadside assistance fees even when they also have the coverage on their auto insurance. The Insurance Information Institute said that all states require mobile operators to have their car liability insurance. Only those mobile operators with enough assets to cover insurance claims do not require such coverage, the institute concluded.