Most savvy travelers know that when renting a car, the choice made when selecting a ‘fuel option’ can greatly affect the final amount of the rental. There was a terrific segment on the Today program this morning that dramatically illustrated the differences. In a clever bit of comparison-shopping, three NBC staff members rented identical cars, from the same facility and traveled the exact same route, in the same amount of time. But each of them chose a different fuel option. Watch the clip and see what happens when they return their rental cars.
But wait, there’s more! To help make sense of the various fees charged by rental car companies at the airport, NBC’s Jeff Rossen, Today National Investigative Correspondent, brought in a travel expert to break it all down, and to be honest, there were a couple in there we’d never heard of. So let’s see what they are:
Concession Recovery Fee:
Okay, so this one we are familiar with. According to “Travel Expert,” Gary Leff, “The rental company has to pay the airport to rent you a car, so they’re going to charge you for that fee.” Well, it sounds like what he’s saying is they have to pay rent to be “at” the airport. Well, neither of our two Phoenix locations is at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport; our facility is located just four miles to the north. When you rent from PHOENIX DISCOUNT Van & SUV Rental, or Phoenix Car Rental, we will not charge you a Concession Recovery Fee.
Tire and Battery Recovery Fee: When asked about this fee, the expert Leff responded, “Tires wear out. They’re going to have to be replaced. They’re going to have to throw them away. You pay them to throw away old tires.” This is another example of something you will not find at PHOENIX DISCOUNT Van & SUV Rental or Phoenix Car Rental. We do not charge a Tire and Battery Recovery Fee.
Customer Transportation Fee: According to Leff, “That free shuttle that takes you to and from the airport?” “Isn’t so free and you pay whether you use it or not.” You have many choices when you rent from PHOENIX DISCOUNT Van & SUV Rental and Phoenix Car Rental. If you are flying into the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and you make a reservation with us in advance, by using the code, TRANS, we will cover your transportation to us, whether you take the 4-mile ride via Uber, Lyft or a taxi, you’ll get to us quickly and we’ll pick up the expense.
Parking Recovery Fee: “This is my favorite,” says Leff, “because when you’re not renting the car and they’re not renting it to someone else, it’s got to park somewhere. And they’re charging you for the parking.” We cannot speak for how other companies choose to cover their expenses or run their businesses, but at PHOENIX DISCOUNT Van & SUV Rental and Phoenix Car Rental, we make our living by renting cars. We believe the best way to do that is to be competitive in our pricing and offer services not found at other companies. We do not charge a Parking Recovery Fee.
As Leff explains in his summary, “most of these fees stem from renting at the airport,” and when you look at the ones in this list, that makes sense. But at the same time, travelers are looking for convenience. The reason we think this piece of investigative reporting is helpful is because it educates the consumer. The most important thing a consumer can do is to be informed and read anything before signing it. Nothing should come as a surprise at the end of a transaction.
And as for those fuel options? Back in August of last year, we wrote a blog explaining our fuel policies. We called the ‘fuel option’ method of doing business the ‘rental car gas hustle,’ because, for some companies, this is an alternative source of income. However, we have found that having customers return their rented vehicle with the same amount of gas as it had when they rented it is the easiest and fairest method. We started out with a simple concept and it has worked. No need to complicate it. We rent vehicles. No more. No less. At PHOENIX DISCOUNT Van & SUV Rental and Phoenix Car Rental, we aren’t in the business of selling you gas. But we will rent you a vehicle.
At Phoenix Car Rental and PHOENIX DISCOUNT Van & SUV Rental, we rent cars, large passenger vans, minivans and SUVs in Phoenix, Arizona. Since the NBC news team rented their cars and drove to the Grand Canyon in two hours, we are assuming the fees and fuel costs they speak to in this news piece are either related to renting in Las Vegas (an approximate two hour drive from the Grand Canyon), or they are speaking about fees more generally in facilities across the country. Because we do not charge any of these fees, we do not know who charges them or at what facility they were generated. We simply found the information in this video to be helpful generally, as well as in explaining what you will not find when renting from either of our businesses.