The price of gasoline has reached more than $9 a gallon for drivers who don’t pay ahead of time and who return their rental cars without a full tank.
Rental car companies vie to be more disliked than oil companies:
A USA TODAY survey of auto rental gas prices at 13 big airports on April 25 found Hertz was charging $9.29 a gallon at all 13. Dollar and Thrifty were charging $8.99 a gallon at two.
At $9.29 a gallon, Hertz customers renting a Ford Club Wagon, which has a 35-gallon fuel tank, would owe Hertz $325.15 for gas if they returned the wagon with a nearly empty tank and hadn’t prepaid for the gas.
Obviously, renters are relatively price-insensitive. They won’t drive much less based on this gouging. It’s a good trick for the companies, lamely defended:
Although the prices anger some travelers, rental companies say they’re not in the fuel business and offer gas as a customer convenience.