Fee Detective

Getting Gouged in the Boroughs: The Fee Detective Investigates

Fee Detective Residents of New York City's outer boroughs have often felt like second class citizens for a variety of reasons. As if they needed yet another validation of their diminished status, folks in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx are faced with hefty surcharges when renting cars in certain locations.

I'd heard rumors of this for quite some time, but it hit home recently when a good friend of mine who lives in Queens rented a car through AutoSlash. As is usually the case, we were able to get him a great rate, so I was surprised when I received a call from him while picking up the car from Dollar at LaGuardia airport.

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Rental car taxes and fees explained: The Fee Detective visits sunny California

Fee Detective Pardon us, but there's something about those California tourism advertisements. You know the ones, you've seen them on TV. Over and over again. The Golden State, itself sinking, sank a lot of money into them, spending $12 million last year for ad space on national (mostly cable) television. If you've never seen them, here's one.

As pretty as these very expensive ads are, they end up being kind of annoying. Who can say -- maybe it's the smugness. Look at us. Having fun in sexy places! Aren't you sad you come from somewhere less fun and sexy? Okay, so, fine – destination advertising is a tough job, and it's rare you'll please everyone. But here comes the shocker: Guess who's paying for the ads? Tourists.

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Rental car taxes and fees explained: The Fee Detective heads for Houston!

Anyone who's ever rented a car knows that one thing remains constant, whether you're in Anchorage, or Ankara, Turkey. The quoted price is never the final price. Why? We'll tell you why. Renters are an easy mark for regional governments looking to make a buck, that's why. After all, you're just visiting Minneapolis. You can't stick around and vote, can you? Didn't think so.

This explains why a city like, oh why not, let's keep picking on Minneapolis, feels no shame in slapping about 30 percent (and rising, mind you) in taxes and fees on top of your rental.

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