Fee Detective

Fee If It's Hot, Fee If It's Cold: In Canada, You Pay Either Way


Large swaths of Canada epitomize the definition of "remote." We didn't expect to get search requests for towns that were five hours from the nearest rental car office, but it turns out that's not a rare occurrence in Canada.

In addition to wide open spaces and endless forests (at least occasionally dusted in snow, of course), Canada may be known for its citizens' politeness, but crafty rental station managers (combined with the diverse Canadian climate and government regulations) set the stage for a multitude of fees worth a look by the Fee Detective.

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The Fee Detective in Kansas City, Missouri; Arena Rock (Partially) Keeps the Lights on at an Unoccupied Arena

Kansas City

Readers of the AutoSlash blog know we’re not fans of fees, whether created by government agencies or the rental car companies themselves. It’s a common practice of cash-strapped governments and airport authorities to extensively tax individuals (air travelers) who are presumed to be tourists. Those funds are then frequently used for projects that wouldn’t be undertaken otherwise. And with that …

Kansas City, Kansas City here I ComeFats Domino

One of the more egregious sets of fees assessed on rental cars happens to be in Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO). The Fee Detective lived outside the city for more than a year and knew there were issues with rental car pricing.

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The Fee Detective Visits Seattle, Where Renters Get to Pay for Residents' Transportation and Sports Facilities

Seattle Skyline

The AutoSlash team is fond of Seattle. The region has a beautiful mixture of climate, nature to explore, and fantastic hotels and eateries. The ascendance of the Seattle sound (grunge) was during our high school and college days for the older AutoSlash team members! Prefer hip-hop instead? The landmarks in Sir Mix-A-Lot's Posse on Broadway are all in Seattle. There's even the Boeing Museum of Flight to satisfy the needs of transportation geeks. What else does Seattle (and the State of Washington) have? Taxes on rental cars that shift the payment of government services from the users of those services to rental car customers.

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Fee Detective Visits Cleveland and Encounters a Cavalier Attitude toward Taxes


Cleveland, Ohio is yet another city that holds a special place in the heart of the AutoSlash team. The host airport of a former Continental Airlines hub, a few of us had memberships to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame gifted by that airline. The city also has a number of fantastic sports teams plus the Cleveland Browns. Add a river that's caught on fire more than a dozen times* and one knows that they are in a happening place with a true industrial history. The city even adopted their own rental car transaction fee before the rival city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and that fee is a reason for a visit by the AutoSlash Fee Detective.

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Illinois Car Rental Companies Can Now Charge Whatever the Heck They Damn Well Please for CDW

High Costs

Ah, the good ol' days, and by that we mean last week, when the most you could be charged in the state of Illinois for collision damage waiver (CDW) on your rental car was $13.50 per day (plus taxes and fees, of course). Apparently, this was not sufficient in the eyes of the car rental industry to cover their costs, or, rather, meet their profit margin targets, because the rental industry lobbied the governor to amend the Renter's Financial Responsibility and Protection Act to remove the previous cap.

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