Fee Detective

States with Highest Car Rental Taxes and Fees

rental car taxes by state

Worried about the hidden costs of renting a car? Your final bill will include your rental rate plus taxes and fees, which can vary enormously depending on where you are picking up the car.

More than 40 states impose fees on rental cars, either through an additional tax, fee, or both. At least 15 states allow local governments to impose their own taxes or fees and rental car companies also charge extra for off-site rentals, airport fees, insurance coverage and more.

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The Typical Rental Car Grace Period is Half an Hour

rental car grace period

So you are supposed to return your rental car by 9 a.m. the next day and you're running a little late. The good news is: You may be in luck. Rental car companies understand that there's sometimes a delay in getting vehicles returned and consequently, they almost all offer a half-hour grace period for the time and mileage charges on daily rentals. But don't cut it too close.

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There is No Such Thing as a Free Day on an Airport Rental Car

car rental awarded free day


If you've been racking up award points in your favorite car rental loyalty program, you may be considering cashing in some points for a free day. Be forewarned: It matters where you choose to pick up your vehicle.

If you choose to pick up your car at an airport, your "free day" won't actually turn out to be free after all, thanks to an assortment of taxes and fees at can add up to $20 per day or more. On the other hand, if you redeem award points for a free day at a non-airport location, you could find that taxes and fees add up to mere pennies.

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The Fee Detective Revisits Los Angeles, Where LAX Cranks Up their Customer Facility Charge

LAX Airport

The AutoSlash Fee Detective series is one topic where we answer traveler questions and we got one from a traveler to Los Angeles International Airport. We've previously written about LAX, which has been collecting a $10 per car rental fee to construct a rental car facility since 2002. And of course, the facility doesn't yet exist -- the current plan is for the rental car center to open in 2023. However, one of our readers noted that renters who keep a car more than 24 hours now pay far more than $10 for the rental car facility that doesn't yet exist, for a reason noted in our previous article. In fact, LAWA (Los Angeles World Airports) is simply taking advantage of a provision written in California Civil Code. And remarkably, LAWA isn't (yet) at the current legal cap for user fees on the not-yet-constructed rental car facility.

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The Fee Detective Visits Alaska: The Largest State has Large Rental Car Taxes


Every so often, our blog points toward Alaska. The largest state in the nation, Alaska has been the home of multiple AutoSlash team members and a favorite vacation destination of others. While Alaska is well-known for having no personal income tax and no statewide sales tax plus a check to all year-round residents from the Alaska Permanent Fund, there are taxes on activities, products, and services (almost) sufficient to pay for various government services. Alaska -- bigger than Texas -- decided one option was to impose Texas-sized taxes on their rental cars, particularly in Anchorage.

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