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Forget To Fill Up The Rental Car? No Prob, That'll Be $9/Gal

Photo by NatalieMaynor via Flickr
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It was just last week a visiting friend remarked that the penalty gas rate at $4 per gallon was, for the first time in his experience, cheaper than the cost to fill up on his own here in Los Angeles. WHY MUST YOU SPEAK SO LOUDLY?? THEY HEARD YOU!! The L.A. Times is reporting that some agencies are now charging upward of $9 per gallon to refill the rental car if you return a vehicle below the demarcation line.

Think of it this way: If you have a car with a 13.8-gallon tank, you’ll owe the car rental company $124.20 if you return it empty. Hertz is charging an eye-popping $9.29 a gallon for customers who forgot to fill up before dropping off the car at its Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) site and other major airports nationwide.

That price, according to a Hertz spokeswoman, incorporates the cost of gas, the cost of "related operational charges," says the L.A. Times, and a charge for "convenience." Though Hertz asserts they are not in the gas business, notes USA Today, and that company expenses are drawn against the figure, the rental car giant "brought in $43.7 million in refueling costs last year," notes the L.A. Times.