Beware of Dollar Car Rentals in MCO

Old Jan 10, 15, 5:51 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Las Vegas NV
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Beware of Dollar Car Rentals in MCO

Booked 3 week car rental with Dollar in MCO. When picking up car found out that second driver - my husband - was going to be charged over $250 to be added to the rental. So be it. Was explained to me that cost per day for Dollar did not reflect that charge and was why it was so much lower than other car rental companies that include it.
But, then rep. gave me the talk about cashless freeways in Florida - that if I got on I would not be able to get off and there fore would pay the tolls and the fine and the original fee. For our 3 week rental the charge was almost $150 for the duration of the agreement even if we did not use such highways. I refused and went online to investigate. First - those cashless roads are, for now, near the Miami area and we were in MCO. Second, they are few and far between for now. Third - Avis and Budget only charge a maximum of $16.95 for 30 days if you opt in to use their plate reading service for those roads. The map on the rental desk of Dollar in MCO also had the map legend blacked out so you could not verify what roads were truly cashless and gauge whether you would use them or not. Granted - having the plate reading system would allow you to pass thru all toll plazas that did accept cash but that privilege came with a HEFTY fee.
We did more investigation and went to Publix Supermarket - bought a Sun Pass transponder of our own and set up an online account for the SUN PASS and used the rental car license as the main vehicle. Upon leaving Florida we will change the license number to our own plate from NJ as that is the car we will use next time we come to Florida.
Will never rent from Dollar again - usually am an Avis or Budget customer and will be such in the future. Very disappointed.
smkidsap is offline  
Old Jan 12, 15, 11:29 am
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I'm not sure I understand.
Peoriaman1 is offline  
Old Jan 12, 15, 12:42 pm
Join Date: Jul 2012
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There are a good number of tolls in Orlando that are Sunpass or exact change only and not manned booths. Either make sure to stay off all toll roads or have lots of change if you're not sure where you are going or been there before.

Was the $150 just for having the thing or did that include the tolls paid?

$150 for 3 weeks is approximately $7.00 per day. Depending on where you're going, that's close to what you could easily pay in tolls per day.
jabbered is offline  
Old Jan 12, 15, 5:22 pm
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The $150 was just to have toll plate reader in the car itself and did not include tolls themselves. Apparently if you have your own SUN PASS - you will get the 25% discount on tolls and be able to use the express lanes. If we paid the $150 to Dollar for the plate reader - we could have gone thru the SUN PASS lanes, get the 25% discount, and certainly NOT come out ahead.

In the past, when traveling to Florida - we simply paid cash as we went thru cash only toll lines. We are from NY area and used to having EZ pass for everything in all our vehicles. So for the times we were here we figured we would just pay cash - and we did until this time. Now we got our own SUN PASS for any and all cars - personal and rental - that we will use in the state of Florida in the future.

Cashless freeways are going to be expanded in Florida thereby making it more of an issue in coming trips for us. What I objected to was the rep NOT letting us know that roads we would likely be on were NOT part of that system and ... to access any discount on tolls, use the express lanes and not pay cash - we had to pay a fee to get the reader on the car. To save 25% in tolls - which so far we have paid a total of $2.00 - we have to pay a fee of $150 for the 3 weeks of rental.

Avis and Budget - to repeat - only charge $16.95 for the month - had I been with either of those companies I would have paid the fee, used the express lines and been done. But, in my big travel picture it made more sense for us to get the SUN PASS for all vehicles. Maybe someday the country will get it all together and have ONE system for toll roads.
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Old Feb 13, 15, 11:50 am
Join Date: Aug 2014
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According to the Dollar website during the booking process, the plate pass is $8.99 a day. So $8.99 x 3 weeks = $188.79. It describes it as a prepaid service so if you do a lot of driving on toll roads it might be a deal. Hertz's plate pass is cheaper but not prepaid so your credit card gets charged for each toll you cross.
ScoobyScott is offline  
Old Feb 26, 15, 7:12 am
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 29
We rent from Dollar at MCO all the time and never pay the extra fee. I always pack a roll of quarters and a lot of $1 bills for the trip and pay the fee's as I go. Don't know why OP paid for the service through Dollar. I was just there last month and had no added charges.
pilotwife is offline  

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