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Why the NC Toll Pass is a Great Buy for Car Renters

Why the NC Toll Pass is a Great Buy for Car Renters

Old Feb 8, 19, 9:35 pm
  #1  
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Why the NC Toll Pass is a Great Buy for Car Renters

Thought this blog post from Autoslash was great...
Why the NC Toll Pass is a Great Buy for Car Renters
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Old Feb 9, 19, 11:46 am
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Great post! I'd ask Autoslash to edit their article. It's unnecessarily long, and then jumps from $7.49 to $16.49 in the last sentence... While I still can't understand all of the rules and possibilities in DC area (article only talks I-66). What about express lanes on I-95 both sides of DC, and some near Baltimore? Is the button REQUIRED or convenient?

Really, if article is edited to be half its current size - and cover DC area wider - it'd be swell, Autoslash! Also, acquisition options?
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Old Feb 9, 19, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by SinglePapa2 View Post
Great post! I'd ask Autoslash to edit their article. It's unnecessarily long, and then jumps from $7.49 to $16.49 in the last sentence... While I still can't understand all of the rules and possibilities in DC area (article only talks I-66). What about express lanes on I-95 both sides of DC, and some near Baltimore? Is the button REQUIRED or convenient?

Really, if article is edited to be half its current size - and cover DC area wider - it'd be swell, Autoslash! Also, acquisition options?
Did you not read it all because you thought it was so long? It mentions the $7.49 and $16.49 options multiple places in the article, not just in the last sentence. The $16.49 version has the "HOV" button, the $7.49 version doesn't. It's clear to me that you need the "HOV" button to use the "HOV" feature.

The whole reason you need an "HOV" button is that if the lane is free for true high-occupancy vehicles but charges for those who don't have enough passengers, you need to specify (using the button) that you are paying instead of having the sufficient number of passengers to use the lane free. If you didn't understand why the "HOV" button was necessary, you're presumably not familiar with combo HOV/toll lanes (which are free for some but toll for others).

Thus this button only works in combo HOV/toll lanes. The button (and therefore the transponder itself) cannot work in "pure' HOV lanes that have no toll option. (Many freeways only have "pure" HOV lanes and/or "pure" toll" lanes, not combo HOV/toll lanes.)

Are the I-95 lanes combo HOV/toll lanes or pure toll lanes? If the latter, that might be the article didn't talk about them. The special mention was only of combo HOV/toll lanes, not picking one freeway at random.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 2:00 pm
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I don't know much about combo vs. pure; I only drive up and down between FL and NY, and always with at least 3, always in rental car. So given I always have 3 in the car, do I need to pay up to $16.49 for the button? (sorry, never owned anything like that).

I own NY transponder that's shipped free, and no monthly charges. The article also didn't cover acquisition, and (predictably) haven't mentioned RVs
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Old Feb 9, 19, 7:09 pm
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Originally Posted by SinglePapa2 View Post
Also, acquisition options?
Not sure what you mean when you say "acquisition options"? You mean purchasing one? You can do that from the link in our post which goes here.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 6:23 am
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Originally Posted by SinglePapa2 View Post
I don't know much about combo vs. pure; I only drive up and down between FL and NY, and always with at least 3, always in rental car. So given I always have 3 in the car, do I need to pay up to $16.49 for the button? (sorry, never owned anything like that).
I-66 in Virginia: If you are driving solo you must pay a toll via EZPass. If you have at least 2 people in the car the toll is waived, but only if you have the more expensive transponder with the HOV switch to indicate when there are 2+ people in the car (including the driver). If you do not have the transponder with a switch you will always pay the toll regardless of how many people are in the car. So the $9 premium pays for itself the first time you use it with 2+ people.

I-95 and I-495: The tolled express lanes are separate from the main non-toll lanes. You always have to pay if there are 1-2 people in the car. The toll is not charged with 3+ people in the car, but again, only if you have the HOV transponder with the switch to indicate when there are 3+ people in the car (including the driver).*

*Caveat: The I-66 toll lanes are state-operated while the 95/495 express lanes are operated by a private company. The article does not address whether the NC EZPass would work correctly on the 95/495 express lanes. I would guess that it does but I don't know for sure.
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Old Feb 11, 19, 2:58 pm
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@AutoSlash, do you know how the NC pass adheres to the windshield? Is it a suction cup or some sort of adhesive strips? It seems like the latter would be a pain to move from car to car.
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Old Feb 11, 19, 4:18 pm
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MA does not charge for their EZ pass and you can get it, even if you do not live in state. No monthly fees either.
No express lane option though like the article.
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Old Feb 11, 19, 5:12 pm
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Originally Posted by m907 View Post
@AutoSlash, do you know how the NC pass adheres to the windshield? Is it a suction cup or some sort of adhesive strips? It seems like the latter would be a pain to move from car to car.
Both the E-ZPass and E-ZPass Flex versions appear to use Velcro strips, according to the linked instructions here: https://www.ncquickpass.com/resource...tructions.aspx

If you'd prefer a suction cup mount, though, something like
this this
or
this this
might work.

Personally, I just have two transponders and keep one in my personal car and the other in my bag for taking on trips, just in case I happen to rent a car and drive on toll roads. (The second transponder was free with the Massachusetts account I have.) It lives in my bag, so it's always easy to pull out when I pick up a rental car in the Northeast. I don't bother to mount my transponder in rental cars--I just manually hold it up to the rental car's windshield whenever I went under a toll gantry, which also makes it much less likely I'll forget it when I returned the car.

I just ordered a NC one last week. Since additional transponders from NC aren't free, I might just stick with one and try to remember to take it with me when I leave town. That's what I did with my Massachusetts one before I ordered the second transponder.

Originally Posted by kxc262 View Post
MA does not charge for their EZ pass and you can get it, even if you do not live in state. No monthly fees either.

No express lane option though like the article.
Yes, you can do better (free) with an E-ZPass from Massachusetts or New York, but it doesn't work in Florida (outside of Central Florida). Or you can do better (free) with an E-PASS sticker from Florida, but it doesn't work in the Northeast, and it's a single-use sticker that won't work again if you peel it off of your rental car's windshield. If you want one single transponder that offers coverage in every state east of the Mississippi, the NC QuickPass is the cheapest ($7.49 for the non-Flex option and $16.49 for the Flex option, which, as stated above, is the only way to qualify for free HOV use of the toll lanes in Northern Virginia).

FWIW, there have been murmurings of forthcoming interoperability between the Southeast consortium (NC/GA/FL) and the Tornado Alley consortium (KS/OK/TX), so there's a chance that one transponder will work for everything east of Colorado one of these days...
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Last edited by AutoSlash; Feb 11, 19 at 7:22 pm
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Old Feb 11, 19, 8:01 pm
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Originally Posted by AutoSlash View Post
Both the E-ZPass and E-ZPass Flex versions appear to use Velcro strips, according to the linked instructions here: https://www.ncquickpass.com/resource...tructions.aspx

If you'd prefer a suction cup mount, though, something like this or this might work.

Personally, I just have two transponders and keep one in my personal car and the other in my bag for taking on trips, just in case I happen to rent a car and drive on toll roads. (The second transponder was free with the Massachusetts account I have.) It lives in my bag, so it's always easy to pull out when I pick up a rental car in the Northeast. I don't bother to mount my transponder in rental cars--I just manually hold it up to the rental car's windshield whenever I went under a toll gantry, which also makes it much less likely I'll forget it when I returned the car.

I just ordered a NC one last week. Since additional transponders from NC aren't free, I might just stick with one and try to remember to take it with me when I leave town. That's what I did with my Massachusetts one before I ordered the second transponder.
Thanks for the info - I didn't even know there were EZPass holders like that. I found this one slightly cheaper and it looks like the JL branded ones are made in America.

One more question, does the NC pass require you to register the license plate of each new rental car before you can use it?
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Old Feb 11, 19, 11:03 pm
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Originally Posted by m907 View Post
One more question, does the NC pass require you to register the license plate of each new rental car before you can use it?
Even ones where you're technically supposed to register the plate I've found it doesn't matter. The plate registration is only in case the transponder doesn't scan properly. Under normal operation, it's not necessary.
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