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Texas Tollways and Rental Cars

Texas Tollways and Rental Cars

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Old Feb 28, 17, 11:09 am   -   Wikipost
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Toll Roads in Texas


Wikipedia: Toll Roads in Texas


TXTag: Map of Tollroads in Texas

Companies which manage/bill for toll road access (note one tag will work throughout Texas)


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Old Feb 2, 13, 8:07 pm
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Texas Tollways and Rental Cars

I may have a Houston trip in my future where the Sam Houston Tollway may come in handy. I understand they've gone all-electronic, which is problematic for rental cars since the rental companies charge such outrageous fees for processing electronic tolls.

It looks like the EZ Tag has a $15 one-time fee, but the TxTag is free as long as I sign up for Autopay. The TxTag website specifically says you can't use it in rental cars, but the only reason given is that the transponder can't be removed without damaging it. Is there any reason I can't just use a piece of scotch tape to temporarily mount it in a rental rather than using the self-adhesive? Do they check to match the transponders to license plates for example? Or do rentals in Texas have nonremovable transponders already?

Or am I better off just not using the tollway?
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Old Feb 2, 13, 8:25 pm
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You should be able to use the sticker and just throw it on the dash. I kept a hard case tag before they forced everyone to switchover. They've never given me any grief on using it with multiple vehicles (personal cars, rentals, loaners, etc.)
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Old Feb 2, 13, 9:54 pm
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TxTag also uses a pay by mail system, too, based on your plate registration. I have used this throughout the Austin and Houston areas with no problem with my rental car company, but I use the same pick up location and asked the guy what would be best. He said they just charge the tolls (plus a minimal fee from the tollway for billing, just a couple bucks per billing period) directly to my rental after drop off. I was a little skeptical, since years of living on the east coast had taught me that I would be slammed with additional fees from the rental company for going through express lanes, but I guess because this pay by mail thing is built into the Texas system, the company doesn't penalize you.
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Old Feb 3, 13, 10:25 pm
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Originally Posted by 0re0 View Post
TxTag also uses a pay by mail system, too, based on your plate registration. I have used this throughout the Austin and Houston areas with no problem with my rental car company, but I use the same pick up location and asked the guy what would be best. He said they just charge the tolls (plus a minimal fee from the tollway for billing, just a couple bucks per billing period) directly to my rental after drop off. I was a little skeptical, since years of living on the east coast had taught me that I would be slammed with additional fees from the rental company for going through express lanes, but I guess because this pay by mail thing is built into the Texas system, the company doesn't penalize you.
Which rental company? I mostly rent with Hertz, and I believe they outsource toll collection nationwide to PlatePass. Platepass charges the maximum toll rate (even if there are discounts for electronic payment) PLUS a $2.95/day of your rental (up to $14.75 per month) service fee if you use their service at all. If, for example, you have a 5 day rental and go through just a single $1 toll during your entire rental, Platepass will send you a bill for $15.75 ($2.95 * 5 + $1).
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Old Feb 4, 13, 1:02 pm
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i got a texas toll tag years ago(about 5). i ordered it to my md license toyota and use it exclusively on rental cars. i did not know it was illegal, and until you cite the appropriate reg, i do not believe it. i got two pieces of velcro to go on the tag, and about a dozen strips to put on windshields. i leave the strips on the windshield for the next guy. i am treated and billed as a texan.
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Old Feb 5, 13, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
i got a texas toll tag years ago(about 5). i ordered it to my md license toyota and use it exclusively on rental cars. i did not know it was illegal, and until you cite the appropriate reg, i do not believe it. i got two pieces of velcro to go on the tag, and about a dozen strips to put on windshields. i leave the strips on the windshield for the next guy. i am treated and billed as a texan.
What you describe is exactly what I was hoping to do. I had an EZ Pass for several years before I owned a car and never had trouble using it in rental cars, although the rules were kind of gray (technically I think I was supposed to register each rental car to my EZPass account before using it, but I gave up on that really quickly).

The TxTag website specifically says you can't use it in a rental vehicle. That doesn't mean it's illegal, though, and the only reason they give is that "moving the sticker will damage the tag." So I think I may do what you describe and just order a tag so I'll have it for my once-every-year-or-two visits to Houston.
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Old Feb 6, 13, 12:38 pm
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my sister lives in dallas. she does not have the tag attached to the windshield. she just throws it on the dash and lets it slide around.
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Old Feb 6, 13, 2:09 pm
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Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
my sister lives in dallas. she does not have the tag attached to the windshield. she just throws it on the dash and lets it slide around.
Exactly the way it should be done. Dealing with the NTTA is like pulling teeth, the less permanent the sticker/tag is the better.
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Old Feb 6, 13, 7:00 pm
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NTTA certainly enforces that Toll Tags match the license plate on file.
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Old Feb 7, 13, 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by aamilesslave View Post
NTTA certainly enforces that Toll Tags match the license plate on file.
Can you explain more about that? How do they enforce it? What is the consequence of enforcement? I'm not trying to avoid paying tolls. I just don't want to pay $15 to Platepass or some similar company for the privilege of them billing me for $1 or $2 in tolls.
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Old Feb 7, 13, 9:55 am
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I'll be in Dallas in late march. My initial plan didn't include rent a car, however I'm going to a wedding and my relatives will be very busy for sure. So I'm evaluating to rent a car; what cheap rent a car company do you recommend at DFW?
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Old Feb 7, 13, 3:09 pm
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Originally Posted by aamilesslave View Post
NTTA certainly enforces that Toll Tags match the license plate on file.
I've had a NTTA tag for 10 years probably and have never experienced their "enforcement" of this issue. If the tag is in the car you get billed, simple as that. The problem is when you have a tag registered to a certain license plate and the tag isn't picked up by the system. You then get a nice zipcash bill in the mail and get to sit on hold for 30 min to an hour to get it resolved.
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Old Feb 8, 13, 6:01 am
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Originally Posted by Villavic View Post
I'll be in Dallas in late march. My initial plan didn't include rent a car, however I'm going to a wedding and my relatives will be very busy for sure. So I'm evaluating to rent a car; what cheap rent a car company do you recommend at DFW?
Start with checking Hotwire. For a 3 day rental starting Mar 22, they have economy cars for $12.95/day, up to a full size for $17.95. If you bid on Priceline, you may be able to go even cheaper.
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Old Feb 12, 13, 8:04 pm
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Try this - get a TollTag for your vehicle. When you rent a car, go online ASAP and change the license number to match your rental car. Just remember to change it back when you turn in the car. Also, don't forget and leave your Tag in the rent car.
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Old Feb 13, 13, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by morgan1929 View Post
Try this - get a TollTag for your vehicle. When you rent a car, go online ASAP and change the license number to match your rental car. Just remember to change it back when you turn in the car. Also, don't forget and leave your Tag in the rent car.
I used to do this with EZ Pass in the Northeast. But occasionally I'd get a car that was already linked to an EZ Pass account. After a while, I stopped doing it altogether and never had any problems.
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