Maryland Negotiates Lower Refueling Fees with Rental Car Companies - Southern Maryland Headline News

Maryland Negotiates Lower Refueling Fees with Rental Car Companies

Significant Reduction in Refueling Fees Will Save Customers up to 40%; Charges in Maryland Will Likely Be Among Lowest in Nation

LINTHICUM, Md. (June 18, 2008) - With gas prices soaring and many families preparing for summer vacations, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler on June 12 announced agreements with the major car rental companies that will drastically reduce refueling fees charged to customers renting cars in Maryland. Following an investigation by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), the companies agreed to decrease refueling fees - which can be as high as $8.00 per gallon - by as much as 40%.

"Marylanders are already hurting at the gas pump, and paying $8.00 per gallon is just salt in the wound," said Attorney General Gansler. "Today, we have made it easier to visit and do business in Maryland, and these agreements can be a national model for states that want fair pricing."

Six months ago, Attorney General Gansler met with representatives of the rental car companies to discuss their refueling pricing policies. After those meetings, the OAG launched an investigation into the reasonableness of refueling prices at rental car companies in Maryland, including at the rental car facility at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. The investigation found that some of the rental car companies had increased their refueling charges drastically in recent months, far in excess of gas prices found in the Baltimore/Washington/Philadelphia area.

In response to the investigation, each of the rental car companies agreed to bring their charges within Maryland more closely in line with prevailing prices for full-service fuel, plus a refueling service fee averaging between 135 to 142% of the prevailing price on a per-gallon price, or a flat rate of up to $10 per vehicle. For example, prior to the agreements, a consumer would have paid an $8.00 per gallon refueling fee. After the agreements, the same consumer will now pay a $5.85 per gallon refueling fee, the equivalent of 140% of the prevailing price of full service fuel.

As a result of these agreements, Maryland will have among the lowest, if not the lowest, rental vehicle refueling charges in the nation. In making today's announcement, Attorney General Gansler thanked the companies for their willingness to help consumers deal with the high cost of gasoline. Prior to the negotiation of these agreements, Enterprise Rent A Car and its affiliated companies (Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental) already posted refueling fees consistent with today's agreement.

Source: Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler

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