RentalCars.com confirmed my rate included all fees, but Budget disagreed


When William Shallcross rents a car from rentalcars.com, the confirmation shows that all taxes and fees are included in the price. But when he picks up the car, he’s charged the taxes and fees again. Our advocates sort through the rental runaround.

Question: I booked a Budget rental car through rentalcars.com. I selected the reservation by comparison shopping on several search engines.

The reservation clearly stated there would be no taxes and fees (I assumed they were in the base price). Budget charged me taxes and fees. Rentalcars.com told me they have no liability and to contact Budget. Budget told me they are entitled to collect the taxes and fees.

Can you get my money back from rentalcars.com or expose these twin very bad business practices: The erroneous quote and the eschewing of liability. — William Shallcross, Altamonte Springs, Fla.

Answer: I’m so sorry to hear about your frustration with rentalcars.com and Budget Rent A Car. It would have irritated me if the same thing happened with one of my rentals.


You had proof of your claim with the written confirmation you received from rentalcars.com, so what happened? Part of the problem might be that you rented from Budget, but through a third-party travel site. Rentalcars.com was the middle man, and it was responsible for confirming the correct amount of your rental. And Budget dropped the ball by not charging you the correct amount at the pickup time.

You reached out to Budget customer service and received a terse response, stating you were charged the correct amount and denying your claim. You may have had better luck by contacting an executive at rentalcars.com’s parent company, Priceline, or at Budget’s parent company, Avis. We list executive contact information for both Priceline and Avis Budget Group on our website.

Related story:   Hey Priceline, I want my taxes back!

Instead, you contacted our advocates, who reached out to representatives at Priceline on your behalf, since it was the one who confirmed the rate (which included taxes and fees) to begin with.

When a rentalcars.com representative did not get in touch with you, our advocate, Dwayne Coward, contacted the company again. Finally, a representative reached out to you, agreeing that the charge at the time of rental was an error.

Rentalcars.com refunded the $74 you had overpaid.


Mark Pokedoff

Four-time Emmy-award-winning television sports production specialist and frequent traveler. Longtime freelance writer and travel blog enthusiast. Proud papa of four amazing kids who have been upgraded to first class more than all their friends combined. Read more of Mark's articles here.

  • AJPeabody

    A third party vendor owned by another company that gets you a deal with a company owned by another company. What could possibly go wrong?

  • jim6555

    My practice has been to find the best deal by searching the sites if several Online Travel Agencies and then going to the travel provider’s site to see if the same deal exists there. It almost always does. If not, I’ve called the provider’s sales number and explained that a better price for their product is available on an OTA site but I would rather book directly through them. They will almost always match that price.

  • pauletteb

    How much time did he spend doing all that research to save a few bucks? Then add all the time he spent trying to get those few bucks back. Not such a bargain after all.

  • DAVE

    I agree with you Jim, but this past week I was researching an inexpensive place to stay for the Florida Keys. (oxymoron alert) I saw a decent rate on Travelocity and contacted the hotel. They would not budge off of their listed rate, so Travelocity got the play. Now I can pray! (The difference was $100 a night)

  • deviaje

    Booking directly with the rent-a-car company is not guarantee of things going much better, at least from my experience. How many articles are on this site about similar problems after booking with the final providers?

    Rental car companies are not precisely the best example of transparency, and it’s quite difficult to find what are the real conditions of the rental. Rentalcars.com, shows the conditions much clearer in my opinion, standardising the way there are displayed you you can easily compare, so there is some point in using a 3rd party company, apart of the price.

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