NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

City Fees Can Add 71 Percent to Rental Car Cost

August 6, 2003

Taxes to pay for such amenities as sports stadiums and airport fees are adding as much as 71 percent to the cost of car rentals at some airports in the United States, according to a study by the travel Web site

Airports and municipalities have long looked at taxes on car rentals and hotels to fund special projects ranging from sports stadiums to convention centers. These fees have been rising in recent years.

Among the findings:

  • Of the 10 airports with the highest taxes and fees tacked on to rental cars, six are in Texas -- including Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport, where fees made up 71.7 percent of the cost of a car rental.
  • Car renters at airports in Dallas and Austin pay more than 50 percent extra in added fees.
  • The national average of the 100 top U.S. airports is 24 percent.

So called airport-concession fees charged by airports to rental car companies wanting to do business at the airport can surpass $20 per day. In some cases, travelers can avoid some of the taxes by renting cars away from the airport. In other instances, rental car taxes and hotel taxes are county-wide, leaving travelers with little choice but to pay them.

Source: Kortney Stringer, "Airport Charges Burden Car Renters," Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2003.

For text (WSJ subscription required),,SB105942761563078600-search,00.html


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