Last Updated on July 7, 2022 by Nico

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Confused about the cheapest way to pay tolls when renting a car? The trick to saving money is to avoid car rental toll charges. Rental companies charge through the nose for electronic toll billing programs such as E-ZPass or FasTrak, which is why it made our list of ways car rental companies rip you off. Moreover, you have to worry about more than just the tolls themselves, as surcharges from the rental company can add up fast.

Consider the sad tale of the retired teacher from Michigan who took a family trip to Texas and got a rude surprise when he returned his rental car. “His toll bill from tolls: $9.96. His bill from Advantage Rent a Car: $102.37. The difference: $92.41, or the $12.99 daily pass fee for six days plus taxes and fees,” according to the Chicago Times.

Rental Car Charges for Toll Transponders

Hertz charges a $5.95 fee (plus the toll) for every day you use a toll road.Avis and Budget charge a $5.95 daily fee for every day you use a toll up to a $29.75 maximum per rental—plus the tolls, of course.Alamo, National, and Enterprise charge a $3.95 daily fee for every day you use a toll up to a $19.75 maximum per rental—plus the tolls, of course.Payless works similarly to sister companies Avis and Budget, but it’s a little cheaper at $2.95 per day, up to a $14.75 maximum fee.

Ask AutoSlash for a Quote on a Cheap Car Rental

Dollar and Thrifty offer an all-inclusive option for $10.49 per rental day (or $52.49 per week) that includes all tolls. Decline it, though, and any toll you fail to pay in cash will cost you a $15 administrative fee per toll—ouch!Fox offers a similar product as Dollar and Thrifty in some areas, but the price varies—$8.99 per day in Florida and $11.49 per day in Northern California.

4 Ways to Cheaper Rental Car Tolls

Close the transponder in the car.

If your rental car comes with an E-ZPass transponder and you don’t want to use it, try to close it. They are usually mounted in a lead-lined box that opens and closes. Closing the box hides it so the toll plaza can’t see it. Use a lane that accepts cash, and you can then pay cash for your toll.   If you’d rather be extra safe, you can get a Faraday bag which blocks devices from wireless signals. Here’s one we like.

Use cash toll lanes.

Be aware that this doesn’t work everywhere, as some toll roads are electronic-only, and driving through the reader wil