Hertz Rental Cars is raising the bar for all rental agencies with the expansion of their new PlatePass system, following the successful launch in Houston and the New York metro area. PlatePass is an electronic toll payment system that allows renters to bypass back-ups at cash toll lanes, and go for the less crowded EZ Pass lanes. Hertz is expanding the program to include Boston, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The program provides renters a cost-effective way to save time and reduce stress on the road by enabling customers to utilize EZ Pass lanes through rentals of E-Z Pass toll tags. That’s way better than my old system of getting lots of toll violations when I traveled.
How does it work? The PlatePass system requires the rental of a small electronic device at the Hertz rental counter. The device enables high speed electronic toll collection wherever EZ Pass is accepted on major toll roads throughout the Northeast corridor, from Virginia to Maine, including the Chesapeake Expressway in Virginia, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike; the New York State Thruway, all toll bridges and tunnels into Manhattan, the Massachusetts Turnpike, the Maine Turnpike and the Illinois Tollway.
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Customers using PlatePass are charged $2.50 per day, up to a maximum of $10 per week. Customers are only charged the daily service fee for days that an EZ Pass toll road is actually used. If you have the car but don’t use the PlatePass, you will not be charged the fee for that day. After you return you rental, your credit card will be charged the accrued usage fees plus the actual amount of the tolls incurred during the rental period. You’ll then receive an itemized listing of all tolls and charges by mail. That’s WAY easier for expense reports than trying to keep up the number of quarters and dimes you spent on tolls for a week.
I really can’t tell you how big of a fan I am of this program. I have had countless toll violations in the past for running out of cash in my rental. More and more people today rely on debit cards and credit cards (I’m one of those). On extended business trips, it’s a HUGE inconvenience to make sure you have cash on hand or even worse – correct change.