Look out for cancellation penalties. Beware of energy surcharges. And watch for facilities fees.

No, not on your airline ticket. Not on your hotel folio. You may find these new extras on your next car rental bill.

Beleaguered auto rental firms are quietly adding new surcharges designed to lift revenues in a recessionary economy.

To get an idea of how absurd it’s becoming, meet Jim Swofford. He found a mysterious $5 fee on his Hertz bill recently, which a representative described as a cancellation fee. Car rental companies typically don’t charge their customers for cancellations, so Swofford, who frequently rents from Hertz, said he didn’t want another car he’d reserved for later.

“That’ll be $25,” the agent told him.

“So I jokingly said I would not cancel but just be a no-show,” he remembers. “She said that would result in a $50 fee.”

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  • Elliott

    Christopher Elliott has been called one of the world’s leading travel experts. But his focus isn’t on the destination, or ev…

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