It’s not as straightforward as it may seem to determine what constitutes a fair rental car price versus a complete rip-off. The price varies depending on the kind of company, the location, and the time of day.

Surprisingly, receiving four different estimates for the cost of renting a car for four days is not uncommon. One of the things that kill automobile renters’ wallets is not doing the research to find out what the local fees and taxes on vehicle rentals are.

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

Municipal and state taxes, in fact, make up a substantial percentage of the total car rental cost. At the 100 busiest U.S. airports, the airport itself, as well as necessary rent, was often a problem. The average cost of such add-ons was almost 26% of the total cost, vs 14% for off-airport locations.

In certain cases, the cost gap between on-airport and off-airport travel is nearly unbelievable. In Dallas, for example, taxes accounted for 61.4 percent of the overall cost of renting a car at the airport, but just 17 percent in nearby neighborhood locations. Like most taxes, they are just going to become worse.

The most expensive cities in the United States to rent a vehicle are Boston, New York, and Houston (the taxes are so exorbitant that most people wouldn’t even contemplate renting a car here). All three sites’ rates may easily double or treble what was stated. The cost of renting a car for two days at $50 per day from Houston’s Intercontinental Airport should be about $100.

Expensive Rental

You’ll owe a minimum of $171 once taxes and fees are taken into account. Apart from the big three, Austin, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, and New Orleans have some of the highest airport rental rates. Regardless of where you are, it is often a smart idea to rent from a location other than the airport. They are always going to be less costly.

Taxes and fees (which are usually much higher in cities that need money to construct convention centers or stadiums) may add up to 70% to your total cost. Keep a watch on these cities, as well as the taxes they levy. While it may be inevitable, thoroughly examine your options.

Don’t rent at the airport

Is it really worth it to hire a car rather than use public transportation? Look for a rental facility that is not near to the airport at the very least. It may be annoying, but at the absolute least you save money, which in high-tax regions may be a lot more than a few cents; it could be a substantial sum.