The List of Ace Car Rental Hidden fees and How to Avoid

ace car rental hidden fees

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You know that feeling when you think you’ve found the perfect car rental, only to get a surprise at the last minute with extra charges? It’s happened to me, and probably to you too.

Let’s uncover these hidden fees and learn how to drive around them

The List of Ace Car Rental Hidden Fees and How to Avoid

1. Airport Concession Recovery Fee

Estimation Cost: The ACRF is often a percentage of the total rental cost, which can range from 8% to 12% depending on the airport location and the car rental company. For Ace Car Rental, it was reported as 11.11%.

A snapshot of the amount of concession recovery fee in a certain bill

In fact, A class action lawsuit was lodged against Ace American Insurance Co. regarding an alleged hidden fee referred to as the Airport Concession Recovery Fee (ACRF) was reported in 2016.

This fee, calculated at 11.11% of the optional insurance coverage cost, was added to the total transaction amount when customers opted to purchase insurance coverage during their car rental period at Florida airports.

The lawsuit was initiated by a plaintiff who rented a car through Avis Rent A Car at Jacksonville International Airport, opting for a three-day rental with additional insurance coverage provided by Ace.

Now, the ACRF is a common fee in the car rental industry, usually imposed to help vendors recover the concession fees charged by airport management.

However, the lawsuit challenged the legality and disclosure of adding this fee to the advertised rates and rates specified in the insurance policy, thereby alleging a violation of Florida law and unfair overcharging of customers​.

Note that the Airport Concession Recovery fee is still applicable to every rental that prompts it.

How to Avoid:

  • Rent from a location away from the airport. Off-airport locations may not have this fee.
  • Compare the total cost (including all fees) of renting at the airport versus renting at an off-airport location, and choose the more cost-effective option.

Insurance Upcharges

Estimation Cost: The cost can vary significantly, but insurance upcharges can double the initial rental cost.

Some customers have reported encountering insurance upcharges during their experience with Ace Car Rental.

Despite having personal auto insurance, these customers were allegedly required to purchase Ace’s “optional” insurance, leading to a substantial increase in the pre-quoted price.

One particular review highlighted a scenario where the customer felt compelled to purchase the additional insurance coverage offered by Ace, which almost doubled the initially quoted price for the car rental.

How to Avoid:

  • Check with your personal auto insurance provider before your trip to see if rental cars are covered under your policy.
  • Consider using a credit card with rental car insurance benefits to pay for the rental.
  • Politely decline additional insurance coverages offered at the rental counter if you already have adequate coverage.

Energy Recovery Fee

Estimated Cost: The Energy Recovery Fee is typically a small fixed amount per day, often around $1.00 to $5.00.

Snapshot of the energy recovery fee (ERF) from a particular bill

The Energy Recovery Fee is a charge that some car rental companies impose to offset the costs associated with energy prices and vehicle emissions compliance.

While this fee is not unique to Ace Car Rental, it’s a common practice within the car rental industry.

The fee is intended to cover the costs incurred by the rental company for various energy-related expenses, including the disposal of oil, tires, batteries, and other car maintenance products in an environmentally responsible manner.

However, it’s often seen as a hidden fee because it’s not clearly disclosed at the outset of the rental transaction. Customers often find out about this fee only when they receive the final billing statement

How to Avoid:

  • Verify with Ace Car Rental if they have this fee and inquire about the specific costs associated with it before booking.
  • Consider looking for other car rental companies that don’t charge this fee or have lower energy recovery fees.

Toll Management Fee

Estimated Cost: The cost of toll management services can vary widely, but expect to pay a daily fee in addition to the actual toll charges. The daily fee could range from $3 to $5.

Many car rental companies offer a service where they manage toll payments for the renter during the rental period.

The Toll Management Fee is a charge for this convenience service, covering the administration of toll payments on behalf of the renter.

This fee can be a fixed amount or a daily charge, in addition to the actual cost of the tolls incurred.

While this service provides convenience to the renter, as they don’t have to worry about paying tolls during their trip, it can add a significant amount to the rental cost if not properly disclosed upfront.

This fee exemplifies the trade-off between convenience and cost, where the renter might find themselves paying extra for services they might not have initially wanted or needed.

How to Avoid:

  • If possible, plan your route to avoid toll roads.
  • Inquire about the toll management fee at Ace Car Rental and compare it with the cost of paying tolls individually.
  • Consider using your own toll payment device or setting up a temporary toll payment account for the duration of your rental.

    Mileage Fees

    Estimated Cost: The cost of mileage fees can vary, but typically, you might expect to pay between $0.10 to $0.25 per extra mile/kilometer.

    Mileage fees, also known as kilometer charges, are additional charges imposed when a renter exceeds a specified mileage limit during the rental period.

    Car rental companies often have a set mileage allowance, and any distance driven beyond this allowance incurs extra charges.

    The fee is usually priced per extra mile or kilometer driven. Mileage fees can significantly increase the cost of the rental, especially for long-distance travelers. It’s a way for rental companies to manage wear and tear on their vehicles and to earn extra revenue.

    How to Avoid:

    • Ensure you’re aware of the mileage limit and the per-mile/kilometer charge for exceeding the limit at Ace Car Rental.
    • Consider renting a car with unlimited mileage if you plan to drive a significant distance.
    • Keep track of your mileage during your rental period to avoid surprises.

    Equipment Rental Fees

    Estimated Cost: The cost can vary widely depending on the type of equipment. For example, GPS rental could range from $10 to $15 per day, while child safety seats could range from $10 to $13 per day.

      Car rental companies often offer additional equipment for rent to enhance the driving experience or comply with legal requirements.

      In the case of Ace Car Rental, similar to many other car rental companies, customers might encounter Equipment Rental Fees for items such as GPS devices, child safety seats, ski racks, or snow chains.

      While these extras can provide convenience, the costs can add up quickly. It’s essential for customers to be aware of the costs associated with renting equipment from Ace Car Rental. The exact fee might vary depending on the type of equipment rented and the rental duration.

      How to Avoid:

      • Bring your own equipment whenever possible, such as GPS devices or child safety seats.
      • Compare the cost of renting equipment from Ace Car Rental with purchasing or renting from another provider.

      Vehicle Licensing Fee

      Estimation Cost: This fee is often a small percentage of the total rental cost or a flat fee, possibly ranging from $1 to $5 per day.

      The Vehicle Licensing Fee is a charge that some car rental companies impose to cover the cost of licensing and registering the rental vehicles.

      This fee is often passed on to the customers as a separate charge. Ace Car Rental, like other car rental firms, might have a Vehicle Licensing Fee, which could either be a flat fee or a percentage of the rental cost.

      It’s an administrative fee that helps car rental companies cover the costs associated with adhering to local vehicle registration laws.

      However, this fee is often not well-advertised and could come as a surprise to renters when they see their final bill.

      How to Avoid:

      • Inquire about any vehicle licensing fees before booking and compare with other rental companies to find the best rate.
      • Sometimes, this fee is non-negotiable, but being informed beforehand can help you budget accordingly.

      Fuel Charges

      Estimation Cost: The cost will depend on the local price of fuel and the level the tank was at when you picked up the vehicle. However, the per-gallon rate charged by rental companies can be significantly higher than local gas station prices, possibly by $2 to $3 more per gallon.

      Fuel Charges come into play if a renter returns the vehicle without refilling the tank to the level it was at the time of rental. Ace Car Rental, like most car rental companies, likely has a policy regarding fuel charges.

      The standard practice is to refill the tank before returning the vehicle to avoid incurring fuel charges.

      However, if renters choose not to refill the tank, the car rental company will do so and charge the renter usually at a higher per-gallon rate than local gas prices.

      It’s a convenience service offered by car rental companies, but it comes at a premium cost.

      Understanding the fuel policy of Ace Car Rental before renting a vehicle can help avoid unexpected fuel charges.

      How to Avoid:

      • Refill the fuel tank to its original level before returning the vehicle to Ace Car Rental.
      • If possible, choose a rental agreement that includes a full tank of gas, and return it with a full tank to avoid any refueling charges.

      Additional Driver Fee

      Estimation Cost: The cost for an additional driver can vary, but generally, you might expect to pay between $10 to $15 per day per additional driver.

      Car rental companies often charge an Additional Driver Fee for every driver added to the rental agreement besides the primary renter.

      This fee helps cover the insurance costs and administrative overhead associated with having multiple authorized drivers.

      In the case of Ace Car Rental, as with many other rental firms, customers might encounter this fee when they wish to share the driving responsibility with others.

      The fee is typically charged on a per-day basis, adding to the total cost of the rental.

      How to Avoid:

      • If possible, have only one designated driver for the rental period to avoid this fee.
      • Before booking, inquire with Ace Car Rental about the cost of adding an additional driver and compare it with other car rental companies to find the best deal.

      Young Driver Surcharge

      Estimation Cost: Young Driver Surcharges can vary significantly, but generally, you might expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $35 per day if you are under the age of 25.

      Young Driver Surcharge is a common fee imposed by car rental companies on renters under a certain age, typically 25.

      This fee is charged because younger drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents, leading to higher insurance costs for the rental company.

      Ace Car Rental, similar to other rental firms, may have a Young Driver Surcharge in place.

      This surcharge is usually a daily fee added to the rental cost, making car rental significantly more expensive for younger individuals.

      The rationale behind this fee is to cover the higher risk associated with renting to younger drivers.

      How to Avoid:

      • If you have a mix of young and older drivers in your group, consider having the older individuals as the designated drivers to avoid the young driver surcharge.
      • Shop around and compare the young driver surcharge among different car rental companies to find a more favorable rate.
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