Q: My husband and I will be renting a car for 10 days this fall with a pick-up and drop off at Ft. Lauderdale. I am currently holding an online reservation with Thrifty, however I have been told that there is an additional $9.95 per day charge for an extra driver. Since my husband and I are covered under the same insurance policy on our two vehicles and we drive one another's vehicles do we need to pay the extra driver charge for my husband to also be able to drive the rental vehicle?
A: It appears that Thrifty and also Dollar Rent a Car now charge extra driver fees even for married people, at least in some Florida locations. Whether you'll pay the fee really depends on what state you're renting in, according to Thrifty. Why have they changed their policy in Florida? Perhaps it's too difficult to determine, absent a marriage license, if two people really are married. But more likely, it's a way of making extra money, while still advertising an initial low rate. I notice that Hertz was offering a Family Pack Offer that waived the extra driver fee on certain rentals, and I wouldn't be surprised if other rental car companies, at least from time to time, don't waive the fee or include it in a package. That Hertz package includes a free tank of gas on a minimum 5-day rental of a full size four door and certain other more expensive rental classes, for rentals through October 31 at participating locations. You can find details in their special offers section at www.hertz.com.