Starting July 4, travelers at Baltimore/Washington International who are returning rental cars with a partially filled gas tank will get a price break.
Following an investigation by the attorney general’s office in Maryland, rental car companies operating in the state agreed to cut their refueling costs — which can be as much as $8 a gallon — by up to 40%.
Maryland’s investigation began six months ago, and found that “some of the rental car companies had increased their refueling charges drastically in recent months, far in excess of gas prices found in the Baltimore/Washington/Philadelphia area,” the attorney general’s office said, in a statement.
The rental car companies agreed to lower their charges within Maryland to about 135% to 142% of current retail prices, or about $5.85 per gallon as of last week.
“Maryland will have among the lowest, if not the lowest, rental vehicle refueling charges in the nation,” the statement said.
Enterprise and its affiliated companies — Alamo and National — were not part of the negotiation because they had lower refueling fees prior to the investigation. Enterprise spokeswoman Christy Conrad says its companies never charge more than 33% beyond the local market rates.
Shortly before the settlement was announced, Hertz said it will start a new refueling pricing policy nationwide. Customers returning cars with a partially filled tank will be charged local retail prices, plus a one-time refueling fee of $6.99. They can also choose to buy a tank of gas at the outset and receive a 15-cents-per-gallon discount.