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Red Spot Car hire

Rivguy
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3 posts
15 reviews
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Red Spot Car hire

Despite their advertising which says something along the lines of “no funny business, just serious car rentals” they still manage to conduct some funny business. We hired a car from Brisbane airport in February 2011. At the check in counter we went through the normal discussion of the insurance options & costs however at no stage were we told of the rort they have going with tollway charges.

They charge A$15 per toll! The actul toll is around $4 however they see fit to charge a mark-up of almost 300%. Luckily I only went through one toll, I am pleased I didnt go through it 5 or 6 times.

Is that not funny business?

I won’t be caught again.

Sydney, Australia
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3,880 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: Red Spot Car hire

here we go again.....

The car is/was registered in the company's name and unpaid tolls are billed to the registered owner, plus a fee charged by the toll company for non-payment at the time the toll road was used. Then the car hire company will charge the hirer for the charges incurred, plus an administration fee.

There are HUGE signs all along all our toll roads asking if you've paid the toll and, if not, advising you have 48 (I think) hours to ring a certain phone number and pay by credit card, after which time penalities are imposed. If you didn't/couldn't see the signs, I wonder if you should be driving at all.

Before you accuse me of working for Red Spot or any other car hire company (the usual comment when someone disagrees with the whinge) - I do not, I'm just a lowly legal secretary who is constantly amazed at the number of posters that drive on our toll roads seemingly without opening their eyes.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
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88,220 posts
14 reviews
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2. Re: Red Spot Car hire

Exactly the same thing would happen with an unpaid toll with any rental company in any country.

South Pole
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15,381 posts
36 reviews
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3. Re: Red Spot Car hire

red spot's top rental category (drive away no more to pay) includes toll payment.

u obviously opted out of this when booking.

so the onus is on you to pay the tolls yourself.

the t&c's confirm this.

Rivguy
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3 posts
15 reviews
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4. Re: Red Spot Car hire

Thanks for your response MarmaladeT. I appreciate your point however this is not about the signs on the road at all. The car had a tag to record the car using the Toll Road so it was not a matter of ringing a number within 48 hours as the Toll had already been recorded.

My point is that Red Spot are being unreasonable in charging such a significant mark up on the toll that they themselves were charged. Yes it is reasonable to charge a markup for admin but surely not this much.

Rivguy
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3 posts
15 reviews
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5. Re: Red Spot Car hire

Thanks Lien, please note that unlike the car insurance excess reduction which was clearly pointed out there was no mention of the cost of the Tolls. So no I did not opt out at all I simply wasnt told of the fee.

Yes of course I could have studiously read the document from start to finish but surely this type of issue should be the same as excess reduction & raised at time of delivery.

London
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61 posts
6 reviews
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6. Re: Red Spot Car hire

Does anybody else have any experience of this problem? We are using Red Spot Car Hire throughout our entire touring holiday in Australia and I do not want to be caught out by these charges. How do you get around the huge admin fees and just pay the tolls yourself?

Sherbrooke, Canada
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42,017 posts
826 reviews
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7. Re: Red Spot Car hire

Some car companies will offer you a package that covers all tolls for a fixed price. The problem is that at that time you have no idea if you will use a toll road and how much that would be if you pay yourself.

Even after you drive around, it is still unclear if you pass on a toll road. Frankly, there may be signs but when you are in a different country you see a tons of signs along the road most which are unfamiliar to you, and your focus is just to make sure that you stay on the left side of the road. Enough stress that you can't see the zillions signs along the road. The ones that you look at are the exit to make sure to get out at the right place and that you are still on the proper road to get you where you want to go.

So, probably better to buy the overpriced package offered at the time of rental.

Sydney, Australia
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3,880 posts
13 reviews
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8. Re: Red Spot Car hire

williamsj, I'm from Sydney and can only comment on Sydney's toll roads but MOST of them are completely cashless (or supposed to be ..... the M5 had signs all over it a few years back saying that it would be cashless from a certain date, but here we are in 2011 and there are still a couple of cash lanes). So, to use the cashless toll lanes, a reader is needed on the windscreen of the car, which we obtained from the Roads and Traffic Authority and credit is loaded onto it via credit card (and then automatically topped up when getting below a certain amount).

I understand from these boards that there are temporary readers available, but can't assist unfortunately with where they are obtained from. I'm sure someone will post the details though.

From memory, Sydney has the M2, the M5, the M7, the Harbour Bridge (one way only) and the Eastern Distributor that are toll roads (as was the M4, but I believe its free now). The charges vary depending upon the road and in some cases the distance travelled - I think, but am not sure, that the M7 is the dearest to travel on.

Melbourne has some toll roads, but can't help with where they are (I did end up on one accidentally a few years back, saw the signs that it was a toll road (the signs are HUGE) and rang the number provided to pay the toll, which was only a few dollars).

As to other States and the two Territories, I've no idea whether they have any toll roads or not.

But, rest assured, in New South Wales, if you're on a toll road you'd be driving with your eyes closed if you missed the signs that it's a toll road (and they're quite regular along the road too). If you don't have a reader and you do find you're on a toll road, ring the number within 48 hours, give the rego number of the car and your credit card details and you should be fine :-) (and not fineD - LOL)

9. Re: Red Spot Car hire

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South Pole
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15,381 posts
36 reviews
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10. Re: Red Spot Car hire

"so we can look into better improving our rental transaction process"

maybe in rental centres that have the possibility of customers using toll roads etc eg. sydney, melbourne and even brisbane, that verbally offering toll payment alternatives becomes as much a priority as selling excess reduction policies.