Travel Trends

Travelocity's Third National Rental Car Study Reveals Continued Hike in Taxes at Airport Locations

- 2006/2007 Study Rates U.S. Airports in Terms of Sticker Shock and Compares Taxes When Renting at On-Airport vs. Neighborhood Locations

Continuing a series of studies issued in July, 2003 and March, 2005 that revealed large differences between car rental companies' base rates and the total price including taxes that consumers paid, Travelocity's research on car rental taxes for 2006/2007 reveals that rental car sticker shock has risen again.
The new study from Travelocity(R) shows that the average taxes added to base rates for car rentals at major U.S. airports has increased from 25.8 percent in March, 2005 to 28.04 percent in December, 2006. These taxes, such as "facility charges," are imposed by local and state governments rather than the rental car companies.

"With car rental excise taxes on the rise in cities, counties and states across the country, it's important that government officials, businesses and elected officials understand the negative impact these taxes can have on local economies," said National Business Travel Assn. Executive Director & COO, Bill Connors, CTC. "NBTA research shows that the majority of companies rent more cars in their local markets than in all other locations combined. In other words, in locations with the highest car rental tax rates, local businesses are taking a big hit on the bottom line."

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Travelocity's 2006/2007 research findings showed such taxes to be substantially lower at neighborhood car rental locations than airport locations, averaging only 14.9 percent of the final rental price.

"Car rentals are still a very affordable option for travelers, but consumers are paying a substantial amount in local taxes and fees," said Alex Goldman, director car and rail for Travelocity. "We want to reiterate to our customers that it's important to research the price of the rental inclusive of all taxes to prevent surprises that could impact a tight travel budget. Customers have access to the final price on Travelocity with our TotalPrice(SM) display and can easily see the differences between airport and neighborhood car rental rates and taxes."

Among the study's key findings:

Kansas City Shows Most Sticker Shock; San Diego, Orange County and Palm Springs Tie for the Least: Kansas City tops the list this year with a 63 percent average difference in the price between the base rates and the total price including taxes that consumers paid at the airport. Three cities in California tied for the least sticker shock - San Diego, Orange County and Palm Springs all came in at 7.8 percent average. Seven of the top 10 cities with the least amount of sticker shock were in California.

10 Airports in 2006 with HIGHEST Percentage Difference in Price Between Daily Base Rate and Total Amount Due at Airport Locations (averages include the top 100 U.S. airports):

Airport               Average Percentage Jump in Price
1. Kansas City 63.0%
2. Seattle 54.4%
3. Anchorage 54.4%
4. Atlanta 53.5%
5. Dallas/Fort Worth 52.1%
6. Phoenix 47.9%
7. Austin Bergstrom 46.2%
8. Albuquerque 44.6%
9. Las Vegas 44.2%
10. Houston - Bush 43.6%


10 Airports in 2006 with LOWEST Percentage Difference in Price Between Daily Base Rate and the Total Amount Due at Airport Locations (includes top 100 U.S. airports):

Airport                       Average Percentage Jump in Price
1. San Diego 7.8%
2. Orange County 7.8%
3. Palm Springs 7.8%
4. Sacramento 7.9%
5. Los Angeles (LAX) 8.2%
6. Long Beach 8.3%
7. Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena 8.3%
8. Honolulu 15.1%
9. San Jose 17.0%
10. Burlington, VT 17.4%


Neighborhood Rental Locations Offer Less Sticker Shock: In addition to the convenience of accessing a rental car close to home or work, taxes at neighborhood locations are usually lower than or equal to airport locations nationwide.

10 Cities with HIGHEST Jump in Price Between Daily Base Rate and Total Amount Due at Neighborhood Location (cities were from top 100 US airports):

City             Average Percentage Jump in Price
1. Jackson, MS 34.7%
2. Columbia, SC 27.5%
3. Kansas City 24.7%
4. Palm Springs 24.6%
5. Reno/Tahoe 24.2%
6. Las Vegas 24.0%
7. San Antonio 23.1%
8. Houston 22.9%
9. Memphis 22.7%
10. Minneapolis 21.6%


10 Cities with LOWEST Percentage Difference in Price Between Daily Base Rate and Total Amount Due at Neighborhood Locations (from top 100 US Airports):

City               Average Percentage Jump in Price
1. Burlington, VT 7.0%
2. Cincinnati 7.0%
3. Dayton 7.6%
4. Sacramento 7.7%
5. Orange County 7.8%
6. San Diego 7.9%
7. Fresno 8.0%
8. Los Angeles 8.3%
9. Long Beach 8.3%
10. San Jose 8.3%




Greatest Difference in Taxes at Airports vs. Neighborhood Locations: The 2006/2007 study discovered that taxes, on the whole, are lower at neighborhood locations. In Atlanta, for instance, consumers can save an average of 39.2 percent on taxes by renting at a neighborhood car rental location.

10 Cities with HIGHEST Percentage Difference in Daily Base Rate and Total Price at Airport vs. Neighborhood Locations (averages include the top 100 U.S. airports):

Airport                    Average Percentage Difference
1. Atlanta 39.2% (53.5% on-airport vs. 14.4% neighborhood)
2. Kansas City 38.3% (63.0% vs. 24.7%)
3. Seattle 35.3% (54.4% vs. 19.1%)
4. Anchorage 33.2% (54.4% vs. 21.2%)
5. Dallas/Fort Worth 32.1% (52.1% vs. 20.0%)
6. Cincinnati 29.1% (36.1% vs. 7.0%)
7. Austin Bergstrom 27.7% (46.2% vs. 18.5%)
8. Albuquerque 25.2% (44.6% vs. 19.4%)
9. Harrisburg, PA 24.9% (37.7% vs. 12.8%)
10. Tulsa, OK 22.6% (37.1% vs. 14.5%)




Travelocity expanded its neighborhood rental options on its site in 2004, providing car rental shoppers with more than 20,000 airport and neighborhood locations across the world.

A complete analysis of Travelocity's findings at each of the 100 airports researched can be found at www.travelocity.com/rentalcarstudy.

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