Your Uber Ride from the Airport May Get More Expensive. Here’s Why.

Hertz and Avis are losing business to ride shares. Airports might make you pay for that.

Uber Lyft
Uber vehicles lined up at a new ride-hail passenger pickup lot at LAX.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Rental car transactions are down as much as 3% at airports like Los Angeles International. And airports gain a lot of revenue from fees on those car rentals, along with giving brands like Hertz and Avis a lot of valuable real estate.

So the solution might make for higher fees on your next ride home.

According to the Wall Street Journal, airports are considering raising pick-up and drop-fees they collect, which “could increase the cost of ride-hailing for travelers.” As well, they’re shunting taxis and ride-hail pickups to faraway pick-up spots that usually require an additional bus ride (at LaGuardia, that can be up to 15 minutes away).

For the rental car companies, this is about evening the playing field — they’re paying higher taxes than a Lyft or Uber. In one cited example, Rich Rausser of Somers, NY, rented a car in Tampa, FL, where taxes pushed the final bill from $95 up to $174. “I rarely use rental cars and I frequently use Uber, especially since the rental car companies are not transparent with their fees,” he told the Journal.

Related: This Is the Worst Airport in America, and It’s Not Even Close Lyft Begins Offering Car Rentals in Two California Cities

However, Lyft and Uber have threatened to stop service at certain airports if fees rise; as well, a move to add $4 pick-up and drop-off fees in Phoenix has met with legal and legislative challenges.

Still, the remote taxi stands and the additional fees may actually be working for rental car companies; some companies anecdotally told the WSJ that “business travelers have started to come back a bit.”

And there might be room for compromise. Avis and Hertz have recently struck deals with Uber and Lyft to allow ride-share drivers to use their older rental cars at a reduced rate, saving some money for the workers and bringing in more revenue for the beleaguered rental car agencies.

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