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Hertz charges more than $9 a gallon for gas

Hertz is applying an extra charge at LAX

Hertz is applying an extra charge at LAX when customers don't return their rentals with the same amount of gas they started with. (May 4, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Even with the surging price of gasoline, $9.29 a gallon seems extreme. But that is how much Hertz Car Rental is charging customers at Los Angeles International Airport and other airports who don't pay ahead of time and forget to refill the tank when they return their cars.

As of last week, a gallon of regular gasoline in the Los Angeles metropolitan area was selling for an average of about $4.30, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. Hertz isn't the only rental agency asking customers for more than double the average pump price. Dollar and Thrifty were charging $8.99 a gallon at some airports, according to a survey by USA Today.

Hertz spokeswoman Paula Rivera said the price reflects the cost of gasoline and related operational charges for what the company calls a "convenience" to customers.

"We expect customers will return the car with the same amount of gas when rented," she said. -- McClatchy-Tribune

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