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July 14, 2011

Car Rental Company to Disclose Tax in Online Quotes

(DES MOINES, Iowa)  Advantage Rent a Car, a subsidiary of the Hertz Corporation, will disclose Iowa’s state rental car tax in its online rental car rate quotes, under a formal agreement reached with Attorney General Tom Miller.

Advantage, which is operated by Hertz subsidiary Simply Wheelz, LLC, failed to disclose the five percent tax when customers sought online price quotes for renting vehicles at the Des Moines International Airport.  The omission resulted in misleading price quotes, which could have misled consumers and given the company an unfair competitive advantage over other companies that included all fees and taxes in online rate quotes.

An investigation by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division disclosed that, while Advantage Rent a Car failed to disclose the tax in its online quotes, the company disclosed and collected the tax at the time of rental.  The company maintains the tax omission in its online quotes was unintentional and due to a programming error.  In the formal agreement, called an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, Advantage Rent a Car agrees to disclose all fees and charges in all future online or telephone rental car quotes.

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