How an ostensible $16/day car rental comes to cost twice that


Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

5 thoughts on “How an ostensible $16/day car rental comes to cost twice that”

  1. Localities love to tax car rentals and hotel rooms exorbitantly because these are usually purchased by non-residents.

    1. Yes.

      And then some, like NYC, want to crack down on short-term apartment rentals, which tend to be the only affordable way to visit the city.

      1. We just had a small-scale civic uprising against short-term rentals here in the Coachella Valley, CA. It was to the point where people were putting up yard-signs over a city-council vote. I was disappointed because we've been doing AirBNB in our home for the past few years and it's been great. We've met people from all over the world sitting around our kitchen table. The NY Times had a piece on it a while back and to read the comments was to believe neighborhoods were being invaded by the Mongol hordes.

        1. A few (very few) neighborhoods are indeed being invaded by out of control frat parties due to short-term rentals. There must be a way to handle this that is short of banning them.

  2. Whatever the traffic will bear. I like the way they say "We will charge whatever we damn please, some of which may go to other folks, and the balance of which will go to us because we can."

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