John O'Brien Jun. 12, 2008, 12:31pm
LINTHICUM, Md. (Legal Newsline) - Those renting cars in Maryland will no longer have to pay $8 per gallon of gasoline, thanks to an agreement announced Thursday by state Attorney General Doug Gansler.
Gansler says the major car rental companies will reduce refueling fees following a six-month investigation that found some of them were charging as much as $8 per gallon.
"Marylanders are already hurting at the gas pump, and paying $8 per gallon is just salt in the wound," Gansler said. "Today, we have made it easier to visit and do business in Maryland, and these agreements can be a national model for states that want fair pricing."
According to automotive group AAA, Maryland's average price for a gallon of regular gas was $4.025 Thursday. It is most expensive in the area around Washington, D.C.
Gansler's investigation began after a meeting with representatives of the rental car industry. It found that some of the companies had drastically increased their refueling charges.
The industry agreed to charge customers a price more consistent with prices for gasoline, a service fee averaging 135-142 percent of the cost of the gas.
An $8-per-gallon fillup would be reduced to $5.85 per gallon after the agreement.
Gansler said Enterprise Rent-A-Car and its affiliated companies, Alamo and National Car Rental, had already changed their fees before Thursday's agreement.
Gansler's Connecticut colleague, Richard Blumenthal, is also taking an active approach to nation's gas crunch. He is proposing legislation that would allow discounts for those customers who pay for gas with cash.
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