Iowa AG reaches agreement with rental car company

Bryan Cohen Jul. 15, 2011, 1:40pm


DES MOINES, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced a formal agreement on Thursday with a car rental company to disclose Iowa's state rental car tax in its online quotes.

Advantage Rent a Car, which is operated by the Hertz Corporation's subsidiary Simply Wheelz LLC, allegedly 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 price quotes that were misleading, which could have misled consumers and given the company an unfair competitive advantage over other companies that included all taxes and fees in their online rate quotes, Miller says.

Miller alleged 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. Advantage maintains that the tax omission in its online quotes was unintentional and was due to a programming error.

Under terms of the assurance of voluntary compliance, Advantage Rent a Car agreed to disclose all charges and fees in all future online or telephone rental car quotes. Advantage did not admit to any violation of Iowa law. Any future violation of the agreement could give rise to civil penalties and other remedies as set forth in the law.

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