Hitting 'Em Where It Hertz

Is rental-car coverage a rip-off?

After his plane touched down at Denver's Stapleton airport last month, Skier Jeff Blumenfeld hurried to the Avis desk and signed up for a rental car at the daily fee of $44. It seemed like an attractive price; for his four-day trip, the New York City executive figured he would pay around $180. But Blumenfeld's final bill came to a more daunting $253.30. Says he: "You go to a rental-car agency, and you don't know what it's going to cost you. They nickel and dime you to death."

Many travelers would agree. Increasingly high fees for coverage against damage, theft and...

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