Rental cars: Making those highway tolls easier to pay

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Renting an "electronic-toll-payment device" such as E-ZPass or I-Pass is now a bit more convenient. The company who rents the things out, the Highway Toll Administration, has been providing the devices through rental car agencies for several years. Now the company has teamed up with Travelocity in a program that David Centner, HTA's president and CEO, says is based on the Netflix model.

Here's how it works: When you book a car rental on Travelocity, you can click a link to "Add a Toll Device" at the end of the process. HTA will mail you a transponder (a bit less of a mouthful than "electronic-toll-payment device"). Use it in your rental car and then return it in the postage-paid envelope that comes with the device.

The service costs $1.99 for each day that you rent the car, plus a $5 shipping charge and, of course, the cost of the tolls. You'll have seven business days to return the device after you return the rental car.

So far, the program is only available in the Northeast and the Midwest, but Centner says that everything is working smoothly since the program officially launched on February 17. He expects to expand it to other parts of the country in the next few weeks.

Has anyone tried this yet? How did it work out?

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