Driving You Crazy: Why Do So Many Colorado Rental Cars Have Foreign License Plates? – Denver 7 Colorado News | Gmx Pharm

Karen from Denver writes, “What drives you crazy? Why do so many rental cars in Colorado have Florida plates? Do they pay any taxes and fees in Colorado? You can tell they are rental cars by the sign on a window near the driver, and the cars are too clean to have driven from Florida to Colorado.”

Most of the time, Karen, when I travel from Colorado, the rental car I drive has an out-of-state license plate. In fact, during a recent trip to Chicago, my rental car had a Louisiana license plate. I was surprised to see multiple Colorado license plates at the same rental park.

The main reason rental car companies have a number of out of state cars in or outside of Colorado is because people rent a vehicle in one city and drop it off somewhere else.

“The simplest explanation for out-of-state license plates is one-way rentals,” said Danielle Stuart, director of corporate communications at Enterprise Holdings. Better known by their Enterprise, National, and Alamo brands.

Stuart tells me business and personal rental customers rent a vehicle for a one-way trip and then fly home. She says one-way rentals have been a very popular option during the peak of the pandemic in recent years, as families used the rental vehicle for a road trip and then opted to fly home. “Once a vehicle has been taken out of the state it is prohibitively expensive to send it back and as such we will continue to rent the vehicles at their current location,” Stuart said.

She tells me that about 40% of Enterprise Holdings’ rental cars available in Colorado have out-of-state plates, and a similar number, about 40%, of vehicles with Colorado plates are rented out-of-state. When I investigated this issue at several downtown Denver rental locations, I saw that about half of the cars in the Hertz, Avis, and Budget lots had Colorado plates.

I have contacted several major rental car companies in Colorado several times about this story. Avis-Budget never answered my emails. Fox Rent-A-Car told me, “We are unable to respond to your questions at this time.” I have also reached out to Hertz, who declined to comment, saying “We have nothing to contribute.”

MORE: Read more Traffic issues driving people crazy

Another relocation technique that rental companies use involves employees or contractors commuting or transporting one or more cars at a time from a cold-weather location to a warm-weather state where the rental companies are short on cars. Sometimes, after delivery, these drivers are transferred to another city to drive another car to another cold spot or simply to fly home.

This is often the case during certain times of the year, such as the winter months, when more people want to vacation and rent a car in Arizona or Florida than in Minnesota or North Dakota.

“Our team will be working to reallocate our fleet to meet seasonal demand as much as possible and will do this by moving vehicles to higher demand markets,” says Stuart. “Additionally, in the event of a natural disaster, Enterprise shifts resources to meet demand for local ground transportation in affected areas.”

Sometimes, when moving from a northern state to a southern state, car rental companies sometimes offer incentives and discounts on one-way rentals to their customers right after Labor Day and well into the fall for this very reason.

Regarding your specific question about whether Colorado car rental companies pay vehicle registration taxes and fees. While it makes sense to you and me that a company that registers vehicles in certain states costs a lot less registration fees, Enterprise Holdings says they will always register the vehicle in the condition of first use or delivery. “We don’t take into account registration costs,” Stuart tells me.

However, online speculation suggests that some rental companies are registering many of their cars in states with low fees like Texas and avoiding registering in states with higher taxes and fees like Colorado.

For example, according to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, the cost of registering a passenger vehicle under £6000 is a flat fee of $50.75. In Colorado, the method of calculating vehicle registration costs focuses on the taxable value of the vehicle. A base model 2021 Toyota Corolla with a taxable value of US$17,850 would have an estimated registration cost of US$367.75. That’s a big difference from Texas, especially when a company allows several hundred vehicles.

If you are concerned about safety, Stuart tells me that if you feel more secure having a rental car with a valid number plate, the local customer service team will work to accommodate that request.

By the way, having traveled from Colorado to Florida and back in an RV for Superbowl 33 Karen, I can guarantee that you’ll still have a clean vehicle when you come to Colorado after such a long trip.

Denver7 traffic host Jayson Luber says he’s been monitoring Denver subway traffic since Ben-Hur drove a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 25.) He’s obsessed with letting viewers know what’s happening on their ride and how best to avoid the problems that arise. follow him on facebook Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or Podbean.

Leave a Comment