The E-ZPass is used in several areas in America to collect toll payments on tunnels, highways, and bridges electronically. However, it is always unpleasant to find yourself stuck with an E-ZPass violation in a rental car.
Many people get stuck in this scenario. Moreover, since the violation requires you to pay a good price, nobody would want to encounter it. The violation goes to the rental car company, and you get billed for the penalty fee and the toll.
In this post, we’ll help you learn more about E-ZPass violations and how to avoid this toll violation.
What Is an E-ZPass Violation?
There are lanes particularly marked for E-ZPass in a toll collection area. These lanes are for those with an E-ZPass transponder. Lanes apart from these accept the E-ZPass or both cash and the E-Zpass or only cash.
If you go through a lane reserved for E-ZPass and don’t have the E-ZPass transponder, you will get an E-ZPass toll violation notice.
The Common E-ZPass Violations in Rental Cars?
An E-ZPass violation in a rental car can happen in various scenarios. Here are some of the most frequently occurring violations of this type.
- Lack of funds – It happens if you have forgotten to load your account funds and are traveling through an E-ZPass-only lane. Insufficient funds can also be because of an invalid credit card on file.
- Toll violation – Toll violation or evasion happens when you pass through a lane without paying and having a valid E-ZPass tag in your car. Today, with the disappearing toll plazas, it has become easier to drive mistakenly on a toll roll.
- The E-ZPass tag of the car doesn’t match the one you are driving – This class mismatch is rare but occurs if you use your transponder in various vehicles. So, ensure that both vehicles have the same class.
- The transponder is not correctly mounted – This is called the transponder error when it is not correctly mounted in your car. It can also occur if an object obstructs the transponder signal.
- Going at speed above the posted limit – If you are speeding at an E-ZPass lane, you can receive a violation. So, it is crucial to be aware of the posted speed limits. Ideally, you should drive at a speed of between 5 mph and 20 mph.
- The license plate is incorrect – The license plate number is registered on every person’s E-ZPass account. You must let the E-ZPass know whenever you use the transponder with a different car. It may not accept the tag if the license plate on the car doesn’t align with that on your account.
- Vehicles with windshields – Another reason for incurring an E-ZPass violation in a rental car is the vehicle type. If it has windshields, toll plaza scanners cannot read the E-ZPass transponder. So, for these rented vehicles, it is essential to have an external transponder. Mount the external transponder to the front bumper of your rented vehicle.
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Ways to Avoid E-ZPass Toll Violations
Undoubtedly, no one wants to bear the brunt of this toll violation. But the good part is that you can avoid fees by considering a few points. These include the following.
Always have your own transponder.
Do you have an E-ZPass transponder on your vehicle at home? It would be wise to bring it along, as it’ll save you a lot of money and trouble.
If the transponder cannot be read accurately, the electronic toll system will use the vehicle’s license plate. If you utilize your own transponder, sign in to your E-ZPass account on the web and add your rental car license plate to it.
Get rid of it after you’ve made the trip. If you bring your transponder, ensure that the one in the rental car is turned off.
Click a photo of it if the rental car company charges you.
Buy a transponder for the road.
It doesn’t matter if you are a frequent or occasional traveler. You can save a lot of cash and avoid paying fees by keeping a new transponder or toll pass.
You can employ it in any state you will be traveling or going through. In most cases, the fee you’ll pay for this pass will be transferred to your account in the form of credit for tolls.
Out-of-state drivers can buy a new transponder or toll pass from any participating E-ZPass program in the state. You can pick a state like Massachusetts for this because it doesn’t add any additional fees.
Here, always remember to add your rental car license plate and travel dates to your account.
Consider using cash toll lanes.
Today electronic-only toll plazas are everywhere. However, cash toll lanes have not fully disappeared. Use them if you don’t want to experience an E-ZPass violation in a rental car.
Plan the route before beginning the journey. You can also find cash toll lanes online.
Find a toll-less route.
You may not know that there are some places without tolls. If you use those places, you can avoid getting caught paying any kind of toll.
It might make your trip time lengthier, but it is good for the long term. You will save money, avoid traffic, and experience a new route in this way.
Review your rental company’s toll guidelines.
It is essential to understand the toll policy of your chosen rental car company. Many of them charge a high daily fee if you decide to rent their transponder.
But there are many others who give affordable rates if you cannot totally do away with electronic toll plazas.
Go for a daily toll fee and save yourself from having to pay an exorbitant fine.
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Now you know how to protect yourself from an E-ZPass violation in a rental car. You cannot dispute it because it will only lead to more hassle. Use these tips to avoid toll violations and enjoy your trip.