Bill S452-2013

Prohibits rental vehicle companies from charging exorbitant rates for unfueled vehicles returned by customers

Prohibits rental vehicle companies from charging exorbitant rates for unfueled vehicles returned by customers; provides that any refueling charge imposed as part of a rental agreement shall be no higher than a rate which exceeds the highest retail rate of gasoline within a one-half mile radius of such rental vehicle company; imposes a fine of five hundred dollars per violation.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S452

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend the general business law, in relation to rates charged for rental vehicle refueling

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL:

To prohibit rental car companies from charging consumers exorbitant refueling rates for gasoline for rental motor vehicles returned without a full tank of gas as documented at the time of rental.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Prohibits any rental vehicle company from charging an authorized driver a refueling rate which exceeds the highest retail price of gasoline charged at gasoline stations or convenience stores within a one-half mile radius of such rental vehicle company.

Clarifies that such charge be based on the difference of a documented reading of the motor vehicle's fuel gauge, obtained at the time the vehicle was delivered or picked up by the authorized driver, and the subsequent fuel gauge reading taken when the vehicle is returned to the rental car company.

This legislation makes violations subject to a $500 fine per violation.

JUSTIFICATION:

Many car rental companies charge a driver a refueling fee when a vehicle is returned without a full tank of gas. Studies by the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) reveals that these prices often range anywhere from $2.00 to $5.00 per gallon in certain areas. These amounts have certainly increased with the past years gas price increases.

This legislation will end this type of "price gouging" by placing a limit on the amount a car rental company may charge a consumer for refueling gasoline, and imposes a $500 fine for any violations.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011-12: S.7188/A.2489 (Jeffries) 2009-10: A.379 (Jeffries) 2007-08: S.4187 (Savino)/A.10095 (Jeffries) 2003-04: S.4644 (Lachman) 2001-01: S.455 (Gentile) 1999-00: S.1867 (Gentile) 1997-98: S.4794 (Gentile)

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day, with provisions.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 452 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. AVELLA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to rates charged for rental vehicle refueling THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 396-z of the general business law is amended by adding a new subdivision 16 to read as follows: 16. (A) NO RENTAL VEHICLE COMPANY, AS PART OF A RENTAL AGREEMENT, SHALL CHARGE AN AUTHORIZED DRIVER A REFUELING RATE WHICH EXCEEDS THE HIGHEST RETAIL PRICE OF GASOLINE CHARGED AT GASOLINE STATIONS OR CONVEN- IENCE STORES WITHIN A ONE-HALF MILE RADIUS OF SUCH RENTAL VEHICLE COMPA- NY. SUCH CHARGE MAY BE IMPOSED WHEN A RETURNED RENTAL VEHICLE'S GASO- LINE TANK IS NOT FULL TO CAPACITY, BASED ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOCUMENTED READING OF SUCH MOTOR VEHICLE'S FUEL GAUGE OBTAINED AT THE TIME SUCH MOTOR VEHICLE WAS DELIVERED OR PICKED UP BY SUCH AUTHORIZED DRIVER, AND THE SUBSEQUENT FUEL GAUGE READING TAKEN AT THE TIME SUCH RENTED MOTOR VEHICLE IS RETURNED TO THE RENTAL VEHICLE COMPANY. (B) ANY VIOLATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A FINE OF FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER VIOLATION. S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that the amendments made to section 396-z of the general business law by section one of this act shall not affect the repeal and reversion of such section and shall be deemed to be repealed therewith.

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