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Using Personal Transponder on a Rental Car

San Francisco
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Using Personal Transponder on a Rental Car

I will be renting a car in Portland, and eventually driving through New Hampshire and Massachussetts to Boston's Logan airport - a one-way rental. Can I use my own Maine Ez-Pass transponder on the rental car (and disable the rental car's transponder so that it doesn't register when going through a toll station)? Since I already have one, I am not happy about the prospect of renting the use of a second one for $10-$15 per day from the rental car company. (Since I will be approaching Logan from the south through a tunnel, I know that a transponder is mandatory.) I could not find any information on this on the Maine Ez-Pass website.

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9 replies to this topic
Central Maine
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1. Re: Using Personal Transponder on a Rental Car

Your most authoritative answer would likely come from the car rental folks... Probably worth a phone call rather than pay the extra charges if a well-meaning poster here gives you bum advice.

Augusta, Maine
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2. Re: Using Personal Transponder on a Rental Car

Definitely a good idea to check with 'authorities' but the answer is most likely no.

hudson valley
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3. Re: Using Personal Transponder on a Rental Car

The answer is definitely yes, although many companies require you to opt put of using their electronic tolling system. Avis' website refers to setting a switch to off if you don't want to use their electronic toll payment system. At least in some locations Enterprise specifically rents the transponders, so you should be able to get a car that doesn't come with one.

Even if you end up with a transponder that's not designed to be turned off, unless it can't be removed you can bring the bag that you presumably got with your transponder, wrap it with some foil, or remember to put it under your leg when going through a toll plaza.

As above, check with your rental company to be sure about the specifics. And make sure your transponder registers at toll plazas to avoid getting really nailed by having a charge issued based on the license plate.

Augusta, Maine
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4. Re: Using Personal Transponder on a Rental Car

I stand corrected. The MA ezpass website says the car needs to be added to the transponder acct, the ME site uses the word "should" and I couldn't find specific language on the NH site, just directions how to do it. Rental car companies can always have their own policies, I suppose. My question, if any transponder people chime in, is does anyone police or really care if the transponder matches the vehicle or can you generally share/borrow transponders without issue or adding the vehicle to the account temporarily?

Groton, Connecticut
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5. Re: Using Personal Transponder on a Rental Car

The reason they want it added to accounts is in case it doesn’t read, they will be able to track the car to that account. The issue is you need to leave the car on that acct until the tolls show up which may be a few days after your trip ends.

Portland, Maine
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6. Re: Using Personal Transponder on a Rental Car

The answer is definitely yes. In every rental car I've ever had you would have needed to do something to activate the car's own transponder. But you should inquire when you rent the car to confirm that it is deactivated.

BTW - No matter what it says, you really don't have to register the rental car as long as it's the same size vehicle (e.g. standard car, not a truck). It's also the case that in every case I've ever used it, my own transponder works fine just being placed on the dashboard.

Edited: 05 June 2018, 00:38
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7. Re: Using Personal Transponder on a Rental Car

I've done exactly what you're proposing with Budget rental cars as in the vehicles I've rented you need to "swing" the transponder attached to the windshield out of it's protective case if you choose to use it.

I have just left the one in the vehicle closed and thrown mine on the dash, have never had an issue.

>>as long as it's the same size vehicle (e.g. standard car, not a truck). <<

It's been my experience along the East Coast (where I've used the "cash" lanes) that toll charges were based the amount of axles and tires of the vehicle and not it's relative "size".

i.e. a pickup truck with 2 axles and four tires was the same toll as a standard passenger vehicle.

Has this changed ?

My actual transponder is still registered to a GMC Envoy that I haven't owned for 3 years now and have used it in a least 10 different vehicles with the primary being a full size 3/4 ton, long box, extended cab Pickup.

I hope the EZ PASS agents don't come grab me outta my bed some night. ;)

Portland, Maine
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8. Re: Using Personal Transponder on a Rental Car

I think Alaskan is correct about the axles being the measure used. But unless you have a regular passenger car at home and then use your EZ pass on a moving van you should be fine.

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9. Re: Using Personal Transponder on a Rental Car

I agree, you'll be fine.

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