CA Enacts TRALA Amendments Curbing Excessive Rental Truck Odometer Fees

TRALA-requested provisions significantly limiting the scope and cost of county programs aimed at registering and inspecting rental truck odometers were enacted into law by Governor Jerry Brown's (D-CA) signature on September 7, 2012. The legislation, Assembly Bill 1623, cuts by 66% the fees counties can charge truck rental companies for inspecting odometers and limits the inspections to trucks at company-owned locations, exempting so-called agent-locations from the burdensome and costly inspection process.

The TRALA-requested amendments to the weights and measures law will cut the total cost that counties can charge each location for odometer inspections to $340 per location...down from the current $1000 per location fee.  Even more importantly, the TRALA provisions change current law that defines each truck as its own business location.  Under the new law, a rental truck business location is a "brick and mortar" facility owned and operated by the rental company.  Prior to the TRALA amendments, each county in the state could charge a fee of $120 per truck operating in that county under the weights and measures inspection program.

Another provision passed as part of TRALA's package of amendments exempts trucks temporarily parked at agent locations from the inspection program.  Agent locations are not owned and operated by truck rental companies, and usually hold a small number of trucks for short periods of time.  TRALA fought to exclude these locations from the county program and instead limit the program to truck rental company-owned locations.

TRALA is confident in the accuracy of odometers used in rental trucks as the basis for commercial rental charges and disputes the value of the county inspection program, especially in the absence of any serious customer complaints. Today's odometers are electronic devices sealed by the manufacturer and nearly impossible to tamper with. TRALA is pleased that the counties and the California legislature agreed with the need to significantly curb the program.

If you have any questions about the county odometer inspection program or TRALA's successful effort to limit the impact of the program on the truck rental industry, please contact TRALA's Tom James at or by calling (703) 299-9120.