Why You Should Never Prepay for Gas in a Rental Car


Do it’s important to pay for fuel when renting a automotive?

Sure, rental automotive firms require you to pay for the fuel you utilize when renting a automotive. The one query is how you’ll pay for it together with: prepay, pay the rental automotive firm to fill it up in your or fill it up your self.

If you lease a automotive you’re expected to bring it back with a full tank of gas (or no less than no matter it had in it once you rented it which is nearly at all times “full”). In different phrases, you’re required to pay for the gas you utilize on prime of the rental charges for the automobile itself.

Nevertheless, in what I can solely think about is a few scheme cooked up by some rental government on a golf course, rental automotive firms supply just a few completely different choices in how you can cope with this.

  • Convey it again full
  • Convey it again with no matter fuel is within the tank when it’s time to return the automotive
  • Prepay your gas

Let’s look at these in additional element.

You might carry your rental automotive again with a full tank of fuel

One choice is to easily carry your automotive again with a full tank of fuel. That means, in your again to the airport you might want to cease someplace (comparatively near the airport) and fill your rental automotive’s fuel tank up. That is the tactic we suggest, by the best way.

You might do nothing and easily carry the automotive again with nevertheless a lot fuel it has within the tank

Another choice is to easily do doing nothing and produce the automotive again in as-is. As a substitute of stopping to refuel your automotive you merely return the automotive with no matter gas is within the tank on the time and stroll away. This can be a very handy method as a result of it requires you to primarily do nothing. No looking for a fuel station close to the airport (and airports can have some sketchy neighborhoods) or hoping the airport itself has a fuel station.

This methodology, nevertheless, might be the WORST factor you could possibly do with a rental automotive with regards to gas. Why, you ask? Right here’s the sneaky bit. The rental automotive firm will then cost you to fill it again up – at a big premium (now we have seen it as excessive as $14.00 a gallon earlier than) – normally someplace’s round $9.00/gal-ish. Clearly that is the least economical methodology to make use of as you could possibly get hosed big-time.

That stated, it’s the most handy methodology.

You might prepay your gas once you lease the automotive

The ultimate choice, and the main target of this text, is to prepay your gas when you’re renting the automotive.

For a “low cost” off the present common gas fee in that space, you should buy a full-tank of fuel forward of time after which merely return the automotive as is.

Feels like a great deal? A reduction? Candy. WRONG. It’s a rip-off, actually.

However wait…what if you happen to don’t really use the entire fuel in your automotive? You see, once you pre-pay for fuel you’re paying for a FULL tank of fuel – no matter whether or not you really want a full-tank of fuel.

So until you carry the automotive again fully empty it’s doubtless not going to make a lot sense. Many occasions vacationers might solely use 1 / 4 of a tank or a half a tank. If that’s the case and also you’ve pay as you go in your rental automotive’s gas you simply walked proper into the rental automotive firms rip-off.

You didn’t assume the rental automotive firms would supply this service in the event that they couldn’t generate profits, did you!?! In fact not. They’re enjoying the arbitrage sport that most prospects won’t use all of their fuel and thus they may generate profits on that free fuel cash you gave them with no value behind it.

Remember the fact that many rental automotive clerks may very well be incentivized to push this product to automotive renters so be in your guard and don’t get duped.


Do rental automobiles have a full tank of fuel

Answered By: Devin Moore Date: created: Oct 17 2020

For comfort, you might buy a full tank of gas from Hertz on the time of rental, at a worth that’s aggressive with native gas stations.

Requested By: Edward Miller Date: created: Feb 14 2022

Which is cheaper PrePay energy or Pinergy

Answered By: Carlos Garcia Date: created: Aug 25 2021

Prepay Energy cost a €338 service/standing cost yearly – however have a barely decrease unit fee than Pinergy (19.86c) . Utilizing the typical 4200 kwh in a yr with PrePay Energy would value €1261.

Requested By: Nathaniel Phillips Date: created: Apr 02 2021

The Findings:

After crunching all of the numbers, here is what I discovered.

1 Gasoline Costs Close to the Airport are 15% Extra

The worth on the fuel station nearest to the rental automotive facility was $2.77 vs $2.46 at many of the surrounding fuel stations that have been nonetheless solely a mile away. So that they charged about 15% extra for the comfort of filling up proper earlier than you come back the automotive. And since most individuals, together with myself merely head to the airport after which search for a fuel station on the best way, this

On this situation, filling up a 15 gallon Toyota Camry close to the airport would solely be about $5 greater than the market worth just a little farther away. So it is probably not that large a deal right here.

However there are some fuel stations that benefit from this and cost as much as double the precise worth of fuel.

So if you’re refueling the automotive your self, doing a fast search on Google maps for fuel stations close to the airport, you may be sure you’re heading to a station with cheap costs. And because you’re most likely already utilizing GPS in telephone to get again to the airport, you would possibly as effectively let it take you to cheap fuel station first.

2 PrePay Gas Prices Often Don't Include Taxes

2 PrePay Gasoline Costs Usually Do not Embody Taxes

One of many large promoting factors they attempt to make for pre-paying for fuel is that you’re going to pay lower than on the pump, however what they don’t seem to be telling you is simply how a lot you will be paying in taxes and costs.

If you purchase fuel on the pump, taxes are included. So the value listed on the pump is the full worth you will pay. The taxes on fuel with rental automobiles are way more difficult. Each single agent I talked to was confused as to precisely what taxes can be charged on their fuel costs. Typically they stated taxes are included though the indicators clearly said that there are extra taxes and costs.

And these taxes and costs can simply eat up any potential financial savings from the prepay costs. If the prepay costs to be $2.32 per gallon, however once you add 8.25% gross sales tax on that, it is actually $2.51 which is greater than the native market fee of $2.45.

And if they do not cost taxes, some firms add a flat refueling charge which may additionally override any potential financial savings.

3 Pre-Pay Prices Per Gallon are NOT always Cheaper

3 Pre-Pay Costs Per Gallon are NOT at all times Cheaper than Pump Charges

Nationwide and Alamo had the most affordable listed worth at $2.32 which is lower than the market fee at $2.45 and than airport fuel station at $2.77.

However Hertz and Thrifty each charged $2.70 per gallon, which is MORE than the market fee of $2.45 and solely barely lower than the market fee at $2.77.

And as we checked out earlier, these costs do not at all times embrace taxes.

Do not simply assume that the pre-pay costs are cheaper than on the pump, more often than not they are not.

4 Coasting on Fumes: Return it Less 1/16th Full to

4 Coasting on Fumes: Return it Much less 1/sixteenth Full to Save something

The largest oversight with prepaying for fuel is that you purchase your complete tank of fuel forward of time even if you happen to do not use it. So if you happen to pay the $40 for the fuel however return it half full, you have simply thrown away $20. And that is the place they get you. You’re betting that you’re going to use all of the fuel you pay for however that is not often the case.

So how a lot of the fuel do it’s important to use to truly notice the financial savings? That is the what I name the break even level. And after working the numbers, it is a unhealthy deal.

With a view to save something it’s important to return the automotive with LESS THAN 1/sixteenth of a tank left!

That is nearly empty!

What are the probabilities that you’re going to simply occur to time your mileage excellent so that you pull into the rental automotive facility and run out of fuel?

It jogs my memory of the Seinfeld Episode where Kramer test drives a car that Jerry’s considering of shopping for and tries to see how far it’s going to go earlier than if runs out of fuel.

It's hilarious in the show, but that's exactly wha

It is hilarious within the present, however that is precisely what we’re doing after we prepay for fuel.

And the automotive rental firms are betting that you just return the automotive with fuel left in tank. And if you happen to prepay, you’re primarily giving them free fuel.

[clickToTweet tweet=”It’s virtually impossible to save money prepaying for rental car gas since you have to coast in on fumes to get the savings. Never Prepay! Here’s the full rundown…” quote=”It’s virtually impossible to save money prepaying for rental car gas since you have to coast in on fumes to get the savings. Never Prepay!”]

5 The Theoretical Financial savings are Exaggerated

So why can we even take into account prepaying? On the floor it appears to be like like we’ll lower your expenses, however how a lot precisely?

After I ran the numbers, even in the very best case situation, if you happen to prepay, return fully empty and all the celebrities align, How a lot can really save?


That is it… wow a lot for big financial savings.

That is the potential upside if you happen to return it empty, however something over 1/sixteenth of a tank and also you’re paying them. So keep in mind that subsequent time they ask you the prepay query, do you actually wish to danger that simply to avoid wasting $4, when almost certainly I will be dropping that anyway?

6 Worth Gouging is not Common: Hire with Enterprise or Nationwide

The most effective issues I discovered whereas approaching every automotive rental counter was not solely that all of them charged completely different quantities for pay as you go, however extra importantly in addition they charged drastically completely different costs to refuel the automotive for you.

Many of the automotive rental firms cost an outlandish $9.99 per gallon to refuel the automotive for you!!! Filling up that 15 gallon Toyota Camry can value $150 vs the $23 on the pump. That is $127 you simply threw away.

Rental automotive firms that do that  ought to be embarrassed for this observe, it is apparent worth gouging. However they need to be much more embarrassed as a result of not all rental automotive firms really feel the necessity to screw their prospects.

Whereas worth purchasing I discovered that whereas all people else expenses $10 a gallon, Enterprise and Nationwide each cost a way more cheap worth of $3.50 per gallon. And Alamo was shut behind at $4.50. Certain it is a bit greater than the value on the pump however they’re filling it up for you. So on a 15 gallon automotive, that is solely about $15 greater than what you’d already pay. And if that meant the distinction of me catching my flight or not, I would positive pay that.

I simply assumed that each automotive firm charged the identical quantity, however there’s a big distinction. Such a giant distinction in actual fact that I would say it is value ditching your outdated rental automotive firm for Enterprise, Nationwide or Alamo. Whether or not or not you determine to prepay for fuel, I would a lot quite lease with an organization that will not screw me on the refueling cost if I haven’t got time to refuel the automotive earlier than returning it.

Are there any reasons to prepay for gas  ever?

Are there any causes to prepay for fuel ever?

In our opinion there are actually no good causes to prepay for fuel. That stated, one doable situation is that you just know will likely be pressed for time when returning the rental. Perhaps it’s a piece journey and that your assembly ends with a good window to get again to airport. So that you determine to prepay. The comfort of getting the rental automotive firm maintain this for you could possibly be the distinction between making your flight or not.

I’d nonetheless argue that you must plan higher.

One other situation is that some airports (like Boston Logan and different large cities) could be difficult to discover a fuel station close to the airport. That is stretching issues a bit, although.

Our recommendation is as soon as once more to plan higher. Or take into account an Uber or Lyft or perhaps a taxi.