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car hire fuel conditions

Car Hire Fuel Conditions

There are a lot of things to consider when you hire a car;

  • have I ordered the right insurance cover
  • do I need to add an additional driver
  • is there a young driver surcharge to pay
  • ….and the big one that catches a lot of people out – what’s the fuel policy?!

All cars need petrol, but the money that some hire car companies charge to refill a vehicle not returned full can be ridiculous.

We have identified 5 different Fuel Policies adopted by various car hire companies.

In doing so we will explain what each fuel policy means (in plain english) and help you understand the variety of fuel policies.

Free Tank

This is perhaps the best option and rarely offered unfortunately.

Some companies won’t actually charge you for the fuel used.

This will usually be part of a special promotion and if the total cost of the vehicle hire is competitive, this can really work in your favour!

Pre Purchase (Full Refund)

When you pick up your rental car, you will be charged for the fuel in the vehicle tank.

When you return the car, you will be fully refunded for the fuel that you didn’t use.

Car hire companies who do this usually measure by eighths of a tank.

It is always worth requesting the car rental company to put this in writing for you, so you know that there is no need to pay for the petrol you don’t use!

Pre Purchase (Partial Refund)

As with the above, you’ll be charged for the petrol already in the tank, but you’ll also have to pay a service charge for the refuelling costs.

When you return the car, you’ll be refunded for the petrol you haven’t used, but will not receive any money back that you paid on the service charge, which will range depending on the size of engine.

Read the terms of the policy before you hire the car so you don’t pay any unexpected costs!

Full to Full

Your car will come with a full tank, or near to full tank of fuel and you will need to return the vehicle with the same amount of fuel in it.

At the time of collection, the care hire company will likely take a deposit for the petrol (usually the funds will be put against your credit card, with no money taken).

If you return the vehicle with less fuel than the full tank, this is when they will charge you!

Pre Purchase (Full to Empty)

Like some of the previous mentioned policies, you’ll receive, and pay for, a full tank of fuel when collecting the vehicle.

You will then need to return the vehicle to as near empty as you desire. Failure to do so means you are giving the company free fuel because their is no refund on fuel not used.

Where to look for this information

Every car rental company should clearly state the fuel policy on the “Details” section when you are comparing deals.

If not found check their terms and conditions under “Fuel Policy” or in the “Vehicle Details” section. Read the descriptions carefully and match it to the examples we shared with you.

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