Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes

Perhaps it is due to the continuously increasing prices of fuel across the globe, but some car hire companies are taking things a bit too far. Once they figured out the fuel tank’s potential in generating profits, it didn’t take long before they introduced all sorts of fees and clauses in the contracts to overwhelm and confuse customers.

In fact, one of the newest “gags” practised by some car rental services is to charge clients for bringing in the car with the fuel tank “full, but not full enough”. In all honesty, this charge has a very big chance of getting into the list of top 10 most absurd fees of all times. Nonetheless, there are some things the customer could do to avoid having to pay such ridiculous charges, as you are about to find out.

1. Prepay for fuel

At first, prepaying for fuel sounds like a fine idea especially if you account for the overly-attractive prices the car hire companies have to offer. However, the problem with this method is that once you paid for the gas, you will have to use it all, as no company will provide reimbursement for the gasoline you didn’t consume. Still, if you are the kind of person who is always late and hence, you assume that you won’t return the car on time with a full gas tank, it’s a better alternative than paying 3 times the price.

2. Return it with the same amount of fuel it had when you took it

While this method appears to be a no-brainer, it is necessary to mention that you need to read your contract carefully beforehand. In addition, you should always consider the gas station where you will be refilling in advance, as otherwise you may end up overpaying for fuel. Even though it might not be the notorious price car rental companies charge, it’s still pretty high compared to the one you could get from a station in town. Just make sure you get to the established location to drop your car in time to avert paying at least $3 dollars more per gallon.

3. Save the gas stations’ receipts

As previously mentioned, some car rental companies are making a habit out of verifying that the customers bring back the car with as much gasoline as stipulated in the contract. However, they don’t take your word for it or check the dashboard for this info, but rather bluntly ask you to provide them with the gas station receipt. Therefore, do your best and keep them somewhere safe so you won’t have to pay extra convenience charges.

On a side note, it is important to note that you absolutely need these receipts when you drive less than 75 miles. Because car hire services don’t like freeloaders, the receipts serve as proof that you at least put some fuel in the tank, safeguarding against extra fees.

4. Fill it up 10 miles before you reach their parking lot

In the event that you have selected the full tank option, then it would be wise to fill it up approximately 10 miles from the location where you will drop the vehicle. If you select a gas station from across town, then chances are your tank will not be full at the destination and you will end up paying for the rest of the fuel, penalty bonuses included.

Petrol Pump Sign

As part of her research Lucy has learnt about this latest form of trickery from car rental companies, if you’re looking for a reputable firm that doesn’t partake in this practice – try these guys.