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Car Hire Refuelling Charges - Fuel Surcharges

One of the industries most hotly disputed subjects is the Car Rental Fuel Policy, which one is best and why are so many seemingly unfair. Over the last decade, the car rental industry has bowed to customer pressure (for the better) and generally adopted a 'Full to Full' policy option on all rentals*.

car hire fuel surcharge

The Full to Full fuel policy is a favourite here at Rhinocarhire.com, however it’s not all plain sailing and you need to be aware of the fuel policy surcharge that will be in the small print of your rental agreement. Simply put, you are responsible for returning the car with a full tank of full, do that and you’ll have selected the best value fuel policy. Don’t return it full however and you’re at the mercy of the rental agent fuel surcharge as denoted in the terms and conditions of your rental agreement.

We’ve looked at the main rental agent terms to see what these surcharges are to help you decide which is best for you. Of course, you’re far better off just returning the car full to avoid these fuel surcharges, but it’s not worth missing your flight if you’re running late! For instance, if you return a Hertz rental without a full tank of fuel, they’ll charge you as much as 3x the value of the fuel at the pumps. Consider an average car will easily take £50 of fuel at current prices, you could be hit with a bill for £150+ for missing fuel. Some other agents offer what appear to be a fairer system of a fixed rate like Interrent who have a flat £15 fee, plus the pump cost of the missing fuel, or Centauro who levy a 30 EUR fee. Considering the admin and resource required to fill the car with petrol for the next customer this appears a reasonable fee. See our complete guide to car rental fuel policies here to decide which is best for you.
Rental Agent
Missing Fuel Cost (Surcharge)**
Current pump rate x 2
Current pump rate x 2
National Average* + £1.60 per litre
Current pump rate x 3
Current pump rate + £15 surcharge
Rate significantly higher than the average pump price*
Current pump rate + 20%
Current pump rate + 30 EUR
Unknown penalty applied

*Not all rental agents offer Full to Full, we recommend you check terms and conditions and where not offered, consider the added fuel cost when looking at the best value car rental for your needs. You can pay as much as double the forecourt fuel cost for pre-paid fuel.
** Data correct at time of publication from rental agent at a specific location, fee may vary by location / car type, check specific terms for your individual rental.

Click here if want to know what side the fuel cap is on your rental car?

Kellie Hodge
Posted: June 26, 2018 by Kellie Hodge
About the Author -

Travel writer, customer service guru, Kellie knows the ins and outs of car rental and always happy to share her knowledge on our blog. Favourite country to visit: Spain.

Last updated: Wednesday, June 27, 2018
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