Understanding Car Hire Fuel Charges
Fuel charges are a bugbear with many people hiring cars. If you are unfamiliar with the different types of fuel charges implemented by car hire companies, you could end up paying much more for your car hire than you first thought. What you first thought was originally a cheap deal could actually turn out to be a much more costly one, simply because the fuel charges from the car hire company triple your original bill.
There are several different ways that car hire companies charge for fuel and some work out much better deals than others. The following guide will hopefully help shed a little light on the different policies and how they can affect your cost if you do not understand each one of the ‘Fuel Charge’ policies.
Full To Empty: This can work out a costly deal if you are only travelling a short distance. The ‘Full To Empty’ policies mean that the car hire company will fill the car ‘full’ with fuel before you collect the car and will charge you for that full tank of fuel when you collect it. The real downside to this policy is, regardless of how much fuel you use, you will not receive a refund for any fuel you do not use.
For Example: If you are charged £100 by the car hire company for a full tank of fuel when you collect your car and you only use ¼ of the tank of fuel for the duration of your trip and you return it with ¾ of a tank of fuel still left, you will not be reimbursed for the ¾ of a tank you did not use. Yes, this is not a fair deal and this is why you need to familiarise yourself with the fuel policies before you book your car hire. However, if you intend doing a lot of mileage and know you will use a full tank of fuel during your trip, then it might not work out such a bad deal as you will have had to fill the car with fuel anyway. Yes, the car hire company will charge you more per litre than the petrol stations but it is something that unfortunately you will have to decide on as to whether or not it is worth the extra money. Many people accept having to pay a little more for the full tank of fuel, simply for the convenience of not having to find a petrol station once the have collected their car. This is more so the case when people are arriving at the airport late at night and just want to be on the road as quick as possible.
Remember: If you hire a car on a ‘Full To Empty’ policy and use all the fuel, you will not need to refill the tank to full when you return the car as you will have already paid for the fuel you have used. The ‘Full To Empty’ policy means you can return the car with an empty tank, if you need to put additional fuel in the car to get you back to the car rental company office, only put the minimal amount of fuel you need in the car because you will not be reimbursed for any additional fuel you put in and leave in the car on its return.
Full To Full: This is a much fairer system as it means that you collect the car with a full tank of fuel but you do not pay the car hire company in advance for the full tank. Instead, all you need to do is return the car with a full tank of fuel. This works out much more cost effective because all you are paying for is the fuel you use.
For Example: If you collect the car with a full tank of fuel and you only use ¼ of a tank, you will only need to put enough fuel back in the car to top it back up to a full tank. As a result, you will spend money on the fuel you used.
Return As Found: This is another policy that is much better for you as it means that you only need to return the car with the same amount of fuel that was in the car when you collected it.
For Example: If there was ½ a tank of fuel in the car when you collected it, you would need to retrun it with ½ tank. If there was a ¼ of a tank of fuel in the car when you collected it, you would need to return it with ¼ of a tank.
Tip: If you hire a car with this policy, ensure that when you collect the car and receive the ‘Condition Report’, it has the correct amount of fuel documented.
Ensure that you know which ‘Fuel Policy’ the car hire company to which you are hiring the car from implements. If you are hiring a car but do not intend doing a great deal of mileage and the only option is to take a ‘Full to Empty’ policy, it is a good idea to choose an economy car that will not cost as much to fill. This will then save you unnecessary expense on your fuel.
Which Is The Cheapest Option For Car Hire Fuel Charges
Obviously, this depends on how long you are hiring the car for, where you will be travelling and the mileage you will be driving and also the size of the engine and its fuel consumption. Everyone’s circumstances are different and what is the best option for one person may not be the best for another.
Calculate how much travelling you will be doing and the distance you will be driving. This might sound a bit silly but if you are only going to be travelling a short distance, it is not worth spending more money on your fuel that is necessary.
Always check before travel to see what the car hire fuel charges are when you are hiring your car and this will ensure you do no pay more than is necessary.