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Fuel Policy of Car Rental Companies

Car rental Fuel Policy

Traveling becomes extremely convenient in another country or on a vacation when you avail of the car rental services. The perks of making your vacation flexible by choosing between flights and driving the car by yourself can be accomplished intermittently. You can give yourself the freedom to plan the itinerary without any restrictions and the burden of having to navigate your way to and from your home.

While car rental comes with a great set of advantages, you can only be benefited if you choose all the right aspects that only reliable car hire companies offer. There is an ocean of options to choose from and only a few that are the best and may fulfill your search for the best car rental company.

One of the prominent things to look for when choosing car rental is the Fuel policy.

What is Fuel policy?

It goes unsaid that your car needs fuel while you carry out a lot of driving on your road trip. So, every car rental company lays down certain fuel policies or offers you options to choose from. These are the terms and conditions that bring the car rental company and the customer on the same page about fuelling options.

The Types of Fuel Policies offered by Car Rental Companies:

Depending on the country and their choice, most car rental companies would be offering one of the following policies for fuel or an option to choose one of them. 

Let us discuss what these policies entail and the benefits/disadvantages of each. At the end of this, you shall be able to make a decision to choose the best option when you hire a car.


This is the most ideal and often preferred by most regular travelers when they opt for car rental services. Under this policy, when you pick up the car, you are presented with a full tank of fuel and in return, it is expected that you return or drop the car with a full tank.

Now, the pros of this policy are that you are ultimately only paying for the amount of fuel you have utilized. Also, there is no hassle at the beginning of your journey as you can easily travel with a completely full tank.

There is no trick in it that would deceive you. On the flip side, if you are careless and do not return the car with a full tank, you might have to face a penalty. Not only would you have to pay for the fuel, but there is also an additional refueling charge which is for the service.

It is advisable that you always fill the tank just before dropping off the car and preserve the receipt for quite a while. Some people avoid this policy as they feel that it can be difficult to find a gas station before dropping off the rental car.

However, this is one of the best fuel policies you can expect for car rental services.


In this type of policy, you receive the car with a tank full. You have to pay for the fuel of the full tank, plus the refuelling fees. The car rental company will refund for any unused fuel later after you drop your car. 

In this case, the benefit is that you do not have to worry about finding a gas station and can easily drop off the car after use.

But, as a con, you are paying additional fees to the car rental company for their refuelling service. Moreover, you might have to keep following up for the refund if it is not a reliable rental company or you are not refunded the very instant you return the car.

You can explore the various options offered by the car rental company on their official website as it can either be a pre-purchase partial refund or full refund policy.


This policy is for those who want to avoid all the hassle surrounding the fuel left in the tank or getting it refilled, etc. Under this policy, you are given a car that has a tank full and you can drive it endlessly and return it empty. You are charged for the full tank.

This policy can be tricky as you can benefit from it only if you are sure that you are going to cover a distance long enough to require a full tank of fuel or close enough that you are not overpaying for the fuel.

There is no money refunded to you for the fuel left in the tank at the time you drop off the car. So, this policy is definitely not for all

Free Tank

This is the ultimate deal you can ask for and it is like a God sent policy. Under this fuel policy, you are not at all charged for the fuel. It might sound astounding but this is a prevalent practice in many countries. While the rental cost might be slightly higher than usual, it is definitely lesser than what your expense would be had you to pay for the fuel also.

In case a car rental offers you such a deal, do not grab it instantly. Be careful that the quality of the car is good. Check for the reviews and ratings by other customers online. Although a free tank does not mean that you are certainly going to be duped, it’s always good to be assured.


Sometimes a car rental company might ask you to lock a certain amount on your credit card as a matter of their safety. This is a normal case as this money is withheld until the company checks the fuel level in the tank at the time of return.

Choosing the wrong fuel policy for a car rental can turn the entire budget of your trip. Making a smart choice can help you save a lot. And, a wrong decision can take you downhill and you might end up paying much more.

So, the next time you are hiring a car rental, do read between the fine lines of the Fuel Policy and save big time.

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