Monday, September 6, 2010

Car Rentals: So Many Options

Renting a car is an inevitable part of taking a trip. There are always several things to consider when renting a car, here’s one less thing to think about. Recently I had to rent a car from Hertz. I rented a sub compact which worked out beautifully for what I needed. When I was at the counter the clerk asked if I wanted to pay for a full tank of gas, so when I returned the car I wouldn’t have to worry about filling it. He explained that they would fill the tank with gas at a 10 cent discount to the current gas price. At the time the gas price was 90 cents/litre, so Hertz would fill the tank for 80 cents/litre. For instance, if the car has a 40 litre tank the cost would be $32. This sounded like a great deal so I said yes.

The problem with this deal is that you have to bring the car back with no fuel in the tank to receive the maximum value. It is extremely difficult to plan your trip so that you can bring the rental car back with absolutely no gas left. So any gas left in the tank will add to the cost of the discounted gas from the rental agency. You will probably be paying more to fill the tank for your rental car. This is only a good deal if you know exactly how far you are going and how much gas you’ll be using. Unless you can bring the rental car back running on fumes, you’re better off just filling the car back up and bringing the car back with a full tank yourself. Don’t get gas from the rental car company! Always bring it back with a full tank.

Check out this clip from about saving on your next car rental


  1. The prepaid gas option obviously offers the most convenience. But convenience always comes with extra cost. I mean how often do you return a rental car completely empty? Virtually impossible. You're just paying for gas you're not using.

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