Many have heard horror stories about tourists getting cheated in Mallorca due to the fuel policy of their car hire companies.
It seems the days of one final price for hiring a car are gone. Fuel policy can add another variant to the end price.
What are the different fuel policies? Which is best for you? Can you prevent any unexpected costs?
The fuel policy is something you get to decide on the initial selection of the hire car. Fuel policy need not be a concern or even that complicated when you know the definition. See the simple descriptions for each policy below.
Some see additional costs at the car hire desk as part and parcel of the cost of hiring a car. If you know in advance if there will be extra costs, at least you can be prepared and happy about the situation.
If you don’t like a fuel policy on a car deal then you can choose not to take that deal but one that suits you better.
This is the traditional fuel policy which customer would have automatically received when hiring a car a few years back.
The vehicle comes with a full fuel tank when you collect it and you need to return the vehicle with a full fuel tank. Sometimes it is not full, in that case you will need to notify staff before leaving and return it at least the same level.
As long as you replace what you have used there will be no additional charges. The car hire firm may place a hold for the cost of the fuel on your credit card but will release this when the car is returned full.
Bottom line: No unexpected costs
The vehicle comes with a full tank but you will have to pay for it at the car hire desk before taking the vehicle. The fuel is charged at the car hire firm’s rate which is a little more that the going rate.
The idea is to bring the vehicle back nearly empty as the car hire firm won’t refund any unused fuel.
Bottom line: Paying for convenience. Addition cost at pick-up. May not use all the fuel.
The vehicle comes with a full tank which you will pay for at the car hire desk before taking the vehicle. The fuel is charged at the car hire firm’s rate which is a little more that the going rate.
Bring your hire car back and get a refund for any unused fuel.
Bottom line: Paying for convenience. Addition cost at pick-up. Unused fuel is refunded.
The vehicle comes with a full tank which you will pay for at the car hire desk before you take the vehicle. The fuel is charged at the car hire company’s rate which is a little more that the going rate.
Bring your hire car back and get a refund for any unused fuel minus an administration fee.
Bottom line: Paying for convenience. Addition cost at pick-up. Unused fuel is partially refunded.
Sadly some of the fuel policies seem to be more about hiding the initial cost of the hire car than being a service choice to the client.
You will find that the full to full fuel polices are matched with car hire deals that are a little more expensive. However there won’t be any addition fuel costs.
The pre-purchase fuel polices are matched to cheaper car hire deals but there are additional fuel cost to pay at the car hire desk for a full tank. Also with this policy if you only have the vehicle for a short duration you won’t use all the fuel.
From a full tank you may be able to drive approximately 750km in a standard vehicle which would be a few laps of Mallorca.
The Pre-Purchase (Refund) and Pre-Purchase (Partial refund) are better than Pre-Purchase alone in that you will get a refund. However in both of these cases the car hire companies will have made commission on the fuel policy.