Rental Car - Gas Fill up at Return

Discussion in 'Other Car Rental Programs' started by cgrooms, Mar 26, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. cgrooms
    Original Member

    cgrooms Silver Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    21
    Status Points:
    110
    I can't recall the company (Budget or Alamo) but a few months back I filled the tank before return. When I got to return center they charged me for entire tank at outrageous price per gallon because I did not have my receipt proving that I had filled the tank. Although, they could easily see that the fuel tank needle was full.

    The manager at counter pointed to the small print on a back page saying that this was required and when I signed my contract I agreed to provide such receipt. Again, although he could see that the car was showing full, he hid behind the small print and charged me.

    Warning to all of us. Now when I fill any rental vehicle with gas before returning I keep receipt so if asked I have it.
     
    kenbo, 2soonold, jbcarioca and 2 others like this.
  2. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,421
    Likes Received:
    33,847
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Idiotic is a word that comes to mind on this one, unless the gas gauge is not functioning.
     
    jbcarioca and Exiled in Express like this.
  3. Exiled in Express
    Original Member

    Exiled in Express Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,205
    Likes Received:
    6,837
    Status Points:
    4,410
    Was this a low mileage rental? Budget and Avis IIRC have a topoff fee of ~$10 if the car is returned with less than 75 miles driven and no gas receipt. In theory this to prevent the car going out less than full to the next renter. They are also quite militant about it, I returned an SUV with 70 miles driven and the needle on full, this obviously required a filling. I still needed to plead to get the fee removed with receipt in hand.
     
    2soonold, jbcarioca and travelingmore like this.
  4. travelingmore
    Original Member

    travelingmore Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,258
    Likes Received:
    75,387
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Thanks for the reminders/experiences. So far, on most of our Budget returns, we tell them we refilled the tank and pull out the receipt to show them, and they say "that's okay, I don't need to see it". But about 10% of the time they do look at the receipt. Worst experience was the one or two times we didn't figure out the gas station locations ahead of time, for filling up near the airport, and got too behind in time and had to return the car not filled up - ouch! for the $35 charge, IIRC. Whatever it was, a costly oversight.

    BTW, does everyone know the tip that we only learned last year? -- When pulling up to the pump, and wondering which side the gas tank is on: look at the fuel gauge on the instrument panel and you'll see a gas pump icon with an arrow pointing left or right --- that is the gas tank location on the car. Lightbulb time - and a great help.
     
    sfo1, jbcarioca, jackal and 5 others like this.
  5. eponymous_coward
    Original Member

    eponymous_coward Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,901
    Likes Received:
    2,972
    Status Points:
    1,470
    FWIW, the 7-11 on Las Vegas Blvd a block away from the LAS consolidated rental facility is about 20 cents a gallon cheaper than the Sinclair across the street from the facility. There's a Shell on Warm Springs a half mile down the road that's cheaper, too.

    For LAX, there's a AM/PM on La Tijera that's cheaper than the ones closest to the rental car facilities. (Bad news is they take debit, not credit.)

    Oh, and yes, save those receipts.
     
    sfo1, jbcarioca and lhrsfo like this.
  6. Art234
    Original Member

    Art234 Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    793
    Likes Received:
    931
    Status Points:
    795
    First, I always recommend having the receipt for the rental fill....especially if you have a low mileage rental. Also if you must fill up a distance from the return point you can always squeeze in anywhere from a half to a couple of gallons extra after the shutoff....but that should be only if you have a ways to drive back to the return point.

    Second, be aware that in many cities, MCO in particular, gas is a ripoff in proximity to the airport. It can be a dollar or more higher than just 3 or 5 miles further away. I learned that the hard way a number of years ago but I think there has already been a thread on that.

    Finally it is a pet peeve of mine to find a gas tank show full in a rental, then move right after I leave the airport and have it cost more than it should to refill...but such is life on the road.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  7. Exiled in Express
    Original Member

    Exiled in Express Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,205
    Likes Received:
    6,837
    Status Points:
    4,410
    To build on eponymous' post CVG also has a classic rip off no brand gas station near the car rentals, to get around this fillup an exit before the airport. I also recall having difficulty finding gas at any price in the last 2-3 miles enroute to CMH.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  8. Bikeguy
    Original Member

    Bikeguy Silver Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    80
    Status Points:
    260
    Just had this happen to me with Budget. Drove a minivan from Miami to Fort Lauderdale, then to dinner and breakfast. Filled it up and returned it. Had an extra 13.99 charge show up on my credit card because I had not shown a receipt and driven less than 75 miles (it was like 72). Called customer service and they instantly reversed it. Never occurred to me I was under any reasonable mileage amount like 75. Thought I had driven way more than that and the gas gauge certainly wasn't near full when I filled up.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  9. Bikeguy
    Original Member

    Bikeguy Silver Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    80
    Status Points:
    260
    Also, when you show up at the airport and remember you haven't filled up, drive to the second gas station! The last two times I rented, I forgot to fill up, saw obscene prices at the first station, went to the second station (both times within sight of the first station) and saved 50 cents a gallon.
     
    jbcarioca and eponymous_coward like this.
  10. rustyr
    Original Member

    rustyr Active Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status Points:
    85
    If by chance you are returning car when station is not open(Mostly small outlets) mark on the rental car jacket in big bold letters: "Gas receipt enclosed", and try to stick it so it doesn't come out when they pull them out of that box on the counter. Sometimes there is a stapler left and I use it to staple the gas receipt to the jacket.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  11. jupper
    Original Member

    jupper Silver Member

    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    502
    Status Points:
    650
    I found the on-terminal gas station at PIT extremely reasonably priced (couple of cents difference to others way across town), same for the Shell station near SEA.

    If I'm unfamiliar with a rental area, I usually gas up during my stay at reasonably priced stations, so the total amount rip-off risk nearer to the airport is lower.

    In another MP thread someone mentioned GasBuddy to check out gas prices.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  12. jackal
    Original Member

    jackal Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,443
    Likes Received:
    4,850
    Status Points:
    2,470
    Yes. That first station about a mile to the north of the airport got me about as mad as I've ever been in the last five years. Fortunately, I had plenty of time and so proceeded barely a half a mile further north to a 7-11 that was over $2 per gallon cheaper than the first one. If I had a few thousand spare bucks sitting around, I'd buy the lot just to the south of that rip-off gas station and install a sign that says "DO NOT PATRONIZE THIS RIP-OFF GAS STATION. THERE'S A WAY CHEAPER 7-11 LESS THAN A MILE AWAY." The nerve they have...

    Stop at the first gas station you see and fill up. Save your receipt and bring it back when you return the car. I've done this several times (albeit not with Budget) and have never had a problem getting a credit for what I paid to fill it. Your chances of getting this approved are inversely proportional to the distance of the gas station to where you picked it up and the length of time elapsed between pick-up and fill-up. A gas station five miles away and 10 minutes after pick-up are good; one 30 miles away that has a timestamp of the next morning ("but the car just spent the night at the hotel parking lot!") is not.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  13. rude12

    rude12 Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status Points:
    40
    Me gottem idea............how bout when you bring it back with more than you checked out with..say you got the car with 1/2 tank and you bring it back at 3/4 tank.....one should then make the rental agent take similar amount off your bill????....they never mind you bringing it back with more than you left with...unfair, and by the way...they fill their cars to where the guage is just on FULL....so they cheat you there too.................
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Welcome to MP!

    How do they do that? Do they have special on-premise gas pumps that stop pumping earlier than a commercial gas station pump would? I suspect when a tank on a rental I get is just full it was how the previous renter returned it. Sometimes when I return a car, it's "just on full" as well, and I certainly would be annoyed if the agent started arguing with me that full isn't full.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  15. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    921
    Status Points:
    750
    This is particularly true at DTW --- the gas station closest to the rental car parking lots has the highest prices in town -- go a mile or two north of the airport and you'll do much better.

    DTWBOB
     
    viguera and jbcarioca like this.
  16. sfo1
    Original Member

    sfo1 Silver Member

    Messages:
    956
    Likes Received:
    825
    Status Points:
    795
    Good points, however on your first point, the car rental agency may know how far away the gas station is that you filled the tank at and even though you have the receipt and the gauge reads full they might make a charge because of the distance. Some car rental agencies have a maximum distance that one can fill up at, from where the rental agency is located.
     
  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,504
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    I tend to have the gas receipt. That said, I usually rent from Hertz and get Gold service. That means, I don't sign anything at pick-up. I may glance over the price on the printout in the car, but I certainly don't review all pages for any unusual clauses, and if I was hit with a charge when I drop off the car without receipt (eg printer at pump broken), I'd certainly dispute the charge. I don't the they can reasonably expect their best customers to spend time reading over that stuff looking for location-specific gotcha-clauses (especially since some locations one seem to print that stuff only when you get to the exit gate).
     
  18. jackal
    Original Member

    jackal Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,443
    Likes Received:
    4,850
    Status Points:
    2,470
    Most airport rental companies give, as policy, cars with a full tank. If they say it's full and it's not, then yes, you are entitled to a refund. A time-stamped receipt from a nearby gas station showing that you filled up the gas within a few minutes and a few miles of pick-up is your best friend in these situations.

    However, if you are renting from an in-town branch of a company (like Enterprise) that does not regularly give cars out with a full tank, and they tell you the car is going out with a half tank and it really does have a half tank, then no, you are not entitled to a refund if you bring it back with more gas. This is standard policy, and they usually tell you this when they're telling you the current fuel level.

    That said, with Enterprise, if you complain loud enough and use the magic words "I was not completely satisfied," they'll likely give you whatever you want. ;)
     
  19. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,586
    Likes Received:
    4,078
    Status Points:
    2,570
    The only time I've been asked for a receipt is from U-Haul. If I drive 10 miles for an in-town move, the needle barely moves, so I think the guy at the desk knows this. But I've never been hassled for a normal rental car. Maybe it's because I normally rent from Alamo or Hertz. Alamo seems super friendly, and with Hertz I have the Gold service, which seems to earn you at least a modicum of respect.
     
  20. 2soonold
    Original Member

    2soonold Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,011
    Likes Received:
    8,385
    Status Points:
    7,145
    We all learn these things as we go along. I always show up at returns with a gas receipt. At the end of the rental I staple my contract, gas receipt , and car rental receipt together; and file it.
     
  21. kenbo
    Original Member

    kenbo Silver Member

    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    735
    Status Points:
    645
    I don't rent cars all that often but have never been asked for gas receipt. I wouldn't have had them if I asked. I'll be sure to print them out the next time I rent a car. Thanks!
     

Share This Page