car rental gas

Car Rental Gas – What To Know?

It is time to talk about car rental gas options. Rental companies always hunt for new ways of making money. One of the best items for making money is refueling. It is often confusing to find out what is what in the mess of charges, penalties, even fees for bringing the vehicle back full – but not full enough.

Fuel options

Before pick-up, it is better to learn more about rental car gas options. How do you know the gas policy of your rental vehicle? You may see the fuel option right in the description of your chosen vehicle.

car rental gas, gas station near sfo rental car return

There are several fuel policies:

  1. Full tank to full tank

This means that you are obliged to give the auto back with a full tank. It may be late for refueling as it is almost impossible to fill your auto at night. Keep it in mind! Most of the renters prefer full to full option to others.

  1. Prepaid gas rental

In short, you pay for gas at the counter when you take the car, and forget about gas problems when returning the car. But if there is something left in the tank at drop-off, forget about refunding. This option is not good for short-distance travelers.

  1. Free gas

A free gas option is rare but still available. It gives you a free tank when you rent a vehicle. That means that the gas price is already included in your total rental price. It is never a problem to return your auto unfueled.

Gas policy of the US car rental agencies

A rental car gas policy is a company’s strict position on how much a renter pays for gas when he hires an auto. Also, it tells about how much fuel must be in your car when you give it back. It is important to read your fuel policy. Otherwise, you risk being charged. Let’s have a look at the gas policy of the most popular USA car rental agencies.

How much money do rental car agencies usually take for gas?

When you PREPAY FOR GAS, rental agencies put different prices for gas per gallon.

Enterprise rental car gas policy charges you according to the local rates for gas per gallon at the time of rental.

Alamo gas policy charges their renters to pay for gas for the average local price. Pay upon return option makes you pay per gallon at higher rates than a local fuel price.

Avis flat rate fuel fee obliges you to pay about $15 if you drive at a short distance under 75 miles.

Hertz car hire gas policy charges about $13 per gallon if you drive less than 75-miles distance.

National car rental charges you, drawing on the local rates of gas.

Budget car rental fuel program charges you, drawing on the local rates.

Payless car rental gas program charges you, drawing on the local rates for gas.

gas station near sfo rental car return, car rental gas

Should you prepay for gas when rent an auto?

What a cheating option! When you prepay for car fueling, you can forget about refueling the auto on return. There are two reasons to pick this useful option:

    • Drop-off comes too early or too late to find a working gas station.
    • The territory you are traveling through is unknown to you.

Do car agencies offer free gas when renting an auto?

You should pick a Free Tank option if you want free gas to be included in the total price of your rental.

Are there any regulations about how much fuel needs to be in a returned auto?

  • Prepaying for gas, you buy a full tank from the car rental agency. But you can lose money if something left in the tank on return.
  • If you chose not to prepay, you drop off the auto FULLY FUELED.

Most popular USA gas stations

Are you trying to refill your auto within a 5 or 10-mile radius around the airport? Good idea! You can spot a cheap gas-filling station even closer! You need to drop off your auto fully fueled to avoid penalties. Don’t forget to keep your receipt to prove that you have refueled your auto.

Popular Gas Stations in the USA

Airport/City Gas-Filling Station Distance

from the airport


per gallon

The exact address
Gas station near

SFO Airport

(San Francisco)

Valero 0,7 miles $4.30 300 S Airport Blvd
76 0,5 miles $4,20 717 San Bruno Ave
Gas station near

BWI Airport


Shell 1,3 miles $3,20 1001 Aviation Blvd
BP 0,2 miles $2,80 1595 W Nursery Rd
Exxon 2,7 miles $2,70 6310 Washington Blvd
Gas station near

JFK Airport

(Queens, NY)

Sunoco 0,8 miles $3,05 150th Ave and 148th
BP 2,1 miles $2,97 13011 N Conduit Ave
Conoco 3,2 miles $2,83 168-07 Baisley Blvd
Gas stations near

DFW car return


Shell 2,2 miles $3,03 2900 N Airfield Dr
Chevron 2,5 miles $2,70 901 E Mid Cities Blvd
Gas station near

Phoenix Airport


Shell 0,4 miles $3,08 1515 E Buckeye Rd
Chevron 1,1 miles $3,40 2402 Washington St
Gas stations near Logan Airport rental car return (Boston) Gulf 0,4 miles $3,05 100 Service Rd
Mobile 1,1 miles $2,86 392 Chelsea St
BP 1,1, miles $3,10 331 Bennington St
Gas station near

Las Vegas rental car return

(Las Vegas)

Chevron 0,8 miles $3,46 5722 S Eastern Ave
Shell 2,7 miles $3,36 190 E Flamingo Rd
Chevron 2,1 miles $3,48 1785 E Sunset Rd
Gas stations near

Atlanta Airport car return


Chevron 2,4 miles $3,00 2407 Riverdale Rd
BP 2,5 miles $2,76 5097 W Fayetteville Rd
Shell 2,3 miles $3,00 1338 Virginia Ave
Gas stations near

O’Hare rental car return


BP 3,0 miles $3,62 4111 N Mannheim
Shell 3,1 miles $3,06 10051 W Irving Park Rd
Gas station near

San Diego airport car rental

(San Diego)

Mobil 1,2 miles $4,10 2045 Pacific Hwy
Chevron 1,7 miles $4,30 1666 1st Ave

Useful recommendations for auto renters

You are in the rental office. It is time to decide which car is the best for your trip, compact or midsize. Besides, there is one more question to consider. Should you pay in advance for a car rental gas?

car rental gas

  1. Which type of rental car gets the best gas mileage?

If you are really hunting for the best economy rental car gas mileage, pay attention to eco-friendly cars. They are good for the planet and help you save on fuel. If you are not a green traveler, the best auto for you is:

    • Nissan Altima, 42.5 mpg
    • Volkswagen Jetta, 37.5 mpg
    • Ford Fiesta, 35 mpg, and small size
  1. What is the best rental car gas option to pay for?

To define the best way to pay for gas, consider your budget and how long your way is. Whatever fuel policy you pick, prepaid or not, it has positives and negatives. Therefore, planning a trip for 2-3 weeks through the USA states or a beach weekend, you need gas regulations that work to your credit.

  1. How many gallons of fuel would the rental auto consume per mile?

Most of the modern vehicles are equipped with an onboard computer that counts your mileage. You can easily predict how much gas your auto takes per mile without any computer’s help. All you need is an auto odometer. Drive your vehicle at a normal speed for half a tank and take readings on how much gas it took you and how many miles you left behind. Finally, divide miles by gallons you spent.

  1. I want to know what fuel type my auto is. How can I know that fast?

All you need is to check the label inside the car fuel door. It says Diesel Fuel Only or Unleaded Gasoline Only.

  1. How much is the fee for an unfueled auto?

It happens that you really forget to fill gas for a rental auto. The fine amount is different. In general, the partner-agency obliges you to pay for an unfueled auto about $8.99-$9.29 per gallon at all major airports in the USA.

  1. When is the gas cost included in your rental car contract?

If you take the Free Tank, the gas cost is included in the total price of your rental. Also, this kind of fuel policy always comes as a part of a special rental offer.

You often use your phone to find the shortest way to the airport. Don’t forget to mark a couple of gas stops on your route. It would be great if you could find one within a short distance from the airport or your off-airport return location.

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