Fuel policies and car hire

There are so many things to think about when you rent a car; have I bought the right insurance, whether I need to add an additional driver, will there be a surcharge to pay for a young driver … or one big thing that catches many people out – what is the fuel policy?

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All vehicles require fuel but the charges that some companies make do seem somewhat extortionate. Here are some of the different types of fuel policy available and what each one means to help clarify the situation:

Free Tank

This is definitely the best choice, but it doesn’t appear very often. Occasionally a company won’t bill you for fuel in the tank, which is a pleasant offer! An offer like this is usually wrapped up in a deal and pretty rare.

Pre-Purchase with full refund

On collection, you will be billed for any petrol already in the tank. On returning the car, you will get your money back for fuel you haven’t used. You will need to check with your provider what their policy on this matter is because of some use different tank sizing methods. Having any deal in writing when you collect the vehicle is a good idea to make sure you don’t pay for the fuel you haven’t used.

Pre-Purchase with part refund

As above, you will be charged for petrol already in the tank, but you will also be charged a service fee for the cost of refuelling. When you bring the car back, you will be reimbursed for the fuel you do not use, but will not get the money back that you have paid on the service charge, which is dependent on the engine size. Make sure you read the terms of the policy before you order so you do not get any surprise charges.

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Full to Full

Your vehicle will come with a full, or near full tank, and when you return it, it should be at the same level. At the time of collection, the company will take a deposit for fuel (usually funds will be blocked on your card, no money taken). If you return the car with less petrol than you started with, they will charge you! It is also wise to keep receipts of every fuel purchase you make and hand it in at the counter on drop off. For Van Hire Southend on Sea, visit a site like https://www.steves-selfdrive.com/

Full to Empty

As with others, you will receive, and will be charged for, a full tank of fuel on collection. You will need to return the car as close to empty as possible, otherwise you’ll just be giving back free fuel with no refund on unused fuel!

Where to look for this information

Some companies clearly state the fuel policy on the “Details” section when you compare offers. Others sometimes hide them in the terms and conditions and might not even specify the name of the policy – read the descriptions carefully and match them with the above examples.