If you’re ever rented a car, you’ve undoubtedly heard the pitch about pre-paying for fuel. The agent at the counter warns that unless you return the car with a full tank, the rental car company will charge you an insanely inflated price for the gas needed to top off the tank.
However, if you purchase the fuel option from the rental car company, they charge you for a full tank of gas. You’d need to return the car on fumes (less than 1 gallon of gas in the tank) to make up the price difference. Even if you overpay for fuel from the station closest to the airport, you’ll still do better than pre-paying for gas from the rental car company.
That doesn’t mean that the car rental companies won’t try to convince you that prepaying for fuel is a good idea.
I just booked a rental car for our time on Oahu and found a great rate with this discount. During the rental process, I was provided the chance to pay in advance for fuel.
No matter the price of gas in Hawaii, I’d have to pay for the entire 16.68-gallon tank in advance, regardless of how much gas was in the tank when I returned the car. According to GasBuddy, there are plenty of places to stop near the airport.
If you’re a Costco member, there are several locations in the area. If you fill up there when it’s convenient and don’t return the car full, you’ll still be paying less than if you paid for the whole tank of gas in advance.
The only times where it could make sense to prepay for the tank would be:
- If you’re returning the car very early or very late and it’s possible the gas stations in the area won’t be open.
- You’re unfamiliar with the area and don’t want to worry about getting gas when returning the car.
You’d be paying extra for the convenience and peace of mind of not being able to find a station before returning the car. The additional $70 is worth it for some, but I’m not willing to overpay for fuel when I spend so much time finding a discount on the rental car.
Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.
Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary