Prepay for Gas or Not - Refueling Options for Rental Cars

Whether to fill the tank yourself, prepay for gasoline, or let the car rental company fill it up for you.


Fill Tank Yourself | Pre-Pay Gas Option | Company Fill


What are my options?

Finding the right rental car company to work with is important. But after you’ve rented your car there are some things to keep in mind. A decision that can prove to be confusing when renting a car is whether or not to fill the tank before returning the rental vehicle. The following options should be considered to help you avoid potential refueling issues. It’s important to first check with your rental car company on the refueling options. Some rental car companies require customers to refuel their cars before returning the vehicle.

You have three choices:

  • Filling the tank with gas yourself (Least expensive)
  • Purchasing the pre-paid gasoline option
  • Letting the company fill the tank (Most expensive)

1. Fill the tank with gas yourself: (Least expensive option)

Most people prefer to fill the tank the night before departing, in the morning, or on their way back to the airport. This is the least expensive option. But if you're running late, you may decide to simply let the agency where you got the automobile do it for you.

2. Prepaid Gasoline: (2nd most expensive option)

This is a "Pre-Pay for Fuel" option. It is assumed you will be bringing the vehicle back empty, so when signing up for this option, you will be charged a set price per gallon of gas to fill an empty tank. The price per gallon will be less per gallon than if you were to choose option #3. Choosing the gas prepay option will save you time if you're in a hurry or late getting the vehicle returned. This is a convenient way to go so you don't even have to think about budgeting your time to find a gas station for refill the tank. The downside of choosing this option is you will pay more than had you filled the tank yourself. Also, if you happen to forget and bring the car back with, say, a half a tank of gas, you will still be charged for the full tank pre-paid gas option. Please be aware that airport and rental car taxes for the prepaid gas may be added on top of the high cost per gallon charged by the rental agency.

3. Bring it back low or empty - let company fill gas tank for you:

(no prepaid gas arrangement, Most expensive option)
There is another refueling option available for customers. This choice is more expensive that the pre-paid gasoline option. If you return a vehicle with a low or empty tank of gas, the company will fill the tank and charge you a lot more per gallon than you would have paid at the pump had you done it yourself. You will also pay more per gallon than if you'd chosen the prepaid gas choice. If a customer chooses not to refuel, then the rental car company will charge a certain (higher) amount per gallon of gas to refill the rental car to compensate them for the added service. On top of that, as mentioned in the prepaid gas option #2, airport and rental car taxes for that fuel may be added on top of the high cost per gallon charged by the rental agency. This charge will be charged to your credit or debit card used you used to rent the vehicle after you have departed Hawaii and are on your way back home.

  • Corporate Discount Rates
  • No Travel Agent Fees
  • No Pre-Payment
  • No Booking Fee
  • Cancel Anytime
  • No Obligation