Cars low on fuel

Old Oct 20, 13, 4:19 pm
  #1  
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Cars low on fuel

I rented a little Kia Cerato from SYD the other day. Drove 66km, filled it up, it took 9.971 litres of fuel.

Now, either Kia is making small hatchbacks that use 15.1 litres per hundred km (that's 15.5 miles per gallon for you Yanks) or they gave me a car that was already kinda on the low side.

This is the second time in a row I've had this happen; I rented a Fusion in Hawaii and by the time I got out of the parking lot it was on 7/8ths full. I didn't have time or energy to go back and argue about it, but it cheeses me off.

Is there anything I can do about this that's likely to be worth the time and effort? I can't even find an email address for Hertz Australia to complain to, and darned if I'm going to sit on the phone for an hour to speak to some low-level customer service rep about it. Or should I just restrict myself to venting on the internet?
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Old Oct 20, 13, 7:58 pm
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Complain at return - you should either get a credit or a voucher.

When I have a car drop to 7/8 when I haven't driven far enough that it should have dropped, I take a photo with my phone of the fuel gauge and the odometer, giving you some form of proof that it dropped to 7/8 when you had only driven X miles.

I always make a point of resetting the MPG (or similar) and tripmeter as soon as I pickup (and on some cars, the "fuel used" counter) which will allow you to confirm that you didn't use as much fuel as it takes to refill.
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Old Oct 21, 13, 8:00 am
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I've had this also, and it's infuriating.

But I'm not sure that there's much that it's worth doing about it. When a car is returned, they always check that the fuel gauge reads full, but I'm pretty sure they don't top it up. So, when it happens to me, I figure that the previous renter had worked out how far he could go while the meter still read full, and filled the car up that number of miles before the airport. I can't really blame Hertz for it, as it's one of their customer's petty frauds.
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Old Oct 21, 13, 9:08 am
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The local HLE that my company rents from doesn't fill up after the previous renter. Frequently I receive cars with ~1/2 tank of fuel, but the clerks make a point of mentioning "make sure to return it with (the same amount of fuel)."

However, we also frequently prepay the fuel, which I have no idea how they figure out. Are they charging us the prepay on the entire tank, or only on the 1/2 that is already there.
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Old Oct 21, 13, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by FearFree View Post
However, we also frequently prepay the fuel, which I have no idea how they figure out. Are they charging us the prepay on the entire tank, or only on the 1/2 that is already there.
Can't you just check the receipt? Should be obvious if they have charged you a full tank or half.

However how it's supposed to work is that you get charged based on how much fuel is in the tank. If it's marked as 4/8 (ie, half full) then you should get charged for half a tank.
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Old Oct 21, 13, 11:18 am
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
Can't you just check the receipt? Should be obvious if they have charged you a full tank or half.

However how it's supposed to work is that you get charged based on how much fuel is in the tank. If it's marked as 4/8 (ie, half full) then you should get charged for half a tank.
I'm sure I could, and I'm also sure if it were coming out of my pocket I would be inspecting it closer.

Now that its been mentioned, I will inspecting the receipts closer, regardless of the fact that they are direct-billed to my employer. It just never really occurred to me before this that they may be over-charging for fuel.
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Old Oct 21, 13, 12:47 pm
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Had it happen to me with back to back rentals at ZRH. Before I left the garage the second time, I went back to the counter and got one of the staff to come mark my contract with 6/8 full. BTW, the contract showed that the car was 8/8 full.
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Old Oct 21, 13, 1:59 pm
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Ah, the "rental car full" syndrome.... happens almost always.

Discovered the answer in the latest Skoda Octavia. There is a display in the trip computer, if you cycle through it, for "miles since last refuelling". I showed the guys in Bristol North this, and explained how the car appeared to have done 21 miles when I collected it. Since the nearest fuel stations are about a mile away, someone was taking the proverbial.. at least 21 miles in an Octavia TDi is only about half a gallon.
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Old Oct 21, 13, 2:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Red Scorpion View Post
Discovered the answer in the latest Skoda Octavia. There is a display in the trip computer, if you cycle through it, for "miles since last refuelling". I showed the guys in Bristol North this, and explained how the car appeared to have done 21 miles when I collected it. Since the nearest fuel stations are about a mile away, someone was taking the proverbial.. at least 21 miles in an Octavia TDi is only about half a gallon.
Now that is nice - I'll have to remember that if I ever get given a Skoda - both on the rental end, and also on the return end...
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Old Oct 21, 13, 6:04 pm
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I refer to this as the "Hertz Fill-up".
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Old Oct 21, 13, 6:12 pm
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Go to a gas station as close to the rental site as possible right after getting the car and fill up. Save that receipt to show exactly how much credit you should get.

I did this earlier this year with an Alamo rental, and they discounted with no questions asked.
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Old Oct 22, 13, 2:25 am
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
Now that is nice - I'll have to remember that if I ever get given a Skoda - both on the rental end, and also on the return end...
So the goal is to fill up fifty miles from the airport and then put a liter in right outside the perimeter
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Old Oct 22, 13, 5:31 am
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Sorry to hear this happened to you Jorgen, I know now in Brisbane and most likely it is filtering to the other Australian airport locations is the requirement for all rentals on return to show the refueling receipt. This is to prevent cars like yours which may look full being allowed to be simply cleaned and sent back out on rent.

If there is any problems and you haven't left the parking lot you can speak to the member of staff who checks the paperwork or address it with the returns staff both can edit the contract so you won't be charged for fuel.
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