Which is the best fuel option to take?

Old Jul 1, 04, 1:16 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: QF NB, Priority Club, Marriott Rewards, Hilton HHonors
Posts: 390
Which is the best fuel option to take?

I'm renting from LAX in Sept & am trying to work out what the best fuel option is. Do I buy the fuel from Hertz or fill the tank up myself? I'm returning the car to LAX but only driving from Anaheim on that day so I could fill it up in Anaheim I suppose. But is it worth the fiddling around?
goosegreen is offline  
Old Jul 1, 04, 2:48 am
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 687
Don't take fuel option

I never take fuel option. First, they claim to have a cheaper price than local gas station, but they will add sales tax on top of the "cheaper fuel price" so that it ends up the same.

Second, they charge you by the full tank, how often does one drive a car till the last drop of gas? My car's low gas warning light goes on when my tank has less than 4 gallons of gas in it.
khkchan is offline  
Old Jul 1, 04, 8:31 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Programs: Bar Alliance Gold
Posts: 16,271
I only do the Fuel Purchase Option (pre-pay for the tank) if I know I am going to be driving so much I'll either empty the tank or get close to it, or I have no clue where a fuel stop is at the aiport and I will be cutting it somewhat close getting back and don't have time to hunt.

With what they charge to fill the tank, if you end up fueling it some ways away from the airport, the charges to bring it back up to Full might be more then just FPOing in the first place and bringing her back with a quarter-tank.
SEA_Tigger is offline  
Old Jul 1, 04, 11:57 am
Join Date: May 2002
Location: SNA
Programs: STARS/LUMINOUS, PRIVE, FSPP, STARS, MO FAN Club, PEN Club, Bellini Club
Posts: 2,604
I always choose the option to fill it up myself even if the client is paying. I don't see the point in paying for a full tank of gas when I used maybe only a quarter.
zakami is offline  
Old Jul 1, 04, 11:58 am
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: STL, MO-US and A , SWA A-List, Marriott LTTE, Hilton Gold, Hertz PC
Posts: 1,876
Unless the car completly runs out of gas just as your pulling into the Hertz lot, Hertz comes out ahead.

The highest profit margins for all rental car companies are fuel and insurance.
ALARISstl is offline  
Old Jul 1, 04, 3:36 pm
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: SJC
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 3,686
As others have said, I only take the fuel option if I am going to use a lot of fuel and might have issues topping it up.

For example, two weeks ago we drove from IAD to LGA. I wasn't going to worry about finding a gas station near LGA at 4:00am when we dropped the car off.

This week I've got a car in London. I also will be around Gatwick early, and don't know where the gas station is. And the car's under a 1/4 tank now so it'll be pretty doggone close when we turn it in tomorrow morning (and we've put fuel in it during the week).

sllevin is offline  
Old Jul 1, 04, 7:41 pm
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Chicago
Programs: UA 1K, AA Gold
Posts: 3,640
One caveat with pre-buying fuel is it's taxable, which makes it quite expensive. But given the number of airports with NO gas close by, it's a really tempting option when you know you'll be cutting it close.
das is offline  
Old Jul 4, 04, 10:55 am
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Not next to Dorian anymore =(
Programs: Status... we don't need no stinkin' status
Posts: 218
I notice that Hertz in YVR and YYC charges 100 liters for a full tank of gas on SUVs. I have a QX4... and I've driven many other (standard size) SUV's and the biggest I've driven in was the Jeep Grand Cherokee... and that's 80 liters.

So $.72 (hertz's rate) x 100 liters = $72
while $.76 (local gas price) x 80 liters = $60.80 or $45.60 (for a 60 liter tank, like my QX4)

Pre-paid is never a good idea.... so when they ask me... "Would you like to pre-pay for your tank of gas"... I'm like "What's the price of the full tank and how many liters is that"
GOODFELA is offline  
Old Jul 4, 04, 8:45 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: All over
Programs: Most
Posts: 10,840
Best option is always NOT to take any additional options that the rental car company is offering besides reasonable upgrade for a low rate.
holtju2 is offline  
Old Sep 2, 04, 10:12 am
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Houston
Programs: UA: MM
Posts: 842
Originally Posted by das
One caveat with pre-buying fuel is it's taxable, which makes it quite expensive.

I did not know this.

I rented in Salt Lake City this week and while reviewing the bill on the plane I discoved that they charge tax on everything (rental, fees and fuel). I called to question taxing the fuel under the "you-told-me-the-cost-would-be-the-average-of-the-three-closest-places-and-wern't-completely-accurate" premiss. (The truth would be average PLUS tax...)

The billing rep was nice enough to refund the tax on the fuel charge. She told me that what is taxed varries from location to location and they should be able to tell you when you pick up the car.


dmunz is offline  
Old Sep 2, 04, 1:58 pm
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 214
Petrol/Gas locations at Heathrow and Gatwick Airports

Just some useful info for you all:

At London Gatwick airport there is a filling station on site located near to the South Treminal, on approach to aiport follow signs to South Terminal and you will see signs. Approx 5 mins to South Terminal car rental returns
Approx 10-15 mins to North Terminal car rental returns

At London Heathrow, proceed to 'Concorde' roundabout and enter tunnel under runway, filling station located ahead of you on roundabout. Approx 10-15 mins from here to car rental returns.

olivetti is offline  
Old Sep 3, 04, 1:44 pm
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,658
Originally Posted by ALARISstl
Unless the car completly runs out of gas just as your pulling into the Hertz lot, Hertz comes out ahead.

The highest profit margins for all rental car companies are fuel and insurance.
Which is exactly why they push these items so hard, especially on the obviously infrequent renter (who, in most cases I witness, usually bites, especially on the insurance).

Although Hertz doesn't do it a lot, rental companies also make a killing on "on the spot" upgrades to a "much nicer" car for "only" an extra $10 a day.
SealBeach is offline  
Old Sep 3, 04, 2:15 pm
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: MCI
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, AS MVP, UA Silver, WN A-List, Marriott LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 51,741
To Goose's initial question, there are several gas stations in close proximity to the Hertz location at LAX - at least two within a few hundred meters. (I wish I could remember street names or freeway exits, but I recall I gassed up my Hertz car no more than 2 minutes of driving from the rental return lot.)

I would definitely not attempt to FPO at LAX. Last thing I'd want to do is get stuck in an all-too-common LA traffic jam as I'm trying to roll a rental car into LAX on fumes.

I used to use FPO when they had the big V8 Mercury Cougars in the mid-90's. I owned one myself and knew the engine and gas tank very well. I haven't done it in years though...
pinniped is offline  
Old Sep 3, 04, 4:33 pm
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 563
Many German car navigation systems (Audi, BMW comes to mind) have a map display which does not only show the driving directions, you can also see whats around you on the screen (big parking lots, churches, train stations, gas stations and other stuff). I love it, it really helps finding the nearest gas station before returning the car

I never have used Neverlost, but I plan to, so does Neverlost show gas stations or some additional info about your surroundings?
Hammer is offline  
Old Sep 4, 04, 4:58 pm
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,014
I would never consider paying for FPO unless the discounts were much better (and after factoring in the tax) and only if I had the ability to return the car with no gas.

I think the more interesting question regarding fuel is when to accept the free fuel PC coupon over say a $20 off PC coupon. When I go for the free gas based upon my anticipated mileage, I always pray for a car with a gas tank that can get close to 400 miles or better with highway mpg. Then I return the car just below the E level or substantially lower than E if the fuel gauge E is obviously too high.
jmw is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread