When you rent a car whether it's on holiday or back home you'll often have to return the car in the same condition it left the forecourt in obviously but another little known stipulation is that a decent amount of fuel be left when you return the vehicle.
It goes without saying that car hire firms want to be able to give a car to a new renter as soon as possible and if you've returned the car with the petrol gauge in the red then they are not going to be able to give that car to the next person that walks through the door.
Even though petrol and diesel cost an obscene amount at the moment it's common courtesy to leave the car with a sufficient level of fuel so that the next driver isn't left inconvenienced. The main issue is that if you were to leave the car with not enough fuel you could incur an extra charge on top of your hiring costs.
Yes, you could be charged more to return a car running on fumes than one with a full tank, normally called a refueling fee. Refueling fees and the policies attached to them vary between each car hire company, some companies may simply ask that you return the car with a full tank, half a tank or just a quarter tank when you're done. The cost of leaving petrol in the hire car may be an inconvenience for yourself but when you consider that you'll be charged more for leaving it empty it may be worth topping the car up before handing over the keys.
In America where gasoline is running around $4 per gallon there are some car hire firms that have increased the price of refueling to $8 per gallon. The locations where this happens are typically busy depots near the major airports such as John F Kennedy in New York, Logan in Boston. Obviously they receive thousands of people all searching for cheap car hire companies every day and in order to avoid delayed turnaround times they'll urge drivers to leave cars in the state that they can lease the car out as soon as it's returned.
Some car hire firms will simply add a surcharge on the top of your bill whilst some will charge you the cost of refueling at the previously mentioned rates, all of it aims to deter drivers from returning the cars empty and helps keep their business flowing. So when you're next on holiday or need to rent a car make sure you check the fuel gauge before turning over the keys, it could cost you even more!KCK
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