I’ll admit it. I’ve returned a car without refueling it. Sometimes I’ve been shocked at my credit card bill. Other times, pleasantly surprised.
It turns out that car rental places really, really vary in what they charge to refill your car.
(One car rental place waived my refueling fee when I returned the car completely clean during the winter–they were just relieved they didn’t have to wash it, and I was only a gallon or so low).
But here are the rates that I could find by contacting different car rental places. If there’s something you want on this list, just let me know in the comments, and I’ll investigate. (As a note, this is an update on research I did last year)
For pricing for the fuel itself, I used DC pricing. So if you are in Texas, they may run cheaper, and in California, it may be more expensive. But it will give you the scale of differences between the car rental companies.
Alamo and National (the same parent company) ended up being the cheapest. Enterprise would not disclose, but I seem to remember a fee with Enterprise. Avis, Dollar, Budget, and Hertz had the most expensive refueling charges of the group.
For all of them, remember–if you buy the cheaper pre-paid gas but do not use it all, you do not get a refund. They are hoping you overbuy.
If you do not bring it back the car with the gas tank full, you will be charged $9.00 per gallon.
They will charge you $3.69 per gallon.
If you do not pre-buy the gas, they will charge you $3.69 per gallon. This is the same as National
They said they change the price frequently based on the current gas market, but would not give out any actual numbers. I do remember them being expensive in the past, but YMMV.
The refill rate is $9.89 per gallon. They also mentioned in the past that if you drive less than 75 miles they will charge $13.99 unless you show your fuel receipt.
Dollar will charge you $9.99 per gallon.
<could not be reached> Their prices last time, however, were on par with Hertz.
So there you have it. The costs of most the companies I researched. Please let me know if there’s anything you would like added to this list!