hertz rental carWhen you rent a car, you’re bombarded with questions from vehicle upgrades to gas. With gas, there are all sorts of options. 

Just say “no” to rental car fees

I always say no to all the extras sold by rental car companies. With credit cards that cover damage to a rental car, and private insurance the rental car insurance is not worth it. I even fill up my own gas.  Recently, I thought twice about my gas option.

car gas tankPre-pay gas cheaper?

As a consumer reporter, I have a natural skepticism toward the rental car salesman. Consumers have shared stories of dropping their car flawless only to be billed later for damages they say they didn’t cause. Some companies are even requiring receipts for gas to make sure you fill up the tank close to the airport and don’t get a few extra miles out of that full tank of gas.

So imagine my reaction when the rental car salesman told me the pre-pay gas price is cheaper than nearby gas stations. The price of gas seemed cheap on the sign behind the counter, but I like to think about decisions before making them. I stick with my traditional answer or my gut if I’m asked to make a decision on the spot. I always say no to the add-ons at the rental car counter, so I said no again.

On my way back to the airport, I filled up at a nearby gas station. The price I paid was a few cents more than the one I saw previously posted at the airport rental car counter. It made me think. Maybe this was something to consider the next time I rent a car.

Research on gas prices

Before I do it, or suggest you do it, ask many questions. Make sure the price listed is the TOTAL price you will pay per gallon. Make sure there are not additional taxes or fees. Also, ask if that price is valid regardless of whether you need a full or half tank of gas. Search GasBuddy to find the going rate for gas in the area where you’re traveling. Finally, get the offer in writing to make sure an extra charge doesn’t appear on your bill later.