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View Full Version : Car Hire: Pre-pay fuel or pay at the airport?


Twilight Terror
08-24-2009, 08:14 AM
So, we're looking into the car hire situation, and we are trying to work out if it will be cheaper to pay for the tank of fuel when we pick up the car, or buy the platinum package now, which includes the initial tank of fuel.

At the moment, through Netflights, we can get:
Thrifty for 376.00
Dollar for 389.00

Those prices do not include that first tank of fuel. Alternatively, we can get the same car, from the same companies, including the first tank of fuel for:
Thrifty for 485.00 (109 for fuel)
Dollar for 468.00 (79 for fuel)

My many question is, if we bought the tank of fuel at the airport, would they really charge the equivalent of 79? We do not have an additional drivers, which I know is what the platinum package also includes. So for us, without extra drivers, would it be better to not buy the platinum, or are we likely to get stung at the airport if we do not?

And on a slightly different note, does it matter that the card I pay with now will not be in the drivers name, and will not match the one we use in America for the security deposit?

Edit: According to Toyota's website, the car has a 16gallon fuel tank!

orangetiggs
08-24-2009, 08:45 AM
we dont have any additional drivers but I always go with the platinum package as we dont want to pay anything when we pick the car up so its easier for us to pay upfront

Twilight Terror
08-24-2009, 08:47 AM
I'm not bothered by how long it will take us, just how much it will cost us! :lmao: Don't see the point in paying 79 or 109 for a tank of fuel that might cost half of that when we get there. I need more money for World of Disney! :lmao:

alisonbestford
08-24-2009, 01:49 PM
We always pay for petrol at the airport - it's always a little more expensive but saves me the worry of finding that first petrol station ;)

Netty
08-24-2009, 02:01 PM
I might have this the wrong way around, but if you dont have the pre paid full tank of fuel then you have to bring the car back with a full tank??

alisonbestford
08-24-2009, 02:03 PM
Think that's it Netty :)

I always attempt to bring back an empty tank but never quite manage to :hippie:

I know the car company will win both ways but my own peace of mind is my uppermost thought ....

JohnnySharp2
08-24-2009, 02:44 PM
I prefer the pre-pay and return empty option. Just find it easier.

dc1964
08-24-2009, 03:03 PM
it cant be 109 for the fuel alone.if it is dont take it, just take the car bak full, i would guess it would be about $30 to fill it up.

alisonbestford
08-24-2009, 03:13 PM
it cant be 109 for the fuel alone.if it is dont take it, just take the car bak full, i would guess it would be about $30 to fill it up.

On a tank the size you expect I imagine it'll be more than $30 to fill up - seem to remember it being around $35 to fill up the economy car (in the nearest Gas station) we had back in April...then again, don't hold me to that.
My memory is atrocious!!:rolleyes1

alisonbestford
08-24-2009, 03:18 PM
I've always paid for gas at the airport but never found it to be ridiculously expensive.........

alisonbestford
08-24-2009, 03:25 PM
Seems to be about $39 for a full tank - depends on whether convenience or cost is the most important for you :)

Twilight Terror
08-24-2009, 07:32 PM
Thanks alisonbestford for your advice. :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2

Have shown mum the thread, and she has been looking at Orlando fuel prices, and has said that she wants to pay at the airport. Even if they charge double the going gas station prices, it will still be cheaper than buying the pre-paid option.

I have just finished making all the payments and we have our little SUV booked for the holiday! Woohoo! Will be paying for the fuel at the airport, and allowing convenience to give way to saving money! If it doesn't work out, at least we'll know for next time! :thumbsup2

Netty
08-25-2009, 06:29 AM
Thanks alisonbestford for your advice. :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2

Have shown mum the thread, and she has been looking at Orlando fuel prices, and has said that she wants to pay at the airport. Even if they charge double the going gas station prices, it will still be cheaper than buying the pre-paid option.

I have just finished making all the payments and we have our little SUV booked for the holiday! Woohoo! Will be paying for the fuel at the airport, and allowing convenience to give way to saving money! If it doesn't work out, at least we'll know for next time! :thumbsup2

what car did you get?? :)

Twilight Terror
08-25-2009, 07:27 PM
It is a Four Wheel Drive - a Toyota RAV 4 or similar

Hoping that it will actually be that model because it has the boot that opens out, like a cupboard door, rather than upwards like must standard boots. An open-out-cupboard-type-door will be perfect for us, as it will make getting the wheelchair in and out a whole lot easier!!! What about you? Which have you got?

Netty
08-26-2009, 06:08 AM
It is a Four Wheel Drive - a Toyota RAV 4 or similar

Hoping that it will actually be that model because it has the boot that opens out, like a cupboard door, rather than upwards like must standard boots. An open-out-cupboard-type-door will be perfect for us, as it will make getting the wheelchair in and out a whole lot easier!!! What about you? Which have you got?

Same as us!! Toyota rav4 or similar-as long as its not the jeep liberty-we had that one last october and is was so uncomfortable

bazzanoid
08-27-2009, 05:11 AM
Same as us!! Toyota rav4 or similar-as long as its not the jeep liberty-we had that one last october and is was so uncomfortable

When you get to the rental counter ask them which models they have available in your class, don't just let them give you one as they'll just randomly pluck a set of keys from the rack in your class (as you would expect) - if they do say they only have a car you know you don't want ask again and point out why - i.e. are you sure you don't have anything, maybe something 'over the other side' that could be brought over, you won't mind waiting 15 minutes for your car if it means two weeks of more comfort!

bazzanoid
08-27-2009, 05:15 AM
We always pay for petrol at the airport - it's always a little more expensive but saves me the worry of finding that first petrol station ;)

Alison - the car will ALWAYS have a full tank when you pick it up, all you need to do is tell the rental folks you'll take it and bring it back full, that way you just need to fill up within a few miles of the airport on your return journey - works out far cheaper.

I made the mistake of filling up in Kissimmee and going the back route to the airport, so didn't see a single gas station before dropping the car back - it dropped an 1/8th of a tank (it was a somewhat large SUV) and Dollar were kind enough to charge me $25 for the 'missing' 1/8th of a tank............. won't be doing that again lol

Twilight Terror
08-27-2009, 05:53 AM
So if you bring the tank back full, you don't pay that initial fee at the airport, is that correct? Do all car renters offer that service? I've been through all the T&Cs and Help and FAQs on Netflights (who we booked with), and they only mention either paying for the full fuel tank at the airport, or purchasing the platinum cover, which includes the price of the fuel. We are getting the car from Dollar via Netflights though, so will that make a difference? We are also hoping to join Dollar Express to speed up the process.

bazzanoid
08-27-2009, 06:08 AM
Dollar definitely do offer it, but you may need to mention it as they won't automatically tell you about it, instead just tagging the tank on to your rental agreement.

If you join Dollar Express, they (at the desk) may well assume you'll be bringing it back full if you haven't paid as part of the booking, and just casually mention it "i take it that you'll be....." rather than outright ask.

Can't stress this enough though - bring the car back FULL - anything less and they will charge you for it. It will be less than a full tank charge providing there's more than half a tank in there, but it's blinking expensive. Find out where the nearest gas station to the rental return entry is and top off the tank (fill up in kissimmee as it's cheaper, just top up by the airport) before dropping the car off.

If you're hiring / taking a satnav store the nearest gas station (it'll be on the Points of Interest under Fuel or Gas) as a favourite when you pick the car up so you know where you're going on the way back!

As far as I'm aware (feel free to correct me if i'm wrong anyone), all rental companies will do this, but many prefer not to as they don't make any extra cash - Alamo are well known for being pushy, so they may give problems on this depending on the CS agent.

That said, with Dollar, if you're needing an extra driver, then it's always better to go for the Platinum package at time of booking, since it includes extra drivers, so coupled with a tank of fuel it saves you a lot of $$ at the other end, and you can just bring it back empty at the end of your stay.

:goodvibes:

Twilight Terror
08-27-2009, 06:23 AM
Dollar definitely do offer it, but you may need to mention it as they won't automatically tell you about it, instead just tagging the tank on to your rental agreement.

If you join Dollar Express, they (at the desk) may well assume you'll be bringing it back full if you haven't paid as part of the booking, and just casually mention it "i take it that you'll be....." rather than outright ask.

Brilliant! Sounds good to me! Will get onto Dollar Express asap then!

That said, with Dollar, if you're needing an extra driver, then it's always better to go for the Platinum package at time of booking, since it includes extra drivers, so coupled with a tank of fuel it saves you a lot of $$ at the other end, and you can just bring it back empty at the end of your stay.

We only have one driver, which is why we are NOT opting for the pay in advance option - no point paying a fortune for a service we're not going to use! Will definitely fill up in Kissimmee and then top up at the airport. Thanks for all that info!

bazzanoid
08-27-2009, 06:38 AM
Brilliant! Sounds good to me! Will get onto Dollar Express asap then!


When you get your Dollar Express membership number (by email or on the screen, you may not get a card posted out as you're in the UK, depends on their mood i think LOL) email it on to Netflights and ask them to tag the number to your booking so the rental counter know straight away you're an express member, that way there's no argument as to why you're in the Express queue as opposed to the half-a-mile-long standard queue :)

Twilight Terror
08-27-2009, 06:53 AM
When you get your Dollar Express membership number (by email or on the screen, you may not get a card posted out as you're in the UK, depends on their mood i think LOL) email it on to Netflights and ask them to tag the number to your booking so the rental counter know straight away you're an express member, that way there's no argument as to why you're in the Express queue as opposed to the half-a-mile-long standard queue :)

Okay! Didn't realise I would need to go through Netflights as well and tag the booking - thanks for that little bit of handy information! :thumbsup2

bazzanoid
08-27-2009, 06:58 AM
no probs - anything to help a holiday to WDW go smoothly!

Sounds like it's your first time driving in the US - check out this site for some handy tips, and don't be afraid to ask here on the boards if anything about the road system troubles you!

http://www.kissimmee-us192.com/british/driving.htm

Twilight Terror
08-27-2009, 07:09 AM
It's not our first time, although it has been 10years since we last drove. If we didn't have a wheelchair, we wouldn't be driving again this year either, but needs must. Will let my mum have a look at that website though.

Lizzybear
08-27-2009, 02:34 PM
This year we have 2 'sets' of car rental with 2 different companies and i'm not buying the insurance that includes a tank of fuel with either of them. I have done this in the past but feel they overcharge for this service in most cases.
What I plan to do is as bazzanoid mentioned, offer to return the car full (will bring the receipt to show just in case) and hopefully that will mean we won't have to pay them anything.

Trouty
08-27-2009, 02:41 PM
Recently (and always) I bring the car back full. Recently the petrol was $2.50 a gallon for regular. I filled up next to the Hotel and topped it up on Lake Mary Bl next to Sanford airport. This is by far the cheapest method. Always used AVIS as well, nice and fast from Sanford.

john gwyn
08-27-2009, 07:38 PM
we found that pre paying was far easier. we booked with budget and im pretty sure that it only cost $45.
have a fab trip.
john

bazzanoid
08-28-2009, 05:09 AM
This year we have 2 'sets' of car rental with 2 different companies and i'm not buying the insurance that includes a tank of fuel with either of them. I have done this in the past but feel they overcharge for this service in most cases.
What I plan to do is as bazzanoid mentioned, offer to return the car full (will bring the receipt to show just in case) and hopefully that will mean we won't have to pay them anything.

You won't need the receipt - when you return the car and they scan it as you park up it'll flag on their system if the tank is supposed to be full, first thing the attendant will do is turn the ignition on and look at the fuel gauge.....

John Gwyn - it can depend on your car - last trip we had a full-size Chevrolet Suburban SUV that has a HUGE fuel tank on it, so costs around $45 to fill up, if you've got a standard car then it's likely only $25 - 30 for a full tank.

Everyone has their own preferences, whatever makes them most comfortable :goodvibes:

(i still have trouble adjusting to no 'real' handbrake)

Trouty
08-28-2009, 09:40 AM
Sorry to state the obvious but this site http://www.orlandogasprices.com/ is helpful. Their prices go up and down like yo-yos hehe.

bazzanoid
08-28-2009, 09:58 AM
Sorry to state the obvious but this site http://www.orlandogasprices.com/ is helpful. Their prices go up and down like yo-yos hehe.

Oh yes - that is a golden rule.... see it cheap, top it up! The prices can literally swing +/- 25% on a weekly basis!

Netty
08-28-2009, 10:37 AM
When you get to the rental counter ask them which models they have available in your class, don't just let them give you one as they'll just randomly pluck a set of keys from the rack in your class (as you would expect) - if they do say they only have a car you know you don't want ask again and point out why - i.e. are you sure you don't have anything, maybe something 'over the other side' that could be brought over, you won't mind waiting 15 minutes for your car if it means two weeks of more comfort!

how do i find out beforehand what other cars are in the 4x4 intermediate range, so far i know its rav4 and jeep liberty

bazzanoid
08-28-2009, 11:01 AM
Unfortunately, their stock answer is the fleet changes all the time, so they can't guarantee exactly what they'll have... the best way is to post a new thread here asking what cars people have had in the intermediate 4x4 class with dollar, it'll give you a guideline.

EDIT: They have also been known to use the Jeep Compass or Patriot.

I've noticed Dollar seem to favour GM vehicles, so Dodge, Jeep, Chevy, GMC are the most likely choices.

:goodvibes:

Netty
08-28-2009, 11:06 AM
Unfortunately, their stock answer is the fleet changes all the time, so they can't guarantee exactly what they'll have... the best way is to post a new thread here asking what cars people have had in the intermediate 4x4 class with dollar, it'll give you a guideline.

EDIT: They have also been known to use the Jeep Compass or Patriot.

I've noticed Dollar seem to favour GM vehicles, so Dodge, Jeep, Chevy, GMC are the most likely choices.

:goodvibes:

ok thanks for that!

DISWolves
08-29-2009, 01:23 PM
Budget also do a thing called Fast Break (similar to Dollars Express card)
I also requested to return Budget car with a full tank of petrol
Filled up at Hess station outside Magic Kingdom ($2.51 gallon 27/8/9)
If you fill the tank until the pump cuts out, the gauge shows passed the Full mark
Drove from M.K. to Orlando international airport and the gauge was still slightly passed the Full mark. Also confirm with rental person receiveing the car that the tank is full.