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Old 05-12-2012, 03:46 PM   #16
Lewisc

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Paying for the pre-paid gas plan makes less (economic) sense then paying the hotel to launder your clothing or taking advantage of the mini-bar in your hotel room. There are some people who are willing to pay for convenience. I'm basing my analysis on the time saved. The pre-paid gas plan saves you the (at most) 10 minutes it takes to gas up.

I suspect most of the customers who purchase the gas plan don't understand the economics of the plan. An Alamo agent in TPA advised me to get the gas plan (one way rental) telling me there aren't any gas stations in Orlando. I asked what the poor people in Orlando do when they run out of gas. She told me I misunderstood her, there aren't any gas stations anywhere near MCO. I asked her why the local price of gas displayed on the sign looked high. She said that's the average price for premium grade gas. I asked who in their right mind would put premium gas in the rental car. Obviously I declined the option.

The pre-paid plan only saves you money if you return the car with less then .5 gallons. The low fuel light generally comes on when you have a couple of gallons left.

Assume your gas tank holds 14 gallons and you return the car with half a tank. You wasted around $27. Assume you don't take the gas plan and are too lazy to top off the tank. You pay the penalty price of 5.40. You can pay for almost 5 gallons of gas before you'll save money with the pre-paid plan. A person who only drives between MCO and WDW with a few theme park trips might use 5 gallons. A person who tops off the tank near the end of their trip, but wants convenience will do better paying the "penalty" rate then using the pre-paid plan.
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:55 AM   #17
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Paying for the pre-paid gas plan makes less (economic) sense then paying the hotel to launder your clothing or taking advantage of the mini-bar in your hotel room. There are some people who are willing to pay for convenience. I'm basing my analysis on the time saved. The pre-paid gas plan saves you the (at most) 10 minutes it takes to gas up.

I suspect most of the customers who purchase the gas plan don't understand the economics of the plan. An Alamo agent in TPA advised me to get the gas plan (one way rental) telling me there aren't any gas stations in Orlando. I asked what the poor people in Orlando do when they run out of gas. She told me I misunderstood her, there aren't any gas stations anywhere near MCO. I asked her why the local price of gas displayed on the sign looked high. She said that's the average price for premium grade gas. I asked who in their right mind would put premium gas in the rental car. Obviously I declined the option.

The pre-paid plan only saves you money if you return the car with less then .5 gallons. The low fuel light generally comes on when you have a couple of gallons left.

Assume your gas tank holds 14 gallons and you return the car with half a tank. You wasted around $27. Assume you don't take the gas plan and are too lazy to top off the tank. You pay the penalty price of 5.40. You can pay for almost 5 gallons of gas before you'll save money with the pre-paid plan. A person who only drives between MCO and WDW with a few theme park trips might use 5 gallons. A person who tops off the tank near the end of their trip, but wants convenience will do better paying the "penalty" rate then using the pre-paid plan.
Of course, you have the people who prepay the gas, take all the coverage offered and then ask if there is a way to avoid paying the two tolls (on either 415 or the Beachline)!!! Things that make you shake your head. LOL
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:50 AM   #18
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Many people opt for the gas option and I would not call them lazy, they have their reasons, to paint them as lazy is definitely not a nice thing to do.
Okay, I'll switch it to "not very bright" then. Or they have money to burn.
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:09 PM   #19
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Okay, I'll switch it to "not very bright" then. Or they have money to burn.
I guess I fall into that category because I spent $36.00 on a case of water on DCL last month because it was easier and more convenient that schlepping a $6.00 case with me.

People are on vacation and if they want convenience, why is it your place to call them lazy or not too bright? I suppose you never ever spend more money than "normal" when on vacation?
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:10 PM   #20
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I guess I fall into that category because I spent $36.00 on a case of water on DCL last month because it was easier and more convenient that schlepping a $6.00 case with me.

People are on vacation and if they want convenience, why is it your place to call them lazy or not too bright? I suppose you never ever spend more money than "normal" when on vacation?
Been there, done that too! Then we decided to do a grocery stop and bring our own case of water onboard but you have to carry it on and dh got tired of that too. So now we've gone back to paying their high prices.
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:55 PM   #21
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Gas was around $3.60 on WDW property 2 weeks ago.
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:52 AM   #22
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I've used the prepaid option before and was not playing the idiot. I drive around a lot on vacation (usually do a day trip to Tampa for BG, stay offsite and always go to Universal for at least a day), so I know I'll be using more than a tanks worth of fuel. In the past I've been offered up to 15 cents less a gallon than than the prevailing rates and that was when gas was under $2 a gallon. Yes you are not going to cash in when gas is $3.50+ and they are only offering 7 cents a gallon less, but there are other considerations. I actually have brought the car in on fumes a couple of times, might have even come out ahead. I've always bought the car back with 2 gallons or less, and paying $7 for not having to worry about stopping and getting gas on a departure day when there are many other things to keep track of is well worth it to me. I'm also not entirely comfortable with filling up at Disney and then driving 20 miles to the airport even if I can get away with it; the next guy is getting a car this is less than full and you are violating a rental agreement you signed stating you will fill it up within 10 miles of the airport. As I said before I don't want to take the extra time and inconvenience to get off the Bee Line or 417 and find a gas station close to the airport. I've also flown in and out of Tampa and am not nearly as familiar with that area as I am with Orlanda and MCO.
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:15 AM   #23
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Not an idiot. We didn't have gasbuddy when gas was under $2.00 /gallon. Before there was an easy way to check rental agencies would list the average local gas price of premium or would price the average of higher priced stations near the airport. I question if there was ever an honest difference of .15/ gallon. Even with your numbers a person would have to return the car with about a gallon of gas to break even.

Intentionally driving an unfamiliar car with under a gallon of gas. I'd feel like an idiot if I ran out of gas on the way to the airport.

You're not violating the rental agreement if you fill up more then 10 miles from the airport. The rental agency is entitled to top off your tank and charge the penalty rate. Less then what many renters waste with the pre-paid gas plan.

Customers who purchase the gas plan pay for a full tank of gas, based on the stated capacity of the gas tank. Does anyone think the agency carefully tops off the tank. I wouldn't be surprised if the average car goes out short at least 1/2 a gallon. That means you're guaranteed to lose money, even if your car runs out of gas as you're returning it.

I rented a car with the gauge showing 3/4 tank. I was told that's the way the gauge read with a full tank. Gasing up the car on my return resulting in a gauge which read F. I had to wait in line to get a credit. Had I not had enough time I would have been gouged.

I don't have an issue if you're willing to pay an extra $5-$20 for convenience. Some people let the hotel launder their clothing. Some use the min-bar. A couple of posters with an early evening flight pay for an extra hotel night so they have their room until 2p.

Only an idiot (someone who belies the claims of the rental clerk) thinks the plan will save money.

I'm not referring to the PP who is willing to pay money for convenience. I'm not talking about the PP who works for Alamo. I'm sure he (or she) tells the truth.
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:50 AM   #24
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You are paying for convenience. The price they charge for gas is reasonable these days - I do believe they used to charge more but it seems to be a more competitive rate now. You are not necessarily going to save money but if you use the majority of the tank it may be worth the price for the convenience. In the OP's scenario they were going to charge $3.67/gallon. A 2012 Altima (typical full sized car Alamo has available) has a capcity of 20 gallons. Let's say you return it with 2 gallons in the tank. You would be charged 20 x $3.67 which is $73.40 and would have used 18 gallons
($66.06). So you are paying roughly $8 for the convenience of not having to stop and fill up on your way to the airport and have to worry about which stations gouge or not. I just got back this Saturday and almost filled up at $4.79 on our way to the airport - 18 x $4.79 is $86.22. There is the convenience factor, POTENTIAL for savings and sometimes even both. Some people are willing to pay for this - some are not. To each their own!!
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:52 AM   #25
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Okay, I'll switch it to "not very bright" then. Or they have money to burn.
Or...they are on vacation and wish to have a nice easy convienant time. They probably figure it is their money and it is nobody's business how they spend it.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:03 PM   #26
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Not an idiot. We didn't have gasbuddy when gas was under $2.00 /gallon. Before there was an easy way to check rental agencies would list the average local gas price of premium or would price the average of higher priced stations near the airport. I question if there was ever an honest difference of .15/ gallon. Even with your numbers a person would have to return the car with about a gallon of gas to break even.

Intentionally driving an unfamiliar car with under a gallon of gas. I'd feel like an idiot if I ran out of gas on the way to the airport.

You're not violating the rental agreement if you fill up more then 10 miles from the airport. The rental agency is entitled to top off your tank and charge the penalty rate. Less then what many renters waste with the pre-paid gas plan.

Customers who purchase the gas plan pay for a full tank of gas, based on the stated capacity of the gas tank. Does anyone think the agency carefully tops off the tank. I wouldn't be surprised if the average car goes out short at least 1/2 a gallon. That means you're guaranteed to lose money, even if your car runs out of gas as you're returning it.

I rented a car with the gauge showing 3/4 tank. I was told that's the way the gauge read with a full tank. Gasing up the car on my return resulting in a gauge which read F. I had to wait in line to get a credit. Had I not had enough time I would have been gouged.

I don't have an issue if you're willing to pay an extra $5-$20 for convenience. Some people let the hotel launder their clothing. Some use the min-bar. A couple of posters with an early evening flight pay for an extra hotel night so they have their room until 2p.

Only an idiot (someone who belies the claims of the rental clerk) thinks the plan will save money.

I'm not referring to the PP who is willing to pay money for convenience. I'm not talking about the PP who works for Alamo. I'm sure he (or she) tells the truth.
Lewis, we don't quote local prices, we do warn about the two gougers on rt. 436 near the airport. I did it even when they did not want the gas option. To me, that was good customer service.
We try to keep the gas prices in alignment with the local ones, sometimes we hit, sometimes lower and sometimes higher. I would even bring up gas buddy to give a customer an idea of where the prices were.
In the situation of a 3/4 tank: That has happened, sometimes when the car is being readied for the next renter, that step is skipped (that really makes me mad, btw and if I spot them before they are rented, they are sent back). The exit agent is supposed to check the level of fuel at the exit and we can adjust the fuel out. That way, if you are exiting with 3/4 of a tank, we can fix it so you return with 3/4 of a tank. We don't want to gouge our customers, honest. Oh, btw, I am a "she".
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:05 PM   #27
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The gauge read 3/4. I asked and was told with that car the gauge reads 3/4 when the tank is full. I made them make note on the contract. The gauge read F after I filled the tank. I had to waste time getting the contract noted and again when I returned the car.

I sort of understand a person willing to pay a $10 premium for convenience. Don't even think you'll be saving money. The numbers suggest having to bring the car back with under a gallon. The previous renter sort of filled up at the Hess station and Alamo didn't top off the tank. The car is on a hill when it's filled. Alamo charges you based on the listed capacity of the tank, not on how much fuel is really in the tank. I doubt you'll even break even if you run out gas as you pull into the return lane.

Low fuel light comes on with about 3 gallons of gas. How long do you want to drive a car with the low fuel light illuminated. What happens if you get caught in traffic. Make an extra stop or shopping trip your last night. Make a wrong turn. Is it more convenient if you pull into a gas station once, maybe twice, and guess if $5 worth of gas will be enough gas to get you to MCO. Maybe $2. Does the car have a miles to E display. Do you trust it. You pass a sign which says 20 miles to MCO and the display says 18 miles to empty. Do you feel lucky?
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:31 PM   #28
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The gauge read 3/4. I asked and was told with that car the gauge reads 3/4 when the tank is full. I made them make note on the contract. The gauge read F after I filled the tank. I had to waste time getting the contract noted and again when I returned the car.

I sort of understand a person willing to pay a $10 premium for convenience. Don't even think you'll be saving money. The numbers suggest having to bring the car back with under a gallon. The previous renter sort of filled up at the Hess station and Alamo didn't top off the tank. The car is on a hill when it's filled. Alamo charges you based on the listed capacity of the tank, not on how much fuel is really in the tank. I doubt you'll even break even if you run out gas as you pull into the return lane.

Low fuel light comes on with about 3 gallons of gas. How long do you want to drive a car with the low fuel light illuminated. What happens if you get caught in traffic. Make an extra stop or shopping trip your last night. Make a wrong turn. Is it more convenient if you pull into a gas station once, maybe twice, and guess if $5 worth of gas will be enough gas to get you to MCO. Maybe $2. Does the car have a miles to E display. Do you trust it. You pass a sign which says 20 miles to MCO and the display says 18 miles to empty. Do you feel lucky?
Lewis, I was not disputing what you said I was just telling you what should have been done. We have the ability to adjust for a tank not being full. We measure the tanks in 8ths. I do NOT like lazy exit agents, that is NOT good customer service and that agent who told you that, should have been reported, it would have taken 10 seconds to adjust that fuel.
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:13 PM   #29
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I guess I fall into that category because I spent $36.00 on a case of water on DCL last month because it was easier and more convenient that schlepping a $6.00 case with me.

People are on vacation and if they want convenience, why is it your place to call them lazy or not too bright? I suppose you never ever spend more money than "normal" when on vacation?
You forgot the last category option, "money to burn."

And I DO schlep my case of water with me to the port, if you're curious.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:21 AM   #30
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Lewis, I was not disputing what you said I was just telling you what should have been done. We have the ability to adjust for a tank not being full. We measure the tanks in 8ths. I do NOT like lazy exit agents, that is NOT good customer service and that agent who told you that, should have been reported, it would have taken 10 seconds to adjust that fuel.
It was Thrifty in Vegas. It was a scame. Not only did the employee I asked before I left insist the car is full when the gauge read 3/4 but when I returned the car and complained the employee inside also said that car type normally shows 3/4 when full.
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