Rental Vehicle Fuel Policies Explained

The holiday car rental industry is a hugely competitive market place, and most vehicle rental companies in Europe operate on very small profit margins.

A trend in the car rental industry over the last few years has been an increase in the number of vehicle suppliers offering cheaper headline rental prices, but charging customers for fuel. Fuel is usually charged at a higher rate than it would be available locally.

The unpopular "collect full-return empty" type of fuel policy is becoming less prevalent in Europe, and has generally been replaced by "partial refund" deals whereby the hirer is charged for a full tank of fuel, and refunded any fuel that isnít used minus an Administration Fee. This fee is typically around € 15-20. Check the fuel policy before booking a rental vehicle

Before you book a rental car at Faro Airport always check the fuel policy. The details should always be displayed in the "Terms and Conditions" of the quote.

Below is a guide to the various fuel policies offered:-

Types of Car Rental Fuel Policy

1. Partial Fuel Refund

The hirer of the vehicle is charged for a full tank of fuel when collecting the vehicle, and any unused fuel is refunded at a rate per litre set by the rental company. There may also be an administrative fee charged for performing the refund.

2. Collect full - return full

The rental vehicle is collected with a full tank of fuel, and must be returned full. Any difference will be charged to the hirer.

3. Collect and return the vehicle with the same level of fuel

The vehicle is collected with a tank at a known level e.g. half-full, and must be returned with the same amount of fuel. Any difference will be charged to the hirer.

4. Collect full - return empty

The vehicle is picked-up with a full tank of fuel, and has to be returned empty (or as close to empty as possible). The cost of the tank of fuel is charged on arrival and is often a surprise for customers who aren't familiar with this practice. Effectively the hirer is charged for a full tank of fuel, irrespective of whether they use a full tank.

Always read the fuel policy before booking a rental car

Our advice is to always check the fuel policy (read the "Terms and Conditions" before booking), and secondly if you are planning to do a lot of driving then consider deals where you have to purchase a full tank of fuel.

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