Car Rental Gas Service Option – Is it Wise?

That statement in one form or another has been part of car rentals since the beginning. In the early days, it was a straight out principle issue. You used it, you replace it. At some point between then, and now, someone realized that “there’s a lot of money to be made with the gas tank on rentals.

For those who don’t know, lets explain your refuelling options in car rentals. When you rent a car, the car usually comes with a full tank of gas. In some circumstances, it comes with a partially full tank. In either case, the rental company will give you three options. Bring it back at the same level you got it at, (full) prepay for a full tank of gas (GSO) and bring it back empty, or bring it back empty and pay a refuelling charge (FSO) of a more expensive per gallon rate.

Fuel Service Option (FSO) is almost always the costliest option. Up and down the California Coast, most cities have FSO charges around $5.99 a gallon (and with recent prices, even higher). Around the country, its not much better. While your mileage may vary on the actual price per gallon, the FSO charges are almost always a good Dollar per gallon more expensive than the prevailing GSO (prepaid) rate or the rate of the local gas stations. It may seem that there is no really good reason to use the FSO, but there is. While most FSO users are people with more money than time or people who forgot to fill up the gas tank, there is one segment where it is cheaper to use this service than any other.

If you have a discount code, it may be because of your employer. Some employers, such as Microsoft and Government Contracts like Lockheed Martin have negotiated rates where the same dollar amount for fuel refueling is charged nationwide. Depending on the market, it may not be that bad. In one circumstance, a friend of mine who worked for one of the above mentioned companies went on a trip to Kona, Hawaii. On that trip, the fuel service option refueling price was less than the per gallon prices of all the local gas stations within 5 miles of the airport. In that case, its always best to just bring the car back as it is.

On the other end of the spectrum, the GSO option is a prepaid full tank of gas at a specific rate. In most car rental agencies, the GSO price is the average of the three closest gas stations. With this average, the multiply the tank capacity by that number and offer it as a flat rate to fill up the tank. But let the buyer beware. If the tank is not totally empty when you return it, you do not get a refund on the gas you use. You have effectively paid for a full tank of gas and if your not “empty” on return, you’ve just given the car rental agency free gas to use.

So to recap, when should you use FSO (fuel service option)?

  • Only when you have no other choice
  • Only when your company discount provides you a special rate for the gas refuel
  • For those who have more money than time

And when should you Fuel up with the GSO option?

  • Trips where you know you will have the car for over a week
  • Trips where you know you will be driving more than 400 miles
  • When you know your going to be strapped for time at return

A few final tips. When your leaving the rental area, take note of the closest gas station. If you have time, its often good to drive right in and gas up the car to ensure it was totally full when you got the car. Many of today’s tanks allow for as much as 50-100 miles before the needle drops below full. If the agency stated the tank is full, the nozzle should click practically immediately (3/10 of a gallon). But to be fare, you really need not worry if its less than 3/4 of a gallon unless 85 cents is enough for you to argue and waste 20 minutes. If you put more than that in, take the receipt to the counter when you return the car and get the amount of the gas deducted from the bill.

If you have a GPS unit, lock in the location of the car rental area and the closest gas station to save you time on return. Some of the best made plans are ruined by getting lost trying to get back to the airport. If traveling in a group, assign one person to look for the car rental return signs, the exit off ramp, nearest restaurant among other things that you may need on your way back to the airport.

Under no circumstances are you to buy the most expensive grade of gasoline! Let me repeat that in clearer terms. by the cheap gas. The car rental agencies all buy the cheapest gas the law will allow. Do not feel guilty topping of that car with a more expensive grade of gas. The car will break down and be sold from abuse long before the gas causes issues for the car.

Hertz Car Rental Overview of the Company’s History, Vehicle Collection, Services, and Policies

If you want convenience and reliability with a vehicle on your next vacation or business trip, it’s a good idea to begin with Hertz. The company began in 1918 when it offered a few Model T Fords for rent. Today, Hertz car rental is a global leader in the travel and tourism industry. It operates in more than 150 countries all around the world.

The vehicles are divided up into a variety of categories, such as the Green Collection, which consists of eco-friendly hybrid and electric vehicles from Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen, etc. If you want a curve-hugging hot rod from Ford or Chevy, perhaps the Adrenaline Collection has what you’re looking for. Traveling with kids or a group of friends? You can book an SUV or mini-van rental. There are also plenty of affordable economy cars as well if you only want the basic.

As with any car rental company, Hertz can’t offer a 100% guarantee that you’ll get the exact model you’re after, due to supply and demand. However, the representatives will still try to accommodate your needs as much as possible. Special services are available to assist the physically challenged. At all corporate locations, customers can reserve a car with hand controls at no additional charge.

There is a Hertz car rental pickup and drop-off location right at or very close to most airports. The off-airport locations are generally easy to get to via shuttle bus. There is a Best Rate Guarantee offered by this company, which applies only to the “base rate”, and does not include surcharges, fuel, taxes, etc.

Hertz Car Rental for Young Drivers

Hertz offers rentals for drivers between the ages of 20 and 24 years, although there is a surcharge in some circumstances. The fee is determined based on the location and type of vehicle.

The Express Return Services allow customers to simply drop off their vehicle when the rental period is over with. This is a good service to take advantage of if you are ever pressed for time and need to hurry to catch your flight. All you have to do is park the car in the Hertz parking lot, leave the keys in and hop out.

There are three refueling options: Prepay, You Refuel, and The Company Refuels. With the Prepay option, you won’t have to refuel the car before you return it. However, you also won’t be refunded for any fuel that you didn’t use.

Before you make your travel reservation, look over Hertz car rental coupons that can be used online.

It’s best to use Hertz car rental promo codes online, where you can get the most value for your money. Use the site to browse all of the available rentals in cities all across the world. No matter where you want to go, there will surely be an affordable Hertz car waiting.

Thrifty Car Rental Guidelines and Policies Overview for Discount Vehicle Rentals

Do you ever dream of renting a sporty SUV just so you can go on an off-road adventure? Or do you just need a reliable car during your next business trip? Whatever type of vehicle you need, Thrifty car rental rates are some of the lowest in the industry. The company operates over a thousand locations in dozens of countries across the globe. It’s one of the most widely recognized vehicle rental brands in the industry, and caters to both leisure and cost-conscious business travelers.

A few examples of the vehicles you can rent include:

• Lincoln

• Dodge

• Chevrolet

• Jeep

• Chrysler

• Hyundai

• Ford

When booking your reservation, you will be able to select from literally thousands of cities and towns around the world, including airports. Thrifty car rental offices are found at all major airports as well as many smaller ones.

As with most auto rental companies, you’ll have to be at least 21 years old to rent a car in most places in the US. However, there are a few areas in which individuals as young as 18 can rent. Renters under 25 are subjected to a daily surcharge. If you’re going to an international destination, the rental age will depend on that particular country’s laws.

With any car rental, Thrifty offers some extra options, such as child seats (infant or toddler), DVD players, ski racks, navigation systems, hand controls, etc. Add any of these to your vehicle if you think you’ll need them.

Rate Calculations for Thrifty Car Rental

The rate is calculated based on a 24-hour rental day, which begins the hour you pick up the car. The base rate includes the total cost of rental, excluding the fees, taxes, mileage (if applicable), surcharges, optional items, and mandatory coverage.

Keep in mind that you can bring your own child seats and GPS navigation system. Some newer vehicles, like the Chrysler minivan, already have child seats built-in.

Don’t plan on going on a round trip? Thrifty offers deals on one-way rentals in many locations. Make arrangements ahead of time regarding the pickup and drop off locations.

If you’re going to be driving in an area with a lot of tolls, you might want to consider the PlatePass. This optional service takes care of all of the toll passes electronically ahead of time, thus allowing you worry-free unlimited access to toll ways, including express lanes.

Sometimes you can find better Thrifty car rental deals if you go through a third-party travel discount site instead of directly through the company.

The best place to go for getting Thrifty car rental discounts is online. Some companies work hard to secure the lowest car rental and hotel rates in locations around the world. You might be able to get an even bigger deal with the use of online promo codes.

Car Rental Coupons and Promo Codes: What Are They and How Can You Use Them?

Whether you want to rent from Avis, Enterprise, Hertz, Thrifty, etc., there are literally thousands of car rental locations across the globe. No matter where you fly to, you’ll have at least a few options to rent a vehicle. You can also rent one in your own home town if you’re in temporary need if a car. Prices vary considerably, so before you make your reservation, check and see if any car rental coupons are available for the company you are considering.

These days, a lot of people opt for internet coupons. There is no longer any need to use physical coupons. You don’t have to read promo codes over the phone, either – everything is available online. Not all coupons are available through the companies themselves – some can be used at third party travel savings sites.

Here are a few tips for finding and using car rental coupons:

• If you have a particular company and vehicle in mind, check and see if there are any coupons or promo codes that will help you save on that particular vehicle. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t – there are other options. As mentioned above, not all discounts are direct through the rental companies themselves.

• Check the rates with a major booking site, such as the ones that provide a search aggregator to get an idea of the rates. Use a general coupon or promo code that can be used with that particular site. In other words, if you can’t find a specific coupon, use a general one.

• Consider booking the car rental as part of a bundled package with the airfare and hotel room, as you might be eligible for a large discount. The more flexible you are, the better the chances of finding a great deal. These kinds of offers can be competitively priced and allow for time and budget-efficient shopping.

• If you find a discount or promo code you want to use, make sure you apply it correctly. Some discounts will be saved and ready to go once you click on it and sign it to the site where you plan to use it. If it’s a promo code, such as a word or series of numbers, you need to make sure it is located in the “discount box” in the reservation form in order to use it. Check that it reduces the cost of your total before finalizing the reservation.

Where to Look for Car Rental Coupons

There is a wide variety of car rental coupons available on the internet. Some have expiration dates and may not be used with other savings. Carefully read over any offer before using it to book a vehicle.

Where is the best place to find and use any car rental coupons? Online websites, by far, offers the best deals on not only vehicle rentals, but airfare and hotels as well. No matter what kind of vacation or business trip you are planning to book, use online promotional codes to help you save on any car rental.