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Fuel Policies for Car Hire

Another thing to consider before choosing your car hire company is their fuel policy.  This can affect the final actual cost of rental, with budget car rental firms making profit on the fuel they supply to you, while premium car rental firms factor their profit into the up-front hire cost.

One thing to consider is that petrol prices in France are usually around £0.15 per litre cheaper than in the UK, and that diesel is usually around £0.30 per litre cheaper than the UK.

Below we’ve provided a quick summary of each fuel policy so you can decide for yourself what is best for you before you book, and can work out what your final rental cost will likely be:

Full to Full – This is the standard fuel policy most car hire firms have provided for many years.  Your car is supplied with a full fuel tank and then you fill it up with fuel again before you return it.  If its not supplied full then the level is noted and you are required to return it at the same level.  If you don’t return the car with the same amount of fuel as it was supplied you are charged a premium rate to fill it again.  Car rental companies often put a credit hold for the cost of the full fuel tank on your credit card and then release this when the car is returned.
Unforeseen costs: If you don’t return it with fuel at the right level, or you fill it too much before returning it.

Pre-Purchase – In this case the car comes with a full tank of fuel which you pay for at the car hire desk at a rate slightly inflated above current pump rates.  You return the car with as close to empty fuel as possible.  You don’t get a refund for any unused fuel.  This isn’t recommended if you won’t likely use a full tank of fuel during your stay.
Unforeseen costs: The initial inflated fuel cost, and the cost of any fuel not used.

Pre-Purchase with a refund – The car is provided with a full tank of fuel which is paid for before you take the car.  Fuel prices are slightly higher than pump prices.  When you return your vehicle you receive a refund for any unused fuel.
Unforeseen costs: The inflated cost of the initial tank of fuel.

Pre-Purchase partial refund – The car is supplied with a full tank of fuel which is paid for before you take the car away.  Fuel prices are slightly higher than pump prices.  When you return your vehicle you receive a refund for any unused fuel minus a fixed administration fee.
Unforeseen costs: The inflated cost of the initial tank of fuel, and the administration fee on your refund.

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