Avis - Gas Option

Old May 5th, 2005, 08:49 PM
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Avis - Gas Option

Avis Car rental has a prepaid gas option.

Recently rental a car in Seattle.

Gas option price per gal. was $2.35.

However the option is flat fee of $40.10, with a maximum of 17 gals. of gas. ((therefore if you need less than 17 gals. to fill up the tank on return, the price per gallon increases.))








circa2 is offline  
Old May 5th, 2005, 09:06 PM
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Can't you fill the thing up yourself?

I always have, and at a lower price.
I never comprehended how the option did anything but make money for the rental company. I never brought a car in empty -- no way. Gas guages are not that accurate.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 09:09 PM
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bob brown...I certainly agree with you.

Basically info for anyone renting with Avis, so they are aware of how the gas option works.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 09:13 PM
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The price of "convenience"
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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:42 AM
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It's not just Avis. Every rental car co 'offers' the same gas options. I'm always amazed at how many people actually do this. As Bob points out it's impossible to return a car empty anyway - you'd have to be driving the exact amount a tank of gas would allow, arrive back at the airport sucking fumes.

You also don't need to return the car absolutely topped off. The guage needs to read full - the same as when you drove it out of the lot to start. Every car I've ever filled up myself reads above full for 20 or more miles.

Just fill up the car somewhere within 10-20miles of the dropoff and you'll always come out ahead compared to the prepaid gas options.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 07:03 AM
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The rental car companies (not just Avis) wouldn't offer this option if it wasn't a money maker for them. That alone should be enough to tip of the consumer that it is a rip-off. Forget the fuel option and, as others have said, stop at a gas station on your way back to the airport to top off the tank.
 
Old May 6th, 2005, 08:12 AM
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I agree that it is the cost of the convenience, and something I'll never pay; after all, how much time or effort does topping off the tank take?

I often use Enterprise, but unlike the Biggies, they don't usually have a big "depot" where they service their cars - in fact they are often just one of the "stores" in a strip mall.

You're often given a car with something like 5/8 of a tank and expected to return the car with 5/8 of a tank. I know that the accuracy of that is no more than the alledgen "full tank" with Hertz, Avis, et al, but getting a fraction of a tank is something that always bugs me.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 08:26 AM
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Boy, you're right about Enterprise. I recently rented a big pickup truck with 3/8s of a tank. As I hadn't tracked the miles I'd put on it and had no idea how much gas this monster used anyway, I started filling it (with the key in the ignition to watch the gas guage). Well, I had put in way more than I though I should have before I stopped and then sat there and watched the gas needle VERY slowly move over to the 5/8th level. Must have taken 30 seconds after I stopped. Cost me an extra 10 bucks I imagine. Live and learn.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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Another benefit to gasing up 10-20 miles from the airport: the gas stations near the rental return are usually much higher priced.

Keith
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Old May 6th, 2005, 10:54 AM
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People today seem to quick to cry "Scam," "Ripoff," etc., etc., etc., so very quickly.
Of course, it's a way for the car rental companies to make money. They're not hiding it from you. As others have said, tou're paying for the "convenience," and I hardly call that a ripoff.
When I felt that I might not find it convenient to fill up the tank before turning the car in, I took the gas option. Other times, I haven't.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 11:12 AM
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Your right, "scam" doesn't apply here, but they're not exactly selling this purely on its convenience merits. \

Often I'll see a display at the counter showing something like how they'll only charge you, say, $2.10 per gallon where the average price around the airport is $2.16. I've even had them strongly suggest I take them up on this to save money. Sad as it is, I can see lots of inexperienced travelers falling for this poor logic.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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I re-read the posts and nobody said this was a scam or a rip-off. All the OP's (including me) were pointing out is that it is much more economical to purchase the gas yourself rather than get the "pre-paid" option. Unless you are returning a car with an almost empty tank what the car rental companies are actually doing with the pre-paid option is selling the same tank of gas several times over. You actually have another option. If you don't have time or simply don't want to gas up before returning the car, the rental agency will fill the tank for you and charge you only for the gas they put in. Granted the per gallon charge may be higher that the pre-paid rate (and certainly higher than the gas station rate) but you'll be still be paying for few gallons then you would if you purchased the pre-paid option. This is the most economical way to deal with the "convenience" issue.
 
Old May 6th, 2005, 11:53 AM
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I'd be real careful with that last option, as you'll likely be charged around $4+ /gallon and it will be determined by the number of miles you drove (divided by their estimation of the car's fuel economy), not how much fuel they actually put in the car.

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Old May 6th, 2005, 12:38 PM
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" it will be determined by the number of miles you drove (divided by their estimation of the car's fuel economy), not how much fuel they actually put in the car. "

Are you sure about that?

If you drove 900 miles, fueled up 3 times and returned a car with 4/5 a tank of gas, it would be interesting to see them charge for 39 gallons.

Keith
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Old May 6th, 2005, 01:09 PM
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That certainly wouldn't work. But I have had them (accidently) charge me for the gas right there on the spot when I handed the keys to the guy with the hand-held computer. The only way the computer could charge me for the gas was to charge me based on my mileage as that's all he had input. Came to something like $50. Of course I had to go inside the building to get it reversed . . .
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Old May 6th, 2005, 02:31 PM
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The couple of times I returned a car with a lees than full gas tank I was only charge for an amount that approximated how much gas was necessary to fill the tank. Admittedly it was about a year or so ago (so prices were lower) but as I recall it was under $10 each time (sorry don't remember exact amount). Once was with Avis and once was with Hertz.
 
Old May 6th, 2005, 02:34 PM
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Brian is right that the third option of just paying to fill the tank may be the most expensive way. And, from my experience with that option, the charge is based on the fraction that is shown on the gas gauge, i.e., if the gauge shows the tank 3/4 full, you'd pay for a 1/4 tank of gas.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 03:58 PM
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If you think the gas thing sucks, what do you guys think about the prepaid insurance thing that the rental car companies try to "scam" you with?? I see SO many inexperienced car rental travelers fall for this.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 10:32 PM
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Funny you should mention that!

Last month I was in St. Louis....forgot to get gas ((in my haste!/or just plain forget)).

I was charge for the amount needed to fill the tank @ $4.00+ per gal.

The price of forgetfulness!!!!
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Old May 6th, 2005, 10:35 PM
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BigJim....not sure what you are referring to as "pre-paid" insurance.

However, I find that most people are also misinformed as to the insurance options available.
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