Spain Car Rental Fuel Policy

Car Rental Fuel Policy in Spain.....

There are, unfortunately, a lot of hidden car fees you need to be wary of in the fine print of your car rental agreement. If you want to save every penny you can, which is something most of us are trying to do in this downtrodden world economy, then you should know just what every penny you lose goes towards. One of the best examples of hidden car fees is the stipulations found in your rental’s fuel policy. Let’s take a look at Spain, one of the most notorious countries for odd fuel policies that could end up costing you quite a bit of time and money.


The Familiar Full/Full Policy.....

If you’ve ever rented a car in any other country then you’re probably familiar with the full/full style fuel policy. This common fuel policy starts the car renter off with a full tank of gas and requires him or her to bring the car back with a full tank of gas. If the renter comes back without a full tank, then he or she will be charged the rental company’s price for a full tank, regardless how close to full the car is, and may also charge an additional fill-up fee on top of the tank’s cost. A car rental agency can’t charge you an overly outrageous sum, but you can bet that the tank they charge you for will be quite a bit more than the most expensive price within a hundred miles. However, bring the car back full, and you won’t have to worry about a thing.

Mini gas station

Things May Be a Little Different in Spain.....

In Spain, things are sometimes a little different. Many car rental companies in Spain operate along the full/empty fuel policy. This policy starts you off with a full tank of gas, but requires you to come back with an empty tank of gas. Sounds good after considering the full/full policy right? Unfortunately, it’s a lot worse.

There is a stipulation with the full/empty policy; you have to pay for the initial tank of gas. This means you’re stuck paying the inflated car rental agency price for a tank of gas rather than whatever the regional price is. With the full/full policy you can avoid the added cost, with the full/empty policy you cannot.

But that’s not all. Let’s say you end up only needing the rental car to go a short distance, or that you fill up the rental car but only use half the tank before you’re ready to return it. Common sense would say you should get reimbursed for the gas you brought back- right? Wrong again. Any fuel left inside the car when you bring it back is an added bonus to the car rental agency. You don’t get any reimbursement, and probably won’t even get as much as a thank you.

This policy ends up putting customers who want to get their money’s worth out of everything they purchase, like me, to end up driving the car on fumes during the return trip. This is a problem for both the renter and the car company. The renter ends up putting themselves in danger of running out of fuel on the way back and possibly end up returning the car late. This is great for the car rental agency, which will often have no qualms charging the renter for another day.

Maybe one day these select Spanish car rental agencies will realize their folly. Until then, be sure to check the fine print and/or ask us about the fuel policy you’re agreeing to before you commit to a booking. Also, check to make sure your rental has a full tank before you drive it off the lot and be careful driving back on fumes. 

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