Hertz aims to ease fuel pains

One of the most annoying rental car policies is the fuel issue. You have to return the car with a full tank or face exorbitant refueling prices. I’ve been fortunate to use a discount code from Avis for some time now that includes the refueling at pump prices, but contracts such as those are rare; the profits are too high for the rental car companies to ignore the opportunity. Or so I thought.

Hertz has decided to remove the fuel mark-up on their refueling option effective July 1. They will still charge a refueling fee ($6.99) but the fuel will be provided at local prices rather than 2-3x local price. They are also still offering the option to pre-pay for the full tank, at a 15 cents/gallon discount from the regular prices, but that is still a terrible deal. If you take the 15 cent discount you’re saving ~$2 over a tank of gas, so unless you can return the car with a half gallon of gas in it you’ve paid too much for the fuel. With the $6.99 refueling fee you’ll need to return the car with ~2 gallons to make it profitable. But the frequency with which that happens is pretty low.

The deal isn’t awesome, and it certainly doesn’t match the Avis deal I’ve got, but it is a nice move towards making things slightly better for car renters these days. There have been enough situations where I’ve been running a bit late for a flight that the $7 fee would have saved me quite a bit of money versus paying their high-priced gas bills.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. And now Hertz has changed their mind and went back to the old gouging policy.

    Screw them!

  2. Indeed, they did. I got the email about it yesterday as well, and it is the topic of today’s first post. I get why they’re doing it, but they’re not being smart about it.

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