Do Rental Cars Come With Gas Prefilled? (5 Companies Checked)

Gas prices are going way up these days, together with high vehicle ownership costs. This is apparent for vehicle owners throughout the world, and almost everyone is feeling the pinch.

Those looking to rent a vehicle for personal use also can’t avoid paying high gas prices. Luckily, there are many car rental companies to choose from.

Since car rental companies have different policies and pricing, they also have fuel policies. This means that some companies you a car prefilled with gas and others just don’t.

This makes it difficult to choose which company to go with when renting a car. It’s best to decide beforehand whether you want the gas prefilled or not.

In this article, we’re taking a look at which car rental companies come with gas prefilled. These are some of the biggest car rental companies and not all of them have the same fuel policies.

With that said, let’s dive right in.

What Car Rental Cars Deliver Cars Pre-Filled?

There’s a handful of car rental companies that prefill gas for you before you take delivery of the car. However, there are some that will want you to refill the gas tank within a certain radius after you take the vehicle.

Below is a list of some large car rental companies and all their refill policies. It is best to choose the one that best suits your gas needs. Sometimes you might not need a full tank of gas for your trip.

Other than running out of gas, a remote kill switch in a rental car may leave customers temporarily stranded.


Thrifty car rental company now offers customers two options when it comes to fuel. You can either take the car prefilled with a full tank of gas or without.

If the car is not prefilled, you will have to refuel the car within a 10-mile radius. The prefilled gas option is convenient if you’re in a hurry and want to start your trip immediately.

With the self-refill option, the customer must present a receipt to prove that the car was filled. This is to avoid the rental gas refill charge stipulated in the rental agreement.


Avis now offers customers 4 fuel options when renting a car. These are namely, bring back full, fuel up front, EZ fuel, and pay on return.

Bring back fuel means there’s no charge when bringing the car back with a full tank of gas. Fuel upfront allows you to buy a full tank of gas upfront at the average market price.

The EZ Fuel option is best for a driving radius of 75 miles or less. This is a prepaid option and Avis will take care of the refueling.

The last and most expensive option is the pay-on-return option. If you did not choose to fuel upfront, this option allows you to drop off the car without refueling.


Enterprise car rental offers a prepaid option for refilling the gas in the car. The option allows you to drive off the lot with a full tank of gas and return it full.

There will be an extra charge if the fuel is not refilled upon returning the car. The extra charge is usually more costly than the average fuel price.


Hertz currently has a full-to-full return policy where you have to return the car with a full tank of gas.


With Budget car rental, you pay upfront for a full tank of gas. With this option, you do not have to pay the full price of the tank again and can return the car with an empty tank of gas.

Do Rental Cars Always Come With a Full Tank?

Rental companies such as Enterprise do not guarantee a full tank of gas. This means the customer will have to pay a higher fuel price when returning a car without fuel.

Most rental companies will have the option to take a vehicle with a full tank of gas. In this case, the vehicle must be returned with a full tank of gas.

Rental companies will usually add a charge to a car rental that was returned empty. This is calculated at the local pump price rate, which is usually much higher than the normal rate.

This is why rental companies don’t always come with a full tank of gas. It makes more money for the company, but they offer options for the customer.

Rental companies offer customers options for convenience. Sometimes, a customer just doesn’t have the time to go fill the car up or they forget.

It is, however, a good rule of thumb to choose the option to get the car with a full tank of gas. Upon taking delivery of the car, the tank will be full and must also be returned full.

When rental companies don’t have a full tank policy, they are more likely to have an alternative option or package.

It is always recommended to read over your rental agreement to make sure you have everything in order. This prevents extra charges from being added once the car is returned.

Read Also: Demographic profile of rental car users.

Do You Pay Separately For Gas in a Rental Car?

In most cases, you don’t have to pay separately for the gas in a rental car. If the rental car comes with a full tank of gas, it must be returned with a full tank of gas.

If you sign up for a rental car that already has gas filled and does not return to full, there will be costs added. This is to cover the cost of the gas that you have already used in the car.

To avoid hefty fuel charges on the return of the car, it’s best to return it with a full tank of gas.

The rental company will add extra costs if they receive the car without a full tank. The customer is charged the cost of the full gas tank and this varies by the rental company.

For example, if you return the car to the airport branch of the company, they will add fuel at local prices. This is a usually higher amount and some companies even add a percentage on top.

Related: What Rental Car Companies Own Each Other? (Checked)

What Does It Mean to Prepay For Gas On a Rental Car?

Prepaid gas means the customer pays upfront for a full tank of gas. This means the customer does not have to refuel the car before returning it.

This is usually the most common way to return the vehicle with gas. The company will sell you the full tank of gas at the average market pump price.

Other companies will add a percentage to the average pump price they charge you. This is not common, but it occurs.

One important thing to note with a prepaid option for gas is that there is no refund. This means that if you return the car with a half tank, you will not get a refund for the extra gas in the tank.

It is important to calculate how much fuel you’ll need for your trip. This ensures that you don’t pay extra and use up most of the fuel you already paid for.

Is It Cheaper to Fill Gas On the Car Yourself?

It is recommended to fill the gas on the rental car yourself because of the added costs when using the company’s gas. Rental companies will refill the car at the local rate per pump and this is usually higher.

If you decide to purchase a full tank of gas with the rental, it will cost you the average price for a pump. The problem is that the company might be at a location where the average fuel price is higher.

Choosing to fill the car yourself is usually cheaper because you will most likely use a gas station with average prices. Rental companies don’t usually fuss about using a cheaper gas station to fill their cars.

Another point to note is that rental car companies say they provide a full tank of gas. The fine print usually states that a full tank of gas is not guaranteed.

Related: Do All Rental Car Companies Require Deposits? (Checked)

Can You Always Ask to Fill Gas Yourself On Rental Cars?

At the reception area of the rental car company, you can usually negotiate the gas refill policy. This is why most companies offer several gas return policies to choose from.

Other renters argue that choosing to bring the car back with a full tank is a loss for you. Sometimes when returning the car, you might be too early or too late and end up facing extra charges.

One policy companies do not negotiate on is returning a full refund on a car that was already paid for. A prepaid full tank is not refunded when you bring the car back with some or all of the gas.

If a company feels like they are losing when customers ask to refill the car themselves, they will adjust their policy. This is to say that companies are subject to change their car return policies whenever they want.

Any changes to your rental will always be stipulated in the rental agreement. This agreement will also stipulate the condition the car must be returned in.

Most rental companies will require that the car be returned in good working condition. This means that on top of fuel charges, you will be charged for any damage to the car.

Related: Who Owns The Big Rental Car Companies? (11 Checked)

How Much Extra Do You Pay For Gas At Car Rental Companies?

Car rental companies don’t make you pay any more for gas than you signed up for. If you chose the full-to-full package, it’s your responsibility to return the car with a full tank of gas.

The extra charges that car rental companies charge are usually to do with a breach in the agreement. Just like in the case of an unfilled tank, if the car is returned late, there will be fees charged.

Other extra fees include when there is damage to the car, or the car is very untidy or dirty. Rental companies charge these fees to clean or fix the car.

With rental companies, they want to get the car back on the lot faster so that the next customers can use it. A car that’s back on the lot faster means it is available for the next paying customer as soon as possible.

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