Car hire fuel policies explained

July, 2017

Fuel policies can seem daunting for anyone who doesn’t hire a car regularly. We’ve compiled a simple guide to help you to understand fuel policies in order to choose the best option available for your needs.

Supplier fuel policies

A car is nothing without fuel and generally fuel is not included in the car hire price. Suppliers outline how you pay for fuel in their fuel policy. Each car hire company featured on Holiday Autos will have their own fuel policy. You can see the fuel policy options during your search . You will also see the fuel policy of the company that you have booked with highlighted in your booking voucher.

Note: Most car hire companies require a deposit at the start of the car rental. This is not included in what you pay through Holiday Autos. The deposit will be refunded upon returning the car, provided that the car is returned in accordance with the policy. See here for more information about car hire deposits.


Full to Full

How it works: Your car will have a full tank of fuel upon pick-up. When you return the car, the tank has to be full.

Ensure you return the car with a full tank to avoid any unnecessary charges. If the tank is not full the supplier will refill the tank at a higher rate than the local petrol stations and they will charge you and an administration fee.

We find that most customers are happiest with full to full policies. Some suppliers will also offer half to half and quarter to quarter fuel policies. These work in exactly the same way. Just return the tank with the same amount of fuel as you were given to avoid charges.

Full to Empty (Pay for convenience)

How it works: At pick-up, you get a car with a full tank of fuel. When you return the car, the tank does not need to be full. Note: There is no refund for the unused fuel with this policy.

If you don’t want to worry about refuelling the car you can get a full to empty policy. This works best for people who know they will be driving a lot and will use up a full tank.

Full to Empty with partial refund

How it works: At pick-up, you get a car with a full tank of fuel. When you return the car, the tank does not need to be full and you will receive a refund on the unused fuel.

The refund will be made when you give back the car, but an administration fee will be charged by the car hire company.

Free Tank

How it works: A free tank is included in the price of your car hire. You can return the car with any level of fuel. You will not get a refund for any leftover fuel.

This is ideal if you know you will be using a lot of fuel on your trip. It’s not always the cheapest option and is viewed as a bonus when car hire companies offer a free tank.

How to search by fuel policy

You can filter the search results and compare fuel policy options when searching for car hire on the Holiday Autos website or App.

Fuel policy holiday autos website

Enter search details -> click search -> view results -> look to left hand side of page where there is a ‘Filter’ option -> scroll down until you see Fuel Policy -> click the tick box beside the option you would like to filter by -> The results will then refresh filtered by your preference.

Car hire voucher information

If you have already booked your car, you can view the car hire company’s fuel policy on your booking voucher.

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