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  • Online car hire since 2005
Article overview

What is a fuel policy?

It might sound like quite a strange term - fuel policy - but it's certainly important to think about it when renting a car. This is because car hire companies have various schemes for the petrol or diesel that you fill your car with, and not every scheme will offer you the best deal. That's why we have summarised the options and the associated advantages and disadvantages below.

What is a fuel policy?

Most economical fuel policy

Pick up full, return full

With the full = full principle, you pick up the car with a full tank, and return it at the end of the rental period in the same condition. Before driving off, check that the tank is indeed completely full. What happens if you return the car without completely filling the tank? Then the tank will be filled by the rental company. They will often charge a considerable service fee for this.

Pros and cons

  • You can find a cheap petrol station yourself
  • You retain control of the price
  • Most economical fuel policy
  • You must refuel just before returning the car

Fewer economical options

Pick up full, return empty

  • You don't need to refuel before returning the car
  • Rental companies often charge high fuel costs
  • You often pay a service fee for the full tank
  • It's hard to estimate how quickly the tank will empty
  • You never return the car with a completely empty tank

Pick up empty, return empty

  • You can find a cheap petrol station yourself
  • You don't need to refuel before returning the car
  • You must refuel immediately
  • It's hard to estimate how quickly the tank will empty
  • You never return the car with a completely empty tank

Returning the car with the same fuel level

  • You can find a cheap petrol station yourself
  • Disagreement can always arise about how full the tank was
  • It’s difficult to fill the tank to exactly the same level
  • High costs are often charged for “topping up” the tank


You can read the most frequently asked questions and associated answers about the fuel policy of car rental companies below. Can't find an answer to your question? Then please contact us, we will be happy to help.

If I must pay the rental company for fuel, do I have to pay by credit card? Yes, you can only collect the car with a credit card in your name. This is used to pay the deposit, as well as fuel for the car if applicable. What if the rental company I have chosen has an uneconomical fuel policy? That's a pity. Unfortunately, the rental company determines which fuel policy applies to the car you choose, and we can't do anything about it. You must decide yourself whether the car is worth the uneconomical policy, or compare it with other cars in our range. I'm renting a car for only three days, which fuel policy offers the best deal? In three days, you probably won't use a full tank of fuel. This means that the full = full policy is most economical, because you only pay for the fuel you actually use. For the other options, you must pay for the petrol or diesel remaining in the tank, and that is a waste of money. Is there always a petrol station close to the pick-up location? Yes, almost always. However, check this carefully beforehand, so that you won't face any unpleasant surprises. This is especially so if you collect the car with an empty tank. Aside from the fuel policy, what are the benefits of Worry-Free? We only give the Worry-Free label to the best cars. This means they are covered by the full = full fuel policy, and also that the rental company has a good rating, the excess is covered and that you can drive an unlimited number of kilometres without extra costs. link.label.read_more_about_worry_free What is EasyTerra? There are so many car rental companies that it can be difficult to know where to start looking. That's why we launched EasyTerra – it's no coincidence that we have “easy” in our name; it's because we make things as easy as possible for you. We do so by comparing all providers based on your wishes. This means you can find the cheapest and best car for your holiday.