Rip-off number one foiled.
We all know that between our credit cards and personal auto insurance there is usually no reason to pay for additional insurance. Rental firms have for years made drivers pay excessively if they don’t return the car with a full tank. Now they offer another option: prepay for the tank at a reasonable price per gallon (in this case $3.159) and you don’t have to pay for not filling the tank.
I immediately declined since I would not use a full tank of gas to drive from Birmingham, AL to Savannah, GA.
Oh, the agent said, you’re returning it in Savannah. The cheapest you can get gas is $3.239. You’ll save eight cents a gallon this way.
I declined again. Here’s the math that I chose not to challenge the agent with. Assuming an eighteen-gallon tank, they would charge $56.82. For that same amount I could purchase 17.56 gallons at the Savannah price. I only win if I can return the car with less than .45 gallons.
That’s not going to happen (I had about 2.5 gallons left), which didn’t stop them from selling the same deal to a young couple who followed me to the counter.
If offered this deal and you won’t use a full tank, in almost all instances you should decline. If you will use a full tank, check their price with what you’ll have to pay and make your decision based on that.