What’s the story with these options? I took a photo at my recent trip to a car rental place:
So if you read the fine print–or if you just use common sense and figure the car rental place isn’t going to sell you gas at below-market prices–then it looks like pre-paying for a “full tank of gas” at an apparently cheap price, only works because they’re actually charging you the price x tank capacity when obviously not everybody is going to return the vehicle as it stalls from running out of gas.
However, when I was explaining this to my business partner on a recent road trip, he was arguing with me, saying that’s not the deal the person at the counter explained to him. I called up the place (we were driving back), and made sure the employee on the phone was quite explicit that they were not charging us for the full tank, but only for the difference (and at the apparently generous price).
Indeed, recently when we rented from the same place, the employee said (as we walked around the vehicle looking for scratches), “Yeah, we won’t charge you for the full tank like they do at the airport.”
So what’s going on? Have we discovered a particular location of this national chain, where the employees are either (a) very generous, (b) ignorant of company policy, or (c) pathological liars? In case it helps explain this post: I was not the one renting the car, so I never really inspected the final bill with a microscope. So I don’t know whether they were actually charging us for the full tank or not.