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Thread: Extra refueling costs for rental cars

  1. #1
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Extra refueling costs for rental cars

    I don't rent vehicles very often, but the last two times I have hired a vehicle there have been unexpected refueling costs appearing on the invoices. The rentals were with different car hire companies.

    I returned the vehicle with a full tank (filled at the airports service station) and then noticed that the amount charged included a refueling cost - the first time for about R100 and this last time for about R25.

    In both cases I sent a query to the companies, and the extra charge was reversed.

    Has anyone else noticed this before?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I think with the price of petrol, they're refuelling automatically now and not relying on a "full" guage reading. I just return them without refuelling anyway. They don't charge a service fee for refuelling - at least not in terms of our rental agreements. And whether it's on the bill or paid out directly by me comes to the same thing, but with less fuss when it's on the rental bill.

    Interesting that they reversed the charges, though. It's kinda an AOG under the circumstances. Either that, or a "the customer is always right" thing.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    The next question that arises is how does one know if the amount charged for refueling is accurate? (in the case of returning an unfilled vehicle)

    Who is really going to notice?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    That is why I'm curious about your report of them dropping the charge!

    You can get a rough idea because the final report will also indicate the distance the vehicle has travelled under your hire. But this is South Africa, and some gentle padding of the bill along the way could occur at a multitude of points.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    I am from the truck/car rental industry. Let me clear this for everyone, although you fill the vehicle (like Dave said) when returning it has to be filled by rental agreement between you the the rental company and company policy to employees. Therefore you will always get charged for fuel irrespectively whether you filled it or not. Then comes the additional costs including the price charged. Bear in mind that the following does not happen in all rental industries. Their are fuel attendants fuelling these vehicles earning a salary doing so, the rental company will add a certain percentage to the actual re-fuel amount to cover this expense/salary. Also the amount they charge is not necessarily the amount charged at local filling stations. For example Caltex garage asks R10 a liter (Government regulated) theirs will be about R 10.10c per liter and before charging you add say 20%. So know that the next time you rent a car/truck I also earn a salary!

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    Also take note that when you recieve your final invoice the fuel amount will reflect on the invoice but not the amount in liters filled.

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    Another thing that may occur is when you hire the vehicle they have a person responsible for checking the vehicle. He needs to mark damages in and around the vehicle as well as indicating the fuel gauge level. In some instances this may not be done properly as a result of the volume of vehicles needing to be despatched. The same will happen when it returns, if he missed a scratch you will be charged for that and they normally add about 40% to the original quoted cost. This will be called profit by them and the same goes for the fuel.

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    How reputable is the company that "overcharges" on fuel refilling?

    I have never had a problem with the companies that I have dealt with. Returned full or empty, they never gave me the impression that they are overcharging. Watch out for low cost fly-by-nights!
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    Like I've said not all the companies do that, however you may believe that they don't overcharge them but if you take the amount they charge for re-fuelling the vehicle (pending what tipe of vehicle it is and it's tank size) you may find that they've exceeded the tank capacity.

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    I rent vehicles every time I fly out of Joburg and I've always used Avis and haven't had an issue, however once I used First Car Rental, OMW the biggest mistake ever. First they gave me a car that had like 90 000kms om it, the powersteering was making noise, the brakes were hitting me back in the foot and the car was resprayed so badly before that the paint was peeling off, oh and the one headlight bulb was burnt, I told them I want another car but they said they didn't have and they wouldn't refund me since I had paid in advance when I booked rhe vehicle. Long story short they never changed that scrap car and I returned the car where I refuled not even a kilometer before their depot. A month later I got an sms that I've been charged almost R200 from first car rental, so I called them and I was told that they had to refil 15 litters of petrol, no way that was possible because I had the slip of which it saud that I had filled up 36 litters, it showed the time and date, besides I enquired in Chevrolet and they told me the tank is 45 litters, so you tell me how do you fill up 51 litters in a 45 litters tank? i logged a query with them and 2 days later was resolved, the resolution was, we don't care of the slip that you have and etc, we filled the car with 15 litters which you have to pay for, thank you for using first car rental. Needless to say that they are the worst company I've ever dealth with.

    Bottom line is I feel your pain and I suggest that we name and shame companies like that
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  11. Thank given for this post:

    Blurock (20-May-12), Willie0100 (21-May-12)

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