Hertz Will Now Charge You For Not Refueling Your Full Tank

When I rent cars, I usually rent from Hertz, unless I’m in a location that rents Silvercars. Hertz, for me, usually provides the best discounts, and the best pricing overall, and I’ve had good service with them in the past.

Hertz has recently updated their terms and conditions to now including a $13.99 fee if you can’t produce a receipt for refueling your car.

Here’s the scenario: You rent a car for some short hops around town, but nothing extensive enough to actually cause the gas meter on the vehicle to dip below “full.” Since Hertz requires you to return your tank as full, you bring back the car thinking you’re good to go, even though you never refueled it. Ah, but you’re wrong…Hertz has caught on to your game!

This new fee will only apply for rentals under 75 miles, since presumably anything above that, you’ll be forced to fill your tank in some fashion to refill back to “F.” If your rental is under that, though, you’ll now be forced to produce a receipt to verify your re-fill.

Hertz Fuel Fill Update

Here’s the highlight from their terms and conditions (caps lock typing from Hertz):

For rentals from select locations: IF YOU DRIVE 75 MILES OR LESS, as determined by subtracting the Car’s odometer reading at the beginning of the rental from the reading when the Car is returned, excluding tenths of miles, YOU MUST PRODUCE A RECEIPT AT THE TIME OF RETURN INDICATING THAT FUEL WAS PURCHASED SO THAT THE CAR IS RETURNED WITH AT LEAST AS MUCH FUEL AS WAS IN IT WHEN YOU RECEIVED IT. If You drive 75 miles or less and You do not produce such a receipt at the time of return, You will be charged the ≤75 mile Fuel and Service Charge at the rate specified on the Rental Record, to the extent permitted by law.

Some thoughts on this:

  • I’m not one to easily keep track of receipts, however, presumably since I’ll be visiting the gas station enroute back to the car drop-off, I guess this shouldn’t be too hard.
  • While I don’t think I’ve personally done this (I honestly can’t think of the last time I rented a car and drove under 75 miles), I can certainly see others who would. Worse, I don’t want to be the driver getting into a car with some miles already used up on the gas tank. Certainly when I fill the car, though, I don’t overfill it. When the pump “clicks,” I walk away…though, with my personal car, I give it a few more squeezed to top up the tank to the top.

I get the sense this won’t be enforced to be honest, since the terms clearly state “for rentals from select locations.” In smaller cities, towns or airports, I can’t imagine someone clearly monitoring this. Heck, for my rental in Charleston last weekend, I returned the car to a counter inside without anyone every looking at my vehicle physically – simply, there’s not enough employees on hand to make that work. I think this will more be enforced in major airports where you’re forced to queue and check-out with a person before proceeding.

What’s your thought on this new policy? Is it too extreme? Do you think it will be enforced?

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Comments

  1. Jeff says

    Avis tried to do this (at least at the locations I ised in the Midwest) a few years ago.

    It was a headache and I think after a few debates they got weary of all the excuses and exceptions and just quietly dropped the policy (far as I can tell).

    I agree it should be easy to bring a receipt straight from the gas station but was surprised how disruptive it was to me to have “one more thing” to remember when returning the car.

  2. Pafunco says

    This is total BS!!! How can they ensure me the car I am renting was totally filled up with gas? It may show FULL but it is not. If that is the case they should have to prove to me that the car was just filled couple minutes before me renting it. I very often rent a car in Omaha and drive 7 miles round trip to an office I have meetings there. Yes, it is cheaper than getting a taxi which is a pain in Omaha and it gives me more flexibility as well as I get points for the rental. I often get a Prius which makes around 50 MPG. What am I supposed to fill in that tank? 1 or 2 drops of gas?

  3. Danielle says

    The AVIS at SAN charged me this fee just last month. I didn’t notice the charge until I returned home. I called on Monday and gave them the details of my gas receipt, and they removed the fee. Now, I just know to keep the gas receipt to show the attendant when I return the car.

  4. D.Sue says

    Dollar rent a car at MIA has this policy. They are owned by Hertz and share the Hertz fleet there. To take it even a step further, we were told it had to be from a select group of stations within the area. Rather than remembering to get a receipt and find the right station on top of that in an unfamiliar area, we just just took the option to return the tank empty for a fee.

  5. SAVANNAH MORGAN says

    I’ve already tweeted Hertz about this especially since I just returned a rental with 71 miles utilized back to LAX on a full tank. Blame the newer cars for better gas mileage, but don’t stick it to the consumer who is only concerned about it not being full. I can’t count the number of vehicles I’ve rented where I blew on the gas meter as soon as I pulled off and it wasn’t on E anymore. Did I return the car and pitch a fit… nope I chucked it up to “having to rent a car when out of town”… it beats walking.

  6. anildgl says

    Just happened to me. Worst part was I did refuel the car but didn’t provide the receipt since I didn’t know about the rule.

  7. Leo says

    What about the time when the pump doesn’t print a receipt? Out of luck you are paying $13.99
    Read their policy, ‘nearby location’ Who determines how far is considered nearby? Out of luck you are paying $13.99
    The gauge is above F, that looks full to me. Out of luck you are paying $13.99
    They even report on the receipt that the rental was returned full. Out of luck you are paying $13.99
    I have received vehicles that drop under F fairly quickly, but I fill them up without complaining. Out of luck you are paying $13.99

    I called Hertz and they asked for a CC statement. Even if I waited to produce one, I want to be reimbursed for my $5k trip asap because I’m already onto the next trip. The bill or app only shows the transaction took place, it doesn’t show the completed transaction amount. That doesn’t post until days later.

    How is this good business practice? If Hertz has determined it is costing them money then include the cost into the rental rate and leave the lonely traveler out of it. Next they will make us pay for washer fluid used to clean the windshield.

    BTW, call Hertz, ask for a supervisor and they will remove the charge and ask for a complaint to be made and they fill report this data to the upper chain.

  8. AB says

    I rented from Hertz in Jacksonville FL last week (usually I rent from Enterprise, but the Hertz rate was super-cheap for some reason). I only drove twelve miles total (to and from the office), and the fuel indicator still showed full so I did not fill up the tank. I did not know about Hertz’s policy until I returned the car and the agent asked me for the gas receipt. I told her that I didn’t have one, and after some back-and-forth I asked her to indicate where the policy was listed in the rental agreement. Turns out it wasn’t on there, and they didn’t assess the fee. Still – it left a bad taste in my mouth, and in the future I will probably not rent from Hertz again.

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