I’ve had many conversations with customers over the past couple of months about things that I take for granted because I work in car rental. Like how much it costs to refuel a car, and how to find a petrol station near where you’re returning your vehicle.
It made me think that all this is something that’s easy when you know what to do, but how do you know what you need to know?
Here are my top four tips.
1. Fuel options
I’d recommend Fuel Up Front if you think you’ll be using most of the tank. It means no stress about having to find a petrol station when you bring the car back, and no extra fuel charges at the end. You pre-pay for a full tank of petrol or diesel when you pick up the car, so then you can return it to us empty. To make it fair, the price is guaranteed to be no higher than at the local pumps, and in the UK we give you a 5 per cent discount off the cheapest price in the area, as determined by PetrolPrices.com.
2. Use our return maps
If you’re taking your car back to a different place from where you picked it up in the UK (including at many airports, where the pick-up and return are at different locations), we can give you directions to the return point. Our staff can print you out a map too.
3. Rapid Return
This is a great new one. At around 125 Avis stations across Europe (with 21 in the UK, including all the major airports) we’ve introduced technology that means you can return your car in 60 seconds. With Rapid Return your Avis agent reads a bar code on the car that means they can issue your receipt straight away. We guarantee there’ll be no extra charges after this, so you have the peace of mind of knowing that everything’s sorted out and paid for.
4. Check we’ve got it right
You don’t need any papers to return your car, but if you keep your original rental agreement handy it means you can double-check we’ve got everything correct while you’re at the rental office, rather than finding out when you get home. (Yes, however hard we try, mistakes can occasionally slip through, so like any other paperwork you should always check.)