12 May, 2012 @ 10:00
1 min read

Hidden fuel costs revealed on Costa del Sol

FAMILIES on holiday in Spain are being forced to pay up to three times as much for a hire car, it has been revealed.

Rental costs which appear cheap online rise steeply when the vehicle is picked up, as customers must pay an additional fee for a full tank of petrol, according to Which? Travel.

The underhand tactic has led to complaints by holidaymakers, who would usually expect a full tank of fuel to be included in the quoted price.

Travellers would then be expected to return the car with a full tank of fuel.

However, the new policy of charging extra for petrol means customers do not get a refund for any fuel left in the car when it is returned.

One researcher in Malaga was told the cheapest car hire cost was €30.25, only to have the price go up to €94.25 when fuel was added on collection.

“Consumers are not being given the full facts about these extra charges,” said Which? Travel spokesman Rochelle Turner.

Christine Fleischer, marketing manager at Malaga-based rental firm Helle Hollis, told the Olive Press: “We clearly inform our clients that the car will be delivered with a full tank of fuel, which is paid for on arrival.

“We also refund any remaining fuel to the nearest quarter of a tank,” she added.

“We offer a personalised service, new cars and a fair fuel policy, which we know our clients appreciate and take into account when booking with us.”

James Bryce

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  1. Riiiight. As paying for a hire car with no fuel in it would be pointless these gouging firms should be named and shamed. What next? Charges for seats in the car? Charges for air in the tyres? Charges for the tyres themselves? I would think including 10ltrs of fuel and a map to the nearest fuel station would be the right thing to do.

  2. Not just in Spain. I hired a 7.5t truck from a leading hire company here in the UK and the tank was empty. There was a filling station right in front the depot.

    No refund for fuel in the tank when it is returned and who is going to risk running out of fuel when you take it back?

  3. Not all car hire companies in Malaga do this. Try Marbesol. Been using them for years. Excellent service, transparant charging and no ripoffs. Prices are very comptetitive as well.

  4. Total rubbish Dave. I also use Marbesol, but they are just like the rest. They surcharge for fuel at prices that are ridiculous and either you take their pointless extra insurance or you pay a deposit of 800 euros.

    They are all as bad as each other and it is legalized robbery and nothing more than one big con.

  5. Yes its a ball ache, as the car hire firms also charge a premium rate on the fuel so you actually pay more than the actual pump cost for the fuel.I’ve hired twice from Malaga, its best to go for the smallest possible car to keep this costs down, as the bigger the tank/car the bigger the rip off.

  6. Why doesn’t everyone do what I do when I visit somewhere new? Buy a car … and then ditch it after the holiday. Much more civilised than renting a smelly old car.

  7. I rent cars all the time for working reasons – since the “Ryan Air Money Making Policy” has become universal among rental companies I bought myself a hand pump and drain the last drop into a canister then leave the car running until dead dry before returning the keys. At least like this I feel they have earned the extra €20 + that they over charge for fuel ……….

  8. Sounds all too familiar, got hammered for near double our online quote for rental last year..same thing, extra for petrol, “compulsory” insurance, even though you already pay for insurance when you book, etc.. & no I will never use RecordGo Car Rentals ever again

  9. What’s the problem. I’ve rented from Gold Car several times. I pay for a tank of gas at pick up, and bring it back empty. That’s not difficult, and they don’t charge much more than my local BP station.

    It’s true that they try to sell you deductible-cover insurance, and they always try to sell you up to a larger, more expensive car, but the extra prices they ask are not excessive, and if you don’t want the extras, don’t buy’em!

    Getting the car with a full tank at pick-up is a nice convenience at a reasonable price.

  10. Gee Alun, you are the perfect customer ….

    you like calculating your trip so exact that you can actually return the car empty ?

    Yes the do charge much more then your local BP – I had a car from Gold that when I filled it up (reserve to full) was €66,- and they charged €88,- for the tank. That is almost 34% more ??

    Raise the price of gas 34% and I bet there will be a public uprising.

    What was wrong with pick up full – return full ?

    and as a final thought do these businesses have all the necessary licenses to sell gas ?

  11. Used Marbesol at Malaga thru Argus and a 90 euro quote became 212 euros after the petrol/insurance racket.Leave the 800euro deposit and you get wacked on the exchange rate at the end. – 85,000 kms wreck of a car – never again.

  12. The extra insurance is not pointless it did not cost me anything when I had an accident and I have never had to pay for a tank of petrol at car hire firm prices. Also no deposit taken. Don’t forget that car hire in the UK is more than double the Spanish price. Cheapest Ford Ka for one week from Bristol airport is £210 (262 euros at today’s rates)including the extras and collision damage waivers. (carmarket.com) You can always get the bus.

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