A number of car hire companies in Malaga advertise incredibly cheap rental prices, but driver beware! In many cases, these firms claw their money back through a number of hidden charges – one of which is their fuel policy.
A number of firms operate a ‘full-empty’ policy. This is where under the booking terms, drivers pick up their vehicle and pay for a full tank of fuel in addition to their rental charge – returning the car with an empty tank. So how does this cost rental drivers more? In many cases, the full tank of fuel is charged at an extraordinarily inflated rate. We’ve heard one story of a holidaymaker being charged 60€ to fill a small class A car which would usually cost around 35€. The money the firm lost on the rental was recovered with the profit made by the inflated fuel charge, not to mention the extra money made selling-on any fuel left behind in the tank.
What fuel left in the tank? Surely you’d use up a full tank driving to all the many attractions that the Malaga region has to offer? Well not necessarily… The average mileage on a car booked for one week in Malaga is approximately 400kms. When you consider the average size family car can travel up to 800km on a full tank of fuel, that leaves half a tank of fuel (bought and paid for) going back to the rental company, who can then sell it on again. Very few companies refund for the fuel left in the tank, so unless you’re going to leave your resort and drive laps around the rental office, you’re unlikely to get your money’s worth. The other alternative is to risk driving the busy roads around Malaga Airport with barely any fuel, just to return it empty. In this scenario, think of the recovery costs that you’d be charged to rescue you and the car before finally making it to the airport.
Then there’s the ‘full-full’ policy, where drivers collect the vehicle with a full tank and return it in the same condition. This used to be the standard fuel policy for most vehicle rental firms, however increased knowledge of fuel economy and environmental concerns have shown that it can end up costing a driver more to drive with a full tank. Not only that, but if your return flight is at a peak time, you may end up queuing on a busy forecourt during city rush hour. Factoring transfers, check-in and security times… would you risk missing your flight just to top up the tank?
So what is a fair fuel policy? Malagacar.com operates on a ‘half-empty’ basis. We fill all of our vehicles with half a tank of fuel to enable you to get to your holiday destination comfortably, and depending on the amount of driving you do, to travel around the region without having to refuel for a while. We don’t over-charge for the fuel we pump into our freshly valeted cars, so you’re not being ‘ripped-off’ with extortionate fuel costs.
Not only that, but for rentals of less than 4 days, you can apply for a fuel reimbursement as long as the car is returned with the same amount of fuel that it left us with. On standard length rentals, we even allow you to bring the car back empty – so you’ve only paid for the fuel you’ve used.
Here at Malagacar.com we feel this is the fairest fuel policy, and one of the best available for our customers – many of who return year after year. Not only can we offer a vehicle to cover any budget, but our well maintained, spotlessly clean fleet is price-checked regularly to ensure we always offer the best value car hire at Malaga airport.