I recently rented a car and got dinged with a 13 dollar fee because I didn’t drive 75 miles (and, did not see the tiny sign indicating the new rule that if I drove so little I would be rewarded by not having to fill up the fuel tank for a mere 13 dollars. Having a receipt could have gotten this fee waved.) My first thought on seeing this fee was wondering if they actually took their average mile per gallon for seventy five miles and set the fee so that at current fuel prices they would always make money on this? A sort of rental car arbitrage?
My second thought was, I wonder if they actually fill my fuel tank up? I mean sure when I get in the dial points to full, but we all know that doesn’t mean the tank is actually really full. And, well, given their new desire to milk some dollars from me because apparently they don’t trust me to fill up the fuel tank, I’m not exactly in a trusting mood when it comes to rental car companies. So next time I rent a car, I suppose I should immediately drive to a gas station and see if I can put fuel into the car. Anyone else care to test this experiment? If they don’t you should charge then a 13 dollar fee for not filling up your tank, don’t you think? And if they are filling up the tank: well why don’t we design a method for allowing them to not fill up completely and sell it them?