Renting a car can get expensive, and when you take into account the soaring costs the country is facing at the gas pump, it gets a little bit more daunting. When you arrive to pick up your reserved rental car, the agent behind the desk is going to ask you what you want to do about fuel. They will offer you a “fuel purchase option,” which involves basically buying a whole tank of gas from them.

Since most rental car agencies require you to bring the car back with a full gas tank, the fuel purchase option eliminates you having to fill it up yourself. Instead, you are going to pay the rental company for the tank of gas, in advance, at (or hopefully close to) the market price of the city you are in. This is a good option if you are in a hurry, since it eliminates the need for you to fill the gas tank back up before you drop your car back off, because if you do not purchase the fuel option and then proceed to bring the car back empty, you will end up being charged for the gasoline anyway, and at a substantially higher price this time. It is also a good option to consider if you are not in a hurry but ARE unfamiliar with the area you are driving around in and are concerned about getting lost. You do not want to pull off the highway on your way back to the airport in order to fill the gas tank up and then get lost. If you end up really lost, that could result in you being charged a late fee for the car, or missing your flight, or both – and that would be a major hassle.

That being said, you could also end up paying for gasoline you do not actually end up using – which is what the rental company is hoping for, of course. So, if you are not in a hurry and you are not lacking in directional skills, then you can decline purchasing the fuel option they offer you up front and just make sure to leave enough time to fill up before you return your rental vehicle. Go with the method that suits you best and you will not worry about extra charges or paying more for fuel than you originally intended.