There has been some confusion about fuel this summer, especially the arrangements when collecting and returning your car. There are three options for this:
1) by far the most popular arrangement is that the car is supplied with a full tank of fuel and you return it with a full tank. The rental company will hold a deposit which is taken from your credit card. If the tank is not full when the car is returned the rental company will fill it up and charge you for the fuel that they have supplied, usually plus a service charge. These costs are deducted from the deposit that they hold.
2) becoming very popular is the ‘take it full, return it empty’ arrangement. The car is supplied with a full tank which you pay for and you then return the car empty. No refunds are given for any unused fuel. However some companies will give a full refund in cases where it is a short rental and the car is returned full. Each company will have its own definition of a ’short’ rental, but it will be a week or less. This arrangement is common on the Spanish Costas and throughout the USA and has also been introduced into the UK recently by Europcar.
3) some Spanish companies provide a car with a part tank of fuel and require it to be returned with the same amount. Again a deposit is held. This is very similar to 1) above except that a part-full tank is involved.
4) some deals in the USA include a free tank of fuel. In these cases the car is supplied full and should be returned empty. No charges or deposits are involved.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each arrangement. Make sure that you check the arrangement for your rental when collecting your car. Finally the type of fuel. This is at the discretion of the rental company. If you have preference for say, diesel, then a note can be added to the booking advising that this is your preference. However this is not a guarantee and failure to supply a car using the preferred fuel is not a breach of contract.