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The Official Car Rental Blog
01 May, 2014 - Peta Daniels Peta Daniels

Avoid the 'I Ran Out of Fuel' Travel Story

Fuel Gauge

Ever heard the funny story of the friend that ran out of fuel when out and about? While it was not funny for them at the time, looking back on the situation, one can take a moment to have a good laugh.

Most people will ask the prominent question of, how did you not see the flashing fuel gauge icon? In some cases it is a situation of seeing the icon and not being in close proximity to a service station, or simply it was a case of thinking there's plenty of fuel left.

To help you avoid the 'not so funny' situation of being stranded in your rental vehicle with no fuel, we have comprised some helpful tips for you to keep in mind.

Car Hire Fuel Tips

  1. If you are hiring a vehicle in a range that is different from your usual mode of transport, then have a friendly chat with the customer service representative at the time of pick up to get a better feel of your rental car and its characteristics. Ask if they can provide some details on the car's fuel consumption and what the average kilometre range per tank is.
  2. Use your trip meter as an effective tool in helping you to progress your distance travelled. For example, once you fuel up select a separate trip meter to use for monitoring your distance and get a better idea of when you need to start looking for a service station. Using this in line with your fuel gauge can help you to gain better insight into the appropriate travel distance your remaining fuel will cover.
  3. Don't forget to consider your travel destination and its landscapes. Remote locations will not offer you the abundance of service stations that cities or built up areas provide. Download a few apps for the popular service stations like, Shell, Caltex, and BP and have instant access to information on where your nearest fuel stop is.
  4. Take care to think about your journey as driving conditions will affect fuel efficiency. City destinations consisting of lots of starting and stopping will put greater strain on your vehicle's fuel consumption than highway driving at a constant speed.
  5. One of the best and simplest task to do is to regularly glance at your fuel gauge. Certain vehicles display a digital fuel monitor while others may have the standard analogue format as illustrated in the first image. The way they indicate when you are on empty can also vary between vehicle models. Be vigilant and, to be safe, try to avoid allowing the vehicle to get below a quarter full before refuelling.
Locating the Fuel Cap
Ever wondered what that little arrow next to your fuel icon means? Well next time you are in a rental vehicle and are entering the service station with the instant panic of trying to determine which side your fuel cap is on, take a look at the icon for assistance.

Most vehicles will indicate this by highlighting an arrow (see image below) or illustrating the lever on the pump of the side to which it corresponds (see the first image above).

Locating the Fuel Cap

All in all, common sense and consideration for your rental vehicle will go a long way with ensuring you have a fun and safe travel experience that is void of any funny stories relating to running out of fuel!

Enjoy your travels.