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The Official Car Rental Blog
15 January, 2013 - Peta Daniels Peta Daniels

Useful (& Essential!) Fuel Information for Your Car Hire Travels

Whether you are visiting a location within Australia from interstate or from overseas, we have compiled some helpful fuel information to assist you with your car hire travels.

Road Trip Adventure

Recommended Travel Apps

There are a vast array of intuitive and well-designed apps on the market that cater to making our lives easier. When travelling, most of us appreciate the ability to access helpful and essential information in a timely manner - this is even more so when we are visiting an unfamiliar destination.

The Coles Express (Shell), Caltex, and BP apps are a worthwhile and recommended download if your travels involve embarking on a road trip adventure. Whether your journey takes you through bustle city centres, relaxing coastal regions, or arid outback destinations, being able to easily locate and navigate to a fuel station will be a valuable tool for your travels.

Here are a few highlights of what each app offers:

Coles Express
Available: iPhone and Android

  • Find the nearest Shell station by using your current location via GPS.

  • Set vehicle reminders - add in a reminder to refuel your car hire vehicle before returning to the supplier.

  • Record distances and fuel consumption for your trip. This is a great idea for customers that have a rental package that includes a kilometre allowance!

Coles Express

Available: iPhone and Android

  • Locate Caltex stations by their services, fuel options available, and if they accept your Woolworths discount vouchers.

  • Use the 'Your Trip' component of the app and enter your starting location and final destination with a comprehensive list of Caltex stations being displayed for your travel route.


Available: iPhone

  • Find the nearest BP fuel station, and refine your search based on products, services, and fuels.

  • Receive full directions and contact details for all of their locations.


Woolworths and Coles also have their shopping apps available that are a great resource for travellers. Locate the closest supermarket to stock up on your road trip goodies or essential items and, most importantly, know the trading hours for your selected store location.

Important Information: Do not use your mobile phone or its applications whilst travelling. Please be considerate of your own safety, the safety of your passengers and fellow motorists. Also, please do not use your mobile phone when at the fuel station.

Ways to Save on Fuel Costs While Travelling

While shopping around for the best fuel price is a great way to save money, it may not always be a viable choice when travelling. One way you can save a little extra on your travel journey is to utilise the fuel discount vouchers offered by Woolworths (in connection with Caltex) and Coles (in conjunction with Shell). Many of us may consider that it is a small saving but when travelling, these small savings do add up - and very quickly.

If you like to shop at Woolworths supermarkets, then sign up to the free Woolworths Everyday Rewards program so your fuel discount vouchers (received when you spend $30 or more in store) can be stored on your Rewards card. In addition to accessing all the great features and benefits of their program, this is a convenient option for when you are travelling - no need to tear off and accumulate the 'Save 4 cents' vouchers located at the bottom of your shopping receipt.

Everyday Rewards

Caltex Tips: To redeem your fuel saving vouchers, you need to fuel up at a Caltex depot displaying the Woolworths brand. Use your Caltex app to locate the petrol stations that accept the Woolworths discount vouchers. When scanning your card at the fuel counter to redeem your voucher, the details of your next fuel saving offer will be printed on the bottom of your receipt. A handy feature if you are unable to access your account details online.

Coles also offer fuel discount vouchers for shoppers with eligibility being to spend $30 or more in store. Don't discard your docket and, unlike Woolworths, you will need to remove your discount voucher from your receipt and store it in a safe place.

Helpful Tip: Try to avoid keeping your discount voucher in direct sunlight or in plastic as it will fade!

Have FlyBuys? With Coles being a major participating partner in the Flybuys program, it will pay to log into your Flybuys account to view the options available for redeeming and utilising your accumulated points. Many of us participate in loyalty programs for various supermarkets and specialty stores that we sometimes overlook redeeming the points we have in our account.

Flybuys is constantly offering great deals for how to use your points and you may find a way to incorporate point redemption for your fuel purchase. The other option may be to redeem for a gift card that you can put towards pre-travel purchases or expenses whilst travelling! Don't forget to keep the points coming by ensuring you present your card when shopping at participating stores and brands during your journey.


How to Understand the Displayed Fuel Price

If you are travelling from overseas, it is important to note that fuel stations in Australia display their fuel pricing on signage and at the fuel pump in the following format:

Example: 135.9

This means that the fuel will cost $1.359 per litre.

Fuel Options in Australia

Fuels are generally classified within two ranges of standard and premium with both presenting different pricing per litre. Depending upon the fuel that is required for your car hire vehicle, petrol has a variety of fuel types with all being suitable for most modern vehicles. Please note, fuel stations will also offer gas and diesel fuel at their pumps. Important tip, Diesel fuel is only designed for specific vehicles and is not suitable for petrol engines. Only gas is able to be injected into gas operated vehicles.

When arriving at a fuel station, pumps will display a choice of one up to four petrol selections. We have compiled a list of the standard and premium fuels available within the petrol range.

Standard Petrol Fuel Ranges

  • E10 Unleaded Petrol - 10% Ethanol (Caltex)

  • Unleaded Petrol (Caltex)

  • Unleaded 95 (Shell & BP)

  • Unleaded 91 (Shell & BP)

  • Unleaded 91 with Ethanol (Shell)

Standard Fuels

Premium Petrol Fuel Ranges
This range is more expensive per litre and is designed to offer improved driving performance and cleaner engine function. Fuel suppliers have added this range to provide customers with more choice for their fuelling options.

  • Caltex Vortex 98

  • Caltex Vortex 95

  • Shell V-Power 98

  • Shell Premium 98

  • BP Ultimate 98

Premium Fuels

Top Car Hire Fuel Tip: Remember the fuel your car hire vehicle takes, and before entering a service station take note of which side of the car your fuel lid is on.

Remember, most car rental packages have a 'pick up full and drop off full' fuel policy for their vehicles. Don't forget to fuel up before returning your vehicle as this will save you incurring extra charges!

We hope the tips provided will be of benefit to local and international travellers when embarking on your next road trip adventure.

To access our driving guides that offer great tips and advice, visit our Information page on Car Rental Buddy.