Rental Car Gas Convenience Scam

Generally Good

Enterprise has been a car rental choice for me due to the convenience.  While I have never been “picked up” by them, a branch is close to my apartment.

The Scam

Okay, not really a scam, but using some shady verbiage and a very summarized receipt, you don’t really see the full cost of your rental until you return the car.

The Receipt

The receipt lists your daily rates for everything such as the rate for the car, mileage restrictions, and the many optional services per day which they strongly encourage you to pay.  How much does it really cost to rent a car?  More than the $30 you see on those sites if you need insurance, etc.

Since I said…sure I will pay $.30 less a gallon to have you fill up the car, the rate per gallon was listed.  This was never told to me at the time of the rental, nor was the capacity of the car told to me.

Most companies take an extra deposit these days regardless of how you pay, probably to protect them if you do incur extra charges and use a bogus card.  So when I was told the total was $215, I was okay.  I was figuring I would get some back at the end.  I was wrong.

The final reciept

The receipt I received on car return had everything itemized and totaled up.  So I was able to see the car rental, airport and other fees, and a new line called FSO $78!  WOW.  I gathered what that was and confirmed by calling up Enterprise and briefly mentioned how their sales people are very good about leaving off details to make a sale.  In fact I think they should be referred to Sales Persons instead of Customer Service.  Perhaps they are already.

Summarizing ….The deal

So….thankfully there are many other car rental companies out there to choose from.  Also, I did just find out that my credit card covers the “Collision Damage Waiver” so I won’t be paying any company for that next time.

Now looking at the receipt I can see the line for $3.92, supposedly a discount per gallon of gas, but still no tank capacity.  If it take the total paid for the Gas on the receipt and divide by the cost per gallon, it appears that the car has a 20 gallon tank which I confirmed online.

One more thing.  Expedia said the total would be ~$104, but if I subtract the Gas, it turns out that it really cost me $140 to start which seems quite high even with a tax approximation.  I better give a call to Enterprise and maybe Expedia  to straighten things out.


I did think it was too good to be true.  Fill up the tank just before you return.  No company does anything to be nice to  you.  In rare cases, it may be a side effect of them being nice to themselves.  You would think it would be very nice if they offered to fill up the tank and only charge you for the gallons needed.  In fact, I would pay $.30 extra a gallon for that convenience, but for a hole tank?  The sales rep mentioned that he has heard of cars stalling in the return bay in the garage, but how many of us are that irresponsible to not fill up when the light comes on.  I don’t trust the gauge to be accurate now that they are electronic and no longer are floating on the top of the fuel, not that that was any more accurate 🙂


Almost Forgot the Cool Car

So I did not even get to mention how excited I was with the car.  I guess they got me for the Hybrid.  Not only did I not use a full tank of Gas, but I did not pay extra for the Altima Hybrid.  I averaged 35 MPG with the AC on all of the time which does not seem to shabby. I think that if I were to be driving in cooler weather, the car would get better gas mileage.  I did notice it seemed to kick in the Gas over 20 MPH, but not sure if that is standard or if you are cruising at a steady speed it would kick in.  The dash had an indicator when it was in “EV Mode.”  I am assuming that is “Electric Vehicle.”

I saw a seemingly good and unbiased review online and definitely will consider this car should I end up needing one permanently.  I have not tested other Hybrids, but this one definitely had the pickup to help me pass on a single lane road!

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