Have you ever ran out of petrol whilst driving a rental vehicle? It can be easy to do in your own car in your hometown let alone driving in an unfamiliar place and rental car.
Many people will ask the obvious question of, didn't you see the fuel gauge icon flashing at you? But it isn't always as simple as that. Sometimes you might see the icon flashing at you but you might not be close enough to a petrol station to get there in time, or you might have thought you had plenty of fuel left in the tank but it turns out you were wrong.
To help you avoid these types of situations of running out of fuel in your rental vehicle and being left stranded out in the middle of nowhere, we have compiled a list of useful tips for you to make use of the next time you rent a car.
If you are renting a car that is different from the vehicle that you usually drive, speak to the customer service representative when you pick up your rental vehicle to get a better sense of the rental car and its various characteristics. Make sure to ask about any details the rental company might have about the fuel consumption of the vehicle and what its average fuel mileage is. It is especially important to note if it is significantly lower than the car that you usually drive since that can cause you to underestimate the amount of fuel you need for your trip.
Use the trip meter on the vehicle to help you effectively gauge the progress of the distance travelled to your intended destination. For example, after you have fuelled up the car, choose a separate trip meter and use it monitor the distance so that you can have a better sense of when you need to begin searching for a petrol station to refuel. Use that in combination with the fuel gauge on the car to help you have better insight into how much farther your remaining fuel is going to cover and when you will need to refuel your rental vehicle again to prevent running out of fuel and getting stranded.
Remember to take your travel destination into consideration along with its landscape. Keep in mind that remote locations do not have as many petrol stations available as built-up areas and cities. Download a couple of apps for popular petrol stations such as BP and Shell. This will provide you with instant access to details on where the nearest petrol stations are located.
Driving conditions is another thing that will affect the rental vehicle's fuel efficiency. So make sure to consider these aspects of your journey before you head out. City destinations that involve lots of starts and stops will put a lot more strain on the fuel consumption of your vehicle than driving at constant speed on the highway.
One of the easiest and best things to do to avoid running out of fuel is to check the fuel gauge on a regular basis. All it takes is a quick glance. Some vehicles are equipped with a standard analogue fuel monitor while others have a digital fuel monitor. How they indicate when you are out of fuel varies from one vehicle model to the next as well. Be safe and be vigilant out on the road. Try to avoid letting your vehicle get under a quarter of a tank before you refuel.
Have you ever wondered what the small arrow that is next to the fuel icon means? The next time you are driving a rental vehicle and panic when entering a fuel station because you don't know which side of the car the fuel cap is on, you can take a look at this little icon for help.
A majority of vehicles will highlight the arrow or illustrate the lever on the fuel pump on the side that it corresponds to.Overall, common sense and taking into consideration the important aspects of your rental vehicle will help to ensure that you have a safe and fun travel experience without running out of fuel!
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