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What Should You Do If You Fill Your Rental Car With the Wrong Gas?

  • 4 min read

Mistakes happen. What should you do if you’re driving a rental car and filling it with the wrong type of gas? Here’s how to proceed.

What Kind of Gas Should You Use in a Rental Car?

Gasoline comes in three grades: regular, mid-grade, and premium. If you’re not sure what grade of gas to use in your rental car, there are a few hints.

Fuel type is fairly obvious in most cases. The fuel type may be found on the instrumentation console, a sticker near the driver’s seat, or the fuel-door release button/switch. Outside of the car, you can discover the gasoline type on the gas cap or fuel door. The vehicle owner’s handbook might even be in there.

It’s acceptable to use regular gasoline if the rental car company didn’t specify premium fuel. Only use premium if your car’s owner’s manual demands it. There is no difference in performance between regular and premium gas when using 89 octanes (87 octanes) with a vehicle that runs on 87 octanes (85 octanes).

It’s difficult to make a mistake while filling an unleaded tank in the United States. Diesel fuel nozzles are intentionally bigger than those for unleaded gasoline. In contrast, it’s feasible to put unleaded petrol into a diesel tank when driving in the United Kingdom. Worse, the colour-coded fuel handles aren’t the same as in the United States. It’s no surprise that 150,000 cars on the road in the United Kingdom are misfueled every year.

Meanwhile, the European Union has created a new common set of fuel labels (E5, E10, E85) to indicate ethanol-fuel mixtures on new vehicles and at all filling stations that dispense gas, diesel, and other fuels. These labels may be found on the nozzles of all filling pumps, as well as on the pumps themselves and near the fuel filler flap/cap of newly manufactured automobiles. They should also appear in the vehicle owner’s handbook.

We’re not trying to deceive you. If you mistakenly fill a car with diesel fuel, it’s a serious mistake since no insurance policy will reimburse for that type of negligence.

Here Are Five Simple Steps to Do

1. Do not start the car until it has properly cooled down. Once you start the car, the expense of repair becomes much more expensive. If you realize a mistake but never turn the ignition, the cost of fixing the problem may be reduced. Before any of the incorrect gasoline enters the engine, it must be drained.

2. Switch off the ignition. Change gears by using your foot on the brake and gearshift lever. Someone should help you push the car to a safe location.

3. Inform the rental car firm. Make a note of how the automobile was misfueled but not started.

4. Determine where you’ll be able to retrieve the car. Make a phone call to the rental car firm and inquire about where it wants the vehicle returned.

5. Use roadside assistance. If you have your own roadside assistance, utilize it to obtain a tow back to the rental car agency. You will be charged per mile if the rental car company tows the automobile.

If you have to make a repair on your rental car, do not feel obligated to go find a service station; doing so would violate your rental agreement and might even get you banned. The vehicle will most likely be taken out of service, resulting in a loss-of-use fee, servicing cost, and processing fees for the rental car firm.