Fueling up in Orlando - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > Travelling
When collecting your car at MCO (or any other inbound airport )it will have a full tank of fuel. This may be included in your rental package ( when hiring through US CarHire the gold inclusive option includes a full tank of fuel) or, if not included, you have the option of paying for the fuel and bringing the car back empty or bringing the car back full. If you choose the first option make sure you know how much you will be paying for the fuel. If you choose the second option you may be asked to show a receipt for fuel, issued on the day of your return, from a filling station within 10 miles of the airport. This is to stop drivers filling up and topping off the tank on leaving their accommodation and traveling the 30 miles or so to the airport, when the fuel gauge is likely to show little or no movement. Make sure you know exactly what you are paying for before you leave the rental car garage.
The price of fuel varies widely depending on where you are in the tourist areas and which filling station you choose. Race Trac and Wawa often have very competitive prices but even these outlets can vary by several cents from one area to another, I think the biggest difference we have ever seen is 18 cents a gallon between gas on the 535 and gas on John Young Parkway close to The Florida Mall. It is not unheard of for filling stations adjacent to one another to have totally different prices. Fuel prices fluctuate regularly and it is not unusual for the price of fuel to change several times over a two-week vacation.
A US gallon is slightly less than an imperial gallon and is equal to 3. 785 liters. Fuel is generally much cheaper than here in the UK. If you are looking for the most competitive fuel prices around there are several apps that you can download to your phone which will help you find the best prices in your location.
Before visiting the filling station it is important to know what sort of gas (petrol) your vehicle requires. There are usually three grades plus diesel and most rental cars will perform well with regular grade gas. Next thing to check is that you know the location of your filling cap and most importantly how to open it. The opening mechanism is not always easy to find and we have been embarrassed before now when we were unable to find it in a busy filling station!
In almost all instances refueling is self service and you will be expected to pay before you refuel. Pay at the pump is common for credit card and debit card users but not always easy as some outlets will require you to put your ZIP Code into the keypad for authorization prior to refueling and this will not work if your card is registered in the UK. Not all outlets have this requirement and where your zip code is not needed it works pretty much the same way as pay at the pump re fueling back home, your card is authorized with your PIN and you pay for the amount of fuel pumped, a receipt can be requested on the keypad. If your card is not accepted at the pump you will need to go into the shop and tell the cashier how much gas you want to pump, for example $10, $20, $30 etc. if you have no idea how much fuel the tank will take then just take a wild guess, if you overpay, the cashier will refund your card. The same applies for cash payments, you may ask to pump $20 but in the end the payment may only actually be, for example $17. 38, the cashier will then give you your change. In circumstances like these it is helpful to have two people, one to pump the fuel while the second can stand at the till and wait for any potential refund. You cannot, however, stand and wait to pay whilst your partner refuels. Pre payment is mandatory.
Who would have thought that something so simple could be so different from back home? Don' t worry though, by the end of your vacation you will be an expert!
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