[ View menu ]

Daily Archive February 20th, 2013

To pre-pay or not to pre-pay for gas when renting a car?

Filed in Ideas ,R
Subscribe to Decision Science News by Email (one email per week, easy unsubscribe)

One question we get asked a lot is whether it’s worth it to pre-pay for the tank of gas when renting a car.

At first, blush it seems like something you should never do. In the best case, you pay market rate for gas, and in the worst case, you pay for a tank of gas you never consume (what if your trip gets cancelled)?

At second blush, it can be worth the risk to avoid the hassle of fueling up just before returning the car. If your time and peace of mind are worth something, then maybe you should pre-pay when you are reasonably sure you’ll return it below a certain percentage full. But what percentage?