With the arrival of spring and a busy Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, many travelers may get a shock at some airport car-rental return counters if they return their vehicle with less than a full tank of gasoline.
In the past few months, steadily rising gas prices have topped a national average of $3.90 per gallon, or about a 16-percent increase since January (according to AAA). However, the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands – owned and operated by Enterprise Holdings – are charging significantly less than other car rental brands for refueling.
Current refueling costs at Enterprise, National and Alamo range from $5.64 to $6.39 per gallon when customers return a car without a full tank of gas (depending on the average prevailing retail fuel price in the area that surrounds each airport). This price is based on the local-market price of self-serve gasoline, plus a mark-up not to exceed 50 percent of the fuel cost (at all corporate-owned locations and participating franchises). Furthermore, the maximum mark-up for this convenience is capped at $2 per gallon.
Enterprise, National and Alamo customers at the airport may return their rental vehicles full of gas, pre-pay for a full tank at a discount or ask for the tank to be refilled after returning the rental car.
“We offer a fair, market-based fee for refueling, with a cap on the mark-up over retail pump prices,” said Matt Darrah, senior vice president of North American operations for Enterprise, National and Alamo. “Our policy is straightforward and transparent, giving consumers one more reason to choose one of our brands when their travel plans call for a rental car.”
Darrah noted that the three brands review local retail fuel prices four times per week. If those prices change by 3 cents or more in either direction, they adjust their airport fuel prices accordingly.
The Enterprise Holdings portfolio of car rental brands has a well-established track record on this important consumer issue and continues to offer several competitively priced refueling options at the airport. In fact, several years ago, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office announced agreements with other rental car operators to bring their refueling prices more in line with the much lower rates charged by Enterprise, National and Alamo. At the time, the Baltimore Sun referred to their practices as “a model in setting refueling rates.”