Reserve your car



A guide to car hire fuel policies

Full to full or Full to Empty Fuel PolicyOne of the common things which determines the price of renting a car is the fuel policy.  Generally, in Spain, car hire companies operate two types of fuel policy – full to full and full to empty.  There are some variations in this however but we will talk about the most common ones here.

Often you will find car rental with very low headline prices but one of the things you should look out for is the fuel policy because sometimes the low rental prices are offset by fuel charges when you arrive.

Full to Empty
This is a very common fuel policy in Spain which is offered by car hire companies.  If you book directly with us, then we don´t offer this policy although some brokers that we work with do offer this as it enables the car hire price to be lower.

With Full to Empty you will usually pay for a full tank of fuel when you collect the car.  Usually you will either pay a highly-inflated price for the fuel or you will pay for the fuel plus a refuelling service charge.  If you are aware of this and it is made clear to you when you collect the car, then you may find this a convenient way to hire your car because you don´t have to worry about filling up at the end of your rental.  Do just make sure that you do your calculations because sometimes the cost of the fuel is much higher than the difference between the two options when you book the car.

With Full to Empty there are a few things to consider.  Firstly, as mentioned above you should check the price of the fuel so you know exactly what you will be expected to pay at the desk when you collect your car.  You should also check what happens to any unused fuel when you return.  In some cases, you will get a refund (or partial refund) of any unused fuel.  This may be automatic or may be “on request” and may or may not be subject to further surcharges or fees.

Full to Full
When you book with Drivalia directly you will always get your car on the Full to Full fuel policy.  We believe this is the fairest and best way to hire cars.  Yes, you may pay a little more for the actual rental but you know what you are paying from the start rather than paying one fee and guessing or researching the additional fees on arrival.  With this policy, you receive the car conveniently filled with a full tank of fuel and you should simply return the same.

Just like the Full to Empty fuel policy, you should always check the exact conditions of the Full to Full fuel policy.  Some companies insist that you refill at a specific fuel station and obtain proof that the car was completely full.  Others may test the car at a petrol pump and if it is not completely full to the top they may charge a surcharge or fee for this.  With Drivalia you can fill the car anywhere you want to and if the needle shows full when we check the car this will be absolutely fine (don´t worry, we always double check they are completely full before giving to another customer but as long as the needle shows full you won´t be charged anything for the odd litre that may be missing because of the drive from the petrol station to the office).

Usually, with Full To Full there is a surcharge if the car is not returned full so you should always check this at the time of booking.  With the Drivalia Ultimate package (or for clients who contract our SCDW cover) we make no surcharge if the car is not returned completely full.  You can simply pay the real price for any missing fuel when you return the car.

Because of this fairness and transparency, we find that a lot of our customers book their car on the Ultimate package and rather than going to the trouble of refilling the car they just return with whatever is left and pay us for the difference on return because they know that they won´t be penalised or charged heavy fees for the fact that it is not full.

All-inclusive car hire at the airports of Alicante, Mallorca, Valencia, Santiago, Bilbao & Girona.  Drivalia Ultimate is fully transparent with the full to full fuel policy, complete cover with no excess, no deposit and no worries.  You also benefit from a free 2nd driver, unlimited km and our super-fast priority service.

At Drivalia we remain at your service 7 days a week to answer any questions that you may have about our fuel policies or any other aspect of hiring a car in Spain.  Remember that the Drivalia Ultimate package is a truly all-inclusive car hire package at six Spanish airports.   If you want to hire a car with no worries, no hassle, no stress and no hidden charges then choose Drivalia Ultimate at