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How to know if you have a diesel or petrol hire car

Filling up hire car with fuel

Hiring a car can provide much needed flexibility for a holiday or short city break, but there’s plenty to consider once you’re behind the wheel.

One of the common rental pitfalls for holidaymakers is not knowing what fuel to fill up with at the pump, a mistake with potentially very expensive consequences.

If a mechanic needs to clean or replace the fuel injection system, for example, it could cost thousands of pounds to put right – and unless you have misfuelling on your insurance policy, the costs won’t be covered.

Should you have any reason to believe that you have put the wrong fuel in your vehicle, it’s imperative that you don’t start the engine – this allows the engine to be drained of fuel while minimising any potential damage.

Most rental firms should tell you at the hire desk, but if you forget to ask, there are still ways to determine whether your hire car has a petrol or diesel tank.

Does the car model give you a clue?

Many vehicles with a diesel engine often include a D in the model name. Volkswagen for example, use the term TDI on their vehicles with Turbocharged Direct Injection diesel engines, while GTD stands for Gran Turismo Diesel – cars which mix long-distance performance with sporting capabilities.

Other letter combinations to look out for include dCi, JTD, HDi and TDCi, all of which signal that you hire car will have a diesel engine.

Keep your eyes peeled for fuel stickers

In order to help travellers at the fuel pumps, it’s common for rental companies to place stickers on parts of the vehicle which highlight which fuel you can use.

Common locations for stickers include on the inside of the fuel filler cap, on the dashboard near the fuel gauge, or on your car keys.

Does a diesel nozzle fit?

If you have a petrol car, you could be saved from filling it up with diesel since diesel nozzles are thicker than their petrol counterparts.

Essentially, this means you’ll find it extremely difficult to get the nozzle in and if you find yourself struggling then it is probably a sign that you need petrol, not diesel.

Unfortunately, this also makes filling up a diesel car with petrol incredibly easy, so if you’re still unsure, we recommend contacting your hire firm for assistance.

Consider your insurance options

Misfuelling often isn’t covered under the basic insurance policies that will be offered to you at the car hire desk.

However, opting for a Questor Insurance car hire excess insurance will enhance the level of cover you have, providing added peace of mind for the duration of your trip.

Date Created: 25/06/2020


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