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Avis Won't Take Your Word for It Anymore

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If you'll be renting a car anytime soon, take heed: You'll want to keep your final gas receipt or it could end up costing you an extra $10.50.

While waiting for a flight at LAX yesterday, I chatted up an Avis employee who told me that, as of this week, the company is implementing a new gas policy. They now require a receipt upon the return of a rental car as proof that the tank is, indeed, full. She said that they're trying to prevent people from filling up, using up a couple gallons of gas, then returning it with a gas gauge that still reads full even though that's not really the case. According to her, this practice has “cost Avis millions of dollars a year.”

It appears that Avis is following in the footsteps of other rental car companies such as Budget, which implemented a similar policy in 2006. Both Avis and Budget (and others, I'm sure) will charge you a minimum of $10 or so if you don't use their “prepaid gas option” and fail to produce a receipt when you return the car—even if it has a full gas tank.