I'm planning a road trip through SW USA. One of the decision factors on which car to rent is the estimated fuel cost. I don't mind paying some extra $ for a more luxury ride, but it has to stay within limits.

I checked http://www.vegasgasprices.com/index.aspx?fuel=A to have an idea on current fuel prices, but I was wondering if I have to add another e.g. 10% tax (like you do with hotels) or if this is the real price I'll pay at the pump?

If I make a rough calculation (avg 3.5$/gallon, 23 mpg (*) for standard SUV, 3000 miles) I'm at 'only' 450$ for fuel.

(*): real data from http://www.fuelly.com/car/chevrolet/equinox, seems more likely than the numbers car dealers give.

  • 5
    As they say your mileage may vary. :)
    – Karlson
    Jan 4, 2013 at 14:31
  • btw. are turbodiesels an option in US?
    – vartec
    Jan 7, 2013 at 15:20

1 Answer 1


All taxes (federal, state, local) are already included.

Be careful though, it might get more expensive depending on where you go. One year ago, gas was ~$3,5/gallon around Las Vegas but in Northern California it was more $4. The lowest and highest I've seen were $3,3 and $4,2. So you should still have some margin in your estimate.

But like everywhere, simple rules will get you cheaper prices: it will be more expensive near airports, probably near big cities, on busy highways. Famous brands are also more expensive.

EDIT: including @LessPop_MoreFizz comment since it is important too. Paying in cash will save you some money (usually 10c per gallon). Pretty often a credit card fee will be charged, sometimes also for debit card payments.

  • 4
    An additional note: Prices may also vary based on method of payment: It's common to charge more to customers paying via Credit or Debit card vs. paying in Cash. Jan 5, 2013 at 0:30
  • 6
    There's one big exception to this answer - and that's when buying fuel from the rental companies themselves. They often have a "fuel option" that allows you to pay for a full tank of gas, and then return the car empty. They will quote the price as $X/gallon which will include the normal fuel taxes, but will frequently not include additional "rental car" taxes of up to 10% or more.
    – Doc
    Jan 7, 2013 at 13:23
  • 1
    You should try to avoid returning a rental car without a full tank; I've heard of them charging up to $7/gallon, which they justify as a service fee. Jan 28, 2013 at 21:00

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