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If a plane rental price includes fuel, what happens if you land and refuel during the trip?

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3 Answers 3

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Every FBO that rents aircraft wet should have a published policy on this, possibly even in the rental agreement you signed.

In every case I’ve seen or heard of, you just submit the receipt for any fuel purchased (showing the tail number and date/time) and they’ll credit that amount toward what you owe for the rental.

Note that they may have a maximum price per gallon, typically what they’re currently selling gas at, so it’s worth checking that so you can avoid paying more than that when you refuel elsewhere.

Since there’s no reward for paying less than their maximum, though, there’s no reason to go out of your way for the cheapest possible fuel as you might if you’re an owner or renting dry.

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    $\begingroup$ I have encountered at least a few FBOs that credited based on gallons_purchased x local_price, so the renter ate the cost difference for buying fuel out at a higher price, but if they found cheaper fuel it was effectively a discount on the rental. $\endgroup$
    – nexus_2006
    Jan 11, 2023 at 23:00
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Typically you would work that out with the FBO (or wherever you rented the airplane from) before departure.

In my experience the renter would usually pay for the mid-trip fuel and receive a credit towards the total rental fee when returning the airplane.

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When I've rented before (admittedly many years ago), the FBO / flight school provided a (credit) card to use for fueling, and they paid the monthly bill of course. Receipts were submitted for verification. Charges on the card not related to (fueling) the airplane could result in you not being allowed to rent anymore.

In the event that the provided card didn't work or you had to pay using your own card for some reason, you would submit the receipt and receive credit for the amount paid (usually up to some maximum price per gallon).

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    $\begingroup$ It's often a "fuel card" which only is accepted by airport fuel providers, and purchases are restricted to fuel and perhaps related minor maintenance like oil and tires. $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    Jan 11, 2023 at 18:34

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