you’re probably thinking: gas up – sure, i can do that! But is this also true for the USA?? In the united states of america there are also different customs and practices regarding the – actually quite simple – refueling than here in europe. In the following we explain to you, what you must consider when refueling in the USA.
Some basic information about refueling in the USA
gasoline is called petrol in english, so gas stations in the USA are called petrolstation? Far from it! Rather, the gas stations in the U.S. have the initially somewhat confusing names gas station. Here you will not get gas, of course, but as with us also all types of gasoline you need. Gas comes from gasoline and also stands for gasoline.
The most known operators of gas stations in the USA are exxon, chevron, ampm and arco. after a while in the country, you will be able to recognize the logos from a distance, just by their color and shape. While exxon and chevron have an excellent reputation for cleanliness and safety, some arco stations – especially in the big cities – seem a bit run down. In principle, you will find the same type of gasoline at all gas stations:
- Regular (corresponds to the german normal gasoline)
- Mid-grade (equivalent to super gasoline)
- Premium (equivalent to super plus)
Diesel you will rarely find in the USA. If you are traveling the states with a rental car, be sure to ask what kind of gasoline the car will need before you drive off. Our SIXT employees in the USA will be happy to help you with this.
Money, money, money – paying for gas in the USA
You have two options when paying for gas at U.S. gas stations: either the pump has a credit card slot (which is the case in most cases) or you pay in advance at the cash register. Since most US gas stations – especially in the larger cities – are open around the clock, you can fill up your car almost always, even without a card.
If you want to pay in advance at the cash register, you must provide the gas station attendant with the following information: the type of gasoline, the pump number, and the amount in U.S. dollars. You can get the rest of the money at the cash desk after refueling. example: you deposit 50 US-dollars, after 45 US-dollars the tank is full, so you get 5 US-dollars back again.
If you want to pay with your credit card, you can deposit it at the cashier before filling up. paying with credit card directly at the pump is only possible if the credit card is registered to an owner with US residency. In this case you have to enter the postal code you have entered.
Technically somewhat different from here – filling up in the USA
The refueling process itself works similar to ours – except for a few small, but subtle differences. Since all types of gasoline now come out of the same hose at most gas pumps in the USA, you have to select the type of gasoline you want before filling up at the pump – as a "diesel" fuel select grade denotes. With older fuel pumps, you still have to operate the so-called lever – a lever that activates the pump.
Important: always keep an eye on the level of your fuel tank
Finally, here’s a tip you should take to heart in the land of unlimited possibilities and endless highways. Gas stations are few and far between, especially in rural areas with few inhabitants. You should therefore always keep an eye on the display with the current fuel level and rather fill the tank with too much fuel than too little.
Refueling is a bit different in the USA than in europe, but can be learned quickly. After a few tries, paying and refueling are no longer a problem.