Skip to content

Drive It Like You Stole It

August 5, 2019

Ever paid $9.00 per gallon for gas. Just turn in a rental car without refilling the tank. The rental companies will refill it for you at a slight markup.

I recently rented a car. Normally my trips involve nothing more ambitious than a trip from the airport to my hotel. Multiple trips from my hotel to the call center. Maybe an occasional trip to dinner. And then travel back to the airport, after stopping off at a gas station.

My most recent trip was a bit more adventurous. Columbus is about 120 miles or so from Cleveland. Cleveland has a lot of interesting things to see. There’s the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There’s a Major League Baseball park, Progressive field, home of the Cleveland Indians, and just outside of Cleveland in the town of Kirtland is the first temple ever built by the Mormon church, way back in the 1836.

My flight got in around 4:30pm. I decided to drive to Cleveland for dinner. It’s only about a two hour drive and freeway driving at 70 MPH all the way.

I drove back to Columbus that night and checked into my hotel around midnight. The rest of my visit was pretty boring from an automotive point of view. A trip from the hotel to the center. A trip from the center to the hotel. A trip to Walmart to buy dinner. Back to the hotel. Then a trip from the hotel to the airport.

But, of course, I had to stop off and get gas. The trick with buying gas for your rental car is that you don’t want to refill too far from the airport. Otherwise, it’s not actually full when you return it.

So, you look for a gas station close to the airport. Normally at this stage of a trip, I’m watching the clock to make sure I have time to get back, return my car, print my boarding passes (yeah, I’m old school like that,) go through security (TSA Precheck is the best $85 I ever spent) and then get to the gate in time.

But, not today. Today I was watching the gas gauge. Would I have enough gas to make it to the airport? I could choose a closer one, but there’s the issue of being too far away. I watched the “RANGE” number drop slowly, one by one.

Finally, I found a gas station on the last exit prior to John Glenn Airport. I wasn’t quite running on fumes when I pulled in, but I’m not sure that a couple of good revs of the engine wouldn’t have used the last of what was in the tank.

I probably had enough to make it all teh way to the airport if I’d tried, but just barely.

As I headed to the airport with a full tank, I tried to figure out what it would have cost at $9 per gallon.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (
LinkedIn (
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

One Comment
  1. Great post ?

Leave a Reply