Diesel or petrol car rental?

Does the same happen with Santorini car rental? Renting a diesel car is cheaper or gasoline? How do I know if the car I rent is petrol or diesel? These are just some of the goal-setting shareware that you can use to rent a car for a vacation or a business trip.

The diesel or petrol question has been in the lives of all drivers since the past decade, after the lifting of the ban on diesel. The question raises dilemmas about whether and how much cheaper it would be to rent a diesel car. Cars with diesel engines are undoubtedly very popular in recent years. The main reason is the low fuel consumption and in combination with the much lower price of fuel compared to gasoline makes travel much cheaper. 

The main reasons for choosing a diesel rental car

    1. For less environmental pollution.  We live in a time very dangerous for the future of our environment. There are many solutions that can reduce the infections it receives daily from millions of people. Technology has helped a lot in the development of diesel vehicles, which are not so harmful to the environment and the air we breathe, from gasoline engines. Also, a diesel engine burns much less than a gasoline engine. This is, therefore, a very strong reason to choose a diesel car for rent.
    2. Cheaper optionUndoubtedly, diesel engines offer lower costs per kilometre than gasoline engines. The savings, of course, depend on comparing petrol and oil prices at the time of car rental. Also, it has been proven that diesel engines are 33% more efficient than gasoline engines, although this, of course, depends on the model of the rental car.
    3. Less noise If you are tired of noisy cars, then the car for rent will belong to the diesel category. The technology has been widely developed in the diesel car categories and has helped to reduce noise levels.
    4. Travel to Europe If the rental car is to be used in a European country, then finding diesel fuel stations will be very easy. In most European countries, the cars used are mostly diesel, so finding gasoline may be a little harder. On the other hand, diesel cars are not widely used in the United States. If you rent a used car in the US, the opposite will be true than in a European country, so it will be difficult to find a diesel station.

5 ways to know if your have a diesel rental car

Let’s see now how you can tell if the rental car is petrol or diesel. If the office you are renting the car you want has not informed you whether the car is diesel or not, there are ways to find out for yourself.

Check the model name

There might be a clue on the back of the car itself. Often, cars that have diesel engines will have a ‘D’ in the model name. For example, the name ‘Ford Mondeo TDCi’ tells you that the car is a Turbo Diesel with Common Rail Injection. Not that anyone needs to know what common rail injection is. 

Car manufacturers use a lot of model names, such as ‘TDI’, ‘HDi’, ‘GTD’, ‘dCi’, ‘JTD’ and so on. If your car has a badge like this on the back with a ‘D’, it’s likely to be a diesel car. 

The sound and the smell 

The sound of the car as you start will look a little different than it usually sounds in a gasoline-powered car. The diesel engine’s fuel tank has a larger diameter. Also, the diesel car has a different smell, it smells more like oil. 


Look for a sticker

There are usually some markings near or on the fuel tank cap that advise the type of fuel. Rental companies often put stickers in different places around the car to tell you which fuel to use. The first place you might see a sticker is on the car key. Or it might be on the dashboard, near the fuel gauge.

No luck in either of those places? Try opening the little ‘door’ over the fuel cap to see if there’s a sticker on the inside. If you can’t find a label anywhere, then it’s time to look for another clue.

Of course, it would be good to consult the rental agreement as there will be some information about the type of fuel. Finally, you can, of course, ask an employee at a gas station to determine the type of engine. Be careful, because making a mistake in choosing the right fuel can cause serious and harmful damage to the rental car.

See if the fuel pump will fit

If you’ve searched the entire car from bumper to bumper and still not found any clues, you may be tempted to just go ahead and fill up. What you might not know is that diesel pump nozzles are thicker than petrol ones. So putting diesel in a petrol car can be pretty difficult: if it feels like you’re really having to force a diesel nozzle into the ‘fuel neck’, it could mean the car uses petrol.

 However, putting a thinner petrol nozzle into a diesel car is, sadly, very easy. And, because petrol doesn’t have any lubricating qualities (like diesel does), putting petrol into diesel can be particularly bad for mechanical components such as the fuel pump.  

Ultimately, if you’re still not sure what fuel to use, it’s best to contact the rental company – before you fill-up.

What to do if you get it wrong

We all make mistakes from time to time. So don’t panic if you realise you’ve put the wrong fuel in the engine. The most important thing to remember is not to start the car, even if the impatient driver behind you is getting frustrated. Starting the engine will begin the fuel circulating – and that can do some serious damage.

Ask the fuel station staff to help you move the car out of the way safely. Then contact the rental company, who will help you get back on the road.



  1. Although a diesel car is considered more efficient as it converts heat into energy instead of sending heat out of the exhaust pipe as gasoline-powered vehicles do, it is not characterized by high-speed performance. Compared to gasoline-powered vehicles, a diesel car is like a driving force. Slow, stable and durable.
  2. Don’t forget that diesel cars also need regular inspection and maintenance. Check and change frequently oil, air and fuel filters . This means that if you are renting a leasing car for a long time or if you need a rental car for business trips where you will travel many kilometres at a time, you should keep this parameter in mind.
  3. If you neglect to maintain your rental car, you may have to pay the engineer a lot more money than you would pay an engineer for a gasoline-powered vehicle, as diesel engines are technologically more advanced and their parts are definitely a little more expensive.

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