Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
Refuelling your vehicle
Getting fuel in the US is different to the UK and can be quite fraught. Firstly petrol is referred to as gas. One good thing, it is almost impossible to accidentally fuel with diesel as they rarely have it on gas pumps, it is usually separate and used almost exclusively for commercial vehicles.
That’s the good news now it gets complicated. The main difference between the UK and the US is that in the UK fuel is paid for after it is dispensed, in the US it has to be paid for before it can be dispensed.
Most pumps offer a credit card / debit card pay at pump service. Unfortunately in an effort to prevent fraud one of the first things you will be asked for is your ZIP code which even if you know it, unless it is dedicated to your card it will not work and your post code certainly will not. That means you have to go into the shop and pay up front, either in cash or with a card. If you pay cash you have to guess how much fuel you will need, if you pay for too much it will be necessary to revisit the shop to get the credit. It is easier with a card if you do not use as much fuel as you have paid for, the credit is automatically credited back to the card. As a guide most vehicles will take about 12 gallons from empty, larger SUV’s about 15 gallons.
That’s the easy bit done, following the transaction there is sometimes a time limit for commencing fuelling, often 3 minutes. If you do not start the pump before the time limit expires the payment will be cancelled and you have to start again!
At the pump remove the nozzle from the holster and place in the fuel filler, select the grade of gas required, for the vast majority of vehicles this will be 87 unleaded. On some pumps it is necessary to lift the holster to start the pump. On US nozzles the trigger can be latched open by pushing the spring loaded lever down and engaging it in the ratchet track on the bottom of the hand guard. It is an offence to leave the nozzle on auto fill, you must be in attendance. The auto fill will switch off just before the prepaid quantity of fuel is dispensed, it will be necessary to complete the filling process manually. On completion simply return the nozzle to the holder.
Gas is much cheaper than in the U. K, $45 will fill an average SUV!
Surprisingly Hess gas stations in Walt Disney World are among the cheapest in the area, as is Wal-Mart on SR535 (Vineland Rd). RaceTrac also tend to be cheaper. Avoid gas stations in Lake Buena Vista (just outside Disney) as they are incredibly expensive.
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Page added on: 4 November 2007
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