Recently, it was hotly debated on the Sixt Facebook page: When driving in a rental car to the gas station, the question arises:
Which side of the rental car is the tank inlet located?
Because of this, our colleague Patrick looked into this question! Thanks, Patrick!
We all know it, at least from our time as a novice driver or when driving an unfamiliar car, such as a Sixt rental car. You drive to the gas station, stop next to the pump and find out that the fuel cap is on the side of the vehicle facing away from the pump. Then all that remains is to get back in and turn the car around or to awkwardly pull the hose over the trunk and somehow refuel.
So you don’t get into this situation, you only need to know a few things about the location of the gas cap.
Right Or Left?
Basically, the location of the fuel cap depends on whether there is right- or left-hand traffic in the country where the car is built.
If the car is designed for right-hand traffic, the fuel cap is on the right and vice versa. The very simple reason for this is that in the event of an emergency, such as running out of fuel away from a gas station, it is safer to refuel the vehicle with a canister on the side facing away from traffic.
Japanese cars, for example, often have left the fuel cap on the left side, as Japan has left-hand traffic. This also has advantages in right-side driving countries. Firstly, it is far less likely that you’ll forget to close the lid and secondly there is no danger that the driver’s door is damaged by careless other drivers. Many drivers also find it easier to have the cap on the same side as the driver’s door.
This is just a rule of thumb as most manufacturers vary the side of the vehicle where the fuel cap is. This often relates to the design of the vehicle, especially the undercarriage, as this dictates the location of the fuel tank. There are also legal requirements as the location needs to be unlikely to ignite during a crash – this rules out placing the gas cap at the back of the vehicle.
And What Do I Do If I Am In The Car And I’ve Forgotten Where The Fuel Cap Is?
In many vehicles, this is not an issue either. There is often an arrow in the fuel gauge, next to the small gas pump symbol, which indicates the side on which the nozzle is located. So then nothing can go wrong, and after one, two refueling you will have gotten used to a rental car, where the fuel cap is.
By the way: the fuel cap on most newer cars is opened either by a small lever in the footwell next to the left foot of the driver or by a button in the cockpit.