Almost impossible to refuel your hire car near Pisa airport

If you hire a car at Pisa airport where the rental company has a policy of returning the car with a full tank of fuel you may find it virtually impossible to fill up the fuel tank of your rental car. When we were on our way to the airport on a Saturday afternoon, the petrol station near the airport, was unamannned and the payment machine would only accept bancomat cards (I didn’t know what they were) or cash in 5, 10 or 20 euro notes. The machine would not take credit cards.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

You don’t know exactly how much fuel you need to exactly fill the tank and you may not have notes of correct size. It’s a pretty nasty sting in the tail when you are getting back to the airport to check in for return flight. There’s only one machine for all the pumps and when we were there there were another British couple who put in 40 euro worth of fuel which wasn’t enough to fill tank but they had no more cash, so they were going to be hit with refuelling charge although they were perfectly willing to refill car. A Brazilian guy lost 40 euro in the machine. We were lucky we had a 20 and a 5 euro notes and that filled our tank.

If suppliers have a return full policy it should be easier to adhere to this policy. I think all the car hire suppliers in Pisa should put pressure on petrol station to be manned or at least to accept credit cards.

My advice to you is to ensure you leave plenty of time to refuel and have a supply of 20, 10 and 5 euro notes.