How do you refuel in the US?


When refueling in the US, there are a few things to note.

Some visitors to the US are unsure of the first time, but they do not have to be. The gas stations in the US look hardly different than ours. As here with us, the prices are clearly recognizable. In the search for a gas station you should always look for the name Gas Station, that's the name of the gas stations in the USA. The gasoline price in the US is based on gallons and not liters. One gallon is 3,785 liters.

One should already inquire when picking up the rental car, what the car for gasoline needed. Also, it would be good to know how many gallons of gas will fit in the tank! Most likely, the car has a gasoline engine. Diesel cars are not widely used in the US and therefore you will not find diesel at every gas pump. This fuel is reserved for the truck.

At most gas stations you get Regular, Plus or Supreme. All of these grades are unleaded unleaded gasoline 87, 89 or 91. Most American rental cars are refueled with the low-priced regular, but for slightly higher-powered cars such as off-road vehicles, Plus is recommended   or   Supreme.

In the US, you pay the gas before you refuel, not like ours afterwards. You have the choice between credit card, Maestro card or cash.

If you pay with cash, you enter the amount you want to refuel at the cashier. If too much was paid, you get the change back after refueling. If you do not want to commit to a certain amount in advance, it's best to pay by credit card. Most petrol pumps have a credit card slot and the display shows handling instructions. Sometimes people ask for a ZIP code. Take the postal code assigned to the credit card. If that does not work, you can pay with Maestro card and pin or cash.

Now you choose the appropriate gasoline and tank. At some even older fuel dispensers one must first operate a lever, with the newer ones that goes automatically, if one takes the fuel nozzle from the holder. Return the lever to its original position after refueling, otherwise the next customer can fill up at your expense.

I hope I could give some helpful tips on how to fuel in the US .



  • Uphill pure 🙂 I can not remember how it was with me back then, but that's been over 20 years ago ...

    • At the beginning it takes a bit of getting used to, but now it is no longer a problem. Mauserndem the Americans are very friendly and always ready to help.

  • Great and helpful contribution! He would have liked to read before my first tour of California. This is really unusual for us Germans. But luckily there are always a lot of nice and helpful people in America. At least we have had this experience 🙂

    Best regards

  • Oh! I think my conclusion after this post is - I prefer to refuel 😉 Thank you!

  • I can not even drive here. Since you need in other countries a guide how to refuel? Sounds awkward 😀 I hope Tesla gets through everywhere soon.

  • Somehow I have never considered that the refueling process in other countries is different (I think I'm very naive: D) But the contribution is really helpful, because a US tour is definitely still on my list 🙂

  • Such first numbers, then refueling versions, here in the country also 🙂
    Nevertheless, it's really interesting, because I'll probably stop by the States in September, that's very helpful to know! Thanks for the contribution 🙂
    Best regards,
    Heidi from

  • Good, interesting service article. Thank you.

  • Yes, it is always exciting to refuel in other countries. It has happened to us so often that we stood like oxen in front of the mountain and did not know how we should refuel. Thank you for your really good explanation. LG Alex from

  • That was really helpful. I'm just starting again with a car (years of use of the public ^ ^) and I think in the US would be totally overwhelmed.
    VG July

  • Dear Sigrid

    A really great report !!!

    Yes, the first time we were in the US, it was not so easy, but funny, until we came out of it, how it all works! Today everything works automatically! ; oD

    Thank you for the great tips!

    Have a nice day!


  • A very interesting contribution. The refueling there is so different. Very helpful. Thank you.
    Greetings Nadine

  • Okay, I think it makes a lot of sense to know what to expect. I would have stood there wondering why nothing came out of the tap. Had not come directly to the idea that you have to pay in advance.

  • Oh, I can still remember the refueling ... All a bit confusing. We usually had a gas station attendant who did that. Lucky 😀

    Greetings, Stefanie *

  • Very interesting, would have thought that there are hardly any differences but there are still 😉


  • This reminds me a lot of the funny episode when we first stood at the pump in the USA! We really needed a little while until we had checked ... 🙂
    Best regards, Ina

  • desire wrought

    Dear Sigrid,

    a great article that comes to me with the refueling known. The first time I was still really hard!

    best regards


  • An interesting contribution!
    In Zeeland in the Netherlands there are also petrol stations where you can pay by card!
    One, done twice and then you understand that too!: D
    Greetings Sarah <3

  • Dear Sigrid,

    thank's for the Tipps! I was the first time in the US a bit overwhelmed while refueling. Since you arrive at night after many hours of travel, picks up the rental car and must refuel the same night ;-). Too bad that your blog did not exist back then.

    best regards

  • Good to know. Unfortunately, I have never been to the USA. But it is a dream to fly someday. If you then rent a car and want to drive around, then I remember your article 🙂

  • Ohhh I can still remember my first stop at the tank 😀 Since you have to first know that they want to have coal before 😀

    best regards

  • I have no idea of ​​fueling, because I do not have a car and do not drive a car 😉
    but that is interesting to know ... I would probably be helpless overwhelmed!

    Best regards too,
    ❤ Tina from

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