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You just have to guess. Usually half a tank will cost me approximately $15, so once you figure out how big your tank is it's not too hard to estimate how much you'll pay to fill it up. I usually pay for gas with my debit card though, so I don't have to worry about going back for change or paying again if it isn't enough.
If you pay by cash, you insert more than you think you need (or less if you can't afford to) and get the change from the cashier after. If you pay by card, you swipe your card and then pump gas. I've never seen a station where you paid afterwards, not in California anyway. That sucks, but damn that's expensive for gas. You should get a prius.
the NZ dollar is worth significantly less than the US dollar, so more dollars for petrol there. I'm from Australia, I've been to California once, and although I knew how many litres is in one gallon, I had no idea how many gallons of petrol our hire car took, and how to work out how much money the appropriate amount of gallons would be needed, so my first guess was a bit off but we at least had enough to get around for a day!!!
I have never paid before I pumped. Where are YOU all from!? Obviously not from where I am lol But, there are pumps with the option to pay before. Usually the pump stops when you hit the amount (say, you paid 15$, so the pump would stop automatically when it tallied to 15$... in merely requires basic estimation skills and for you to know your car) @OP: This is why I always check that I have money before I do anything.
@ #137: I live in BC, Canada and in Feb08 a new law was passed where you must pay first then pump no matter the time of day (before I think it was just after dark). This happened because of a young gas station attendant that tried to stop a drive-off customer and ended up getting run over by the car and dragged down the street to his death.
You can either pay before or after in the U.S.!! I've seen it done both ways where I'm from; some gas stations make you pay before with cash to prevent people from stealing. Others don't care as much. OP: That sucks for you! Find whoever 'borrowed' that from you and, er, pay them back. With your fist.
in response to several comments on here: yes we pay after we pump, unless it's at night. no NZers don't usually say gas, we say petrol, but I've noticed some people say things more like Americans... their shows kinda dominate our tv, plus movies, so I guess that has an influence. $100 is NZD so with $1.60 per litre for petrol (not sure what that converts to in gallons - we don't use that measurement) it could easily cost $100 to fill a car... mine costs about $90 and its only a 1995 1800cc Honda Accord - imagine what a V6 or V8 would cost? and groceries... depends on what you like! if i bought budget stuff it would be about $50 per week, but I spend $70ish... so the OPs friendly thief could have expensive taste or be buying for more than one!! so no this is not a fake FML! why doesn't everyone concentrate more on the actual FML instead of playing misinformed minor detective?!!
I'm from Canada and every gas station around here is pay after, although some now have the option to prepay at the pump with a debit/credit card. The only time I use the prepay though is if I only have like 20$ to put in, because it automatically stops when you hit your paid amount, so it's easier.
I've always been so scared of that happening to me! I would have no idea what to do... maybe just stand there and cry or beg money off other drivers haha
ydi for having a car that needs 100$ for a full tank. Reduce Reuse Recycle! stop killing the earth with your inefficient vehicle.
The current price for gas in Hawkes Bay, NZ is $1.69 (I'm assuming per liter). That's $6.41 per gallon, which is $4.82 per gallon in US dollars using the current exchange rate. His $100 of gas only bought 15.6 gallons. That's the size of tank a small to mid-size car has. Next time think a bit before saying someone "deserves it for killing the earth with an inefficient car."