We'll be renting cars in Ireland and England this summer. Can we pump our own gas at gas (petrol) stations like we do here in Washington? Also, do most gas stations take credit cards (we do have a debit card and a c&p cc)? Thanks!
Tips of some minor differences from some experiences in the US - no pump requires lifting up a lever or pressing a button to start it, none have trigger catches and you pay at the kiosk after you have filled up if not paying at the pump (which is also somewhat rarer than the US).
Pump your own. Use a credit card.
Can we pump our own gas at gas (petrol) stations like we do here in Washington? At the garage in my small rural village they come and fill your car for you, have a chat about the weather, ask after your vegetable garden, etc, but they are very unusual these days. Almost everywhere is self-service and has been for 30 or 40 years. Also, do most gas stations take credit cards (we do have a debit card and a c&p cc)? I can't speak for Ireland, but here the answer is yes, I can't imagine ever coming across one that doesn't, even in the most rural areas. Ed from Pensacola will probably be along in a moment to tell us about a place in the back of beyond in north Wales that only takes cash, but if you have a proper c&p card (and even if you haven't) then you should be fine. EDIT: Ah, I see that Ed did come along, while I was typing... I think it's fair to say that if he hasn't found an exception then they don't exist.
During our month driving around rural Ireland, April, 2012, American credit cards worked fine. DH usually had to go inside to have the card swiped because it was chipless and the reader on the pump couldn't read that sort of card. We did buy all of our petrol during normal business hours and avoided Sunday purchases.
Thanks for you help!
The hose colors for diesel and gasoline are reversed from the US. Black is diesel and green in gasoline.
Dear Amanda, We just got back from England where we rented a car. You can pump your own gas and then pay inside. We didn't have a chip and pin credit card and didn't have any trouble with our swipe and signature cards. I believe some pumps had the option to select "pay inside". Cathy
Theoretically you can do just that at most petrol stations. However unless your US credit card is the Chip and PIN type, the gas pump card readers will reject it. Banks in the USA have been dragging their feet and still only issue magnetic strip cards. The technology came out in France about 10 years ago and is now widespread in Europe. In the absence of such modern kit, you will have to just grin and pay cash in the shop, just like we have to do in your country.
Welcome aboard, Jerry Its nice to have a Hertfordshire rep in this madhouse... Glad to have you
Chip cards are now available from many American banks but you may have to ask for them. My on-line bank told me of the availability of a chip card when I called them to tell them of my upcoming trip..too late for this trip but I will ask them for one when I return home.