The Super Simple Way to Know Which Side of the Car the Fuel Door is On

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has done it.

Hired or borrowed a car, realised I needed to get petrol and started looking into the side mirrors trying to get a hint of which side of the car the fuel door is on before pulling into the petrol station.

Then a while back I discovered I was missing something in plain sight.

It was so obvious that it’s taken me more than a year to write this post as I assumed everyone else knew.

It was only after I mentioned it to a few friends and saw that I was sharing new information with them that I decided it was time to share.

Not only had they not heard of the trick either, one friend swore blind that the car he has had for more than five years didn’t have it. A quick trip to the garage led to quite the surprised look on his face.

For there on the dashboard were the words Fuel Door and an arrow to the right.

Car Fuel Door Sign in Suburu

Gas Indicator Icons Reveal Fuel Doors

Yes, all this time those sneaky car companies have been using the dashboards to let us know which side of the car we want to pull up beside the petrol bowser.

At first I thought it was just one or two makes and models, then I realised they pretty much all have their own ways of doing it.

Some actually say the words Fuel Door, others have petrol tank icons with arrows, while some like Renault are a little more subtle.

I’d been telling my friend Peyton about this trick when we went to pick up our Renault Captur for a road trip to the Blue Mountains and Mudgee.

At first I was a little confused that there was no arrow. Then I realised the handle on the bowser in the little picture was on the right hand side, which is where the fuel tank was.

Renault Captur dashboard

I now know that all Renault passenger vehicles have fuel doors on the right, but if I ever forget that when I’m driving one again a quick glance at the dash will help me out.

Now it’s worth noting that the icon’s pump handle doesn’t always line up with the side of the car that it’s on. It does in Renault’s case, but in other cars you may have the handle on the right and an arrow or triangle pointing to the left.

In which case, follow that arrow.

A Road Trip Handy Hint

If you’re like me and so many others and hadn’t noticed these little signs before, don’t feel bad.

The fact is we’re usually driving our own car and know which side the fuel door is on so we don’t have to check.

But if you’re going on a road trip in a rental car or borrowing a friend’s car and want to thank them with a full tank then it’s a handy one to know.

So far I haven’t found a car that doesn’t have its own way of giving us the hint, except for a couple vintage numbers and I then realised the fuel door wasn’t on either side, it was at the back of the car so they’re not really contenders.

But that said, I’d be interested to hear from my road tripping friends.

Do you have a car that refuses to give you any hints and instead has you doing some manoeuvring in the petrol station?

And what’s your favourite road trip hack? I have some big ones coming up this year and always like learning new things before I get behind the wheel.

Amanda Woods would like to thank Renault Australia for letting her take a Renault Captur on a road trip. As usual all thoughts and opinions remain her own.

Love road trips? You may like to check out this piece about a Deep South Music Road Trip in the USA, while cat lovers may also like my piece on how to safely take a cat that hates cars on a road trip.

And if you’re looking for a hire car deal for your own road trip you can compare the different car companies through Wotif’s car hire portal.

Renault Captur Blue Mountains road trip

About the Author

As a journalist who loves to travel and is fond of a chat I'm oh so happy when I'm sharing travel tales and tips through my blog and on my weekly travel segment on Sydney Radio 2UE. When I'm not travelling or writing about it I can be found out and about with friends, curled up at home with a good book or watching an addictive tv show promising I'll stop after one more episode. Amanda on Google +

Leave a Comment

  1. OMG I had NO idea! Thank you for yet another fab life hack. Awesome!

    • Ha! I must admit I was holding my breath when I saw I had a comment to approve thinking it was going to be an ‘everyone knows THAT!’ one… so this one made me laugh as I exhaled 😉

  2. I suppose I shouldn’t really admit that I’ve been driving the same car for years, and I still wonder sometimes which side of the car the fuel tank is on?

  3. Wow what a simple ‘trick’ this is!! Haha and we’ve been craning our necks like crazy all this time 😉 Will have to check our Jeep if they have an indicator as such, thanks for the tip!

Leave a Comment