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Always return a rental car with a full tank of gas. It'll cost a lot more money in fuel surcharges to have the car rental company fill it upon your return. Do your research on the major car rental companies - Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Enterprise, etc. - and find out how much they charge per gallon for gas. That way, if you get stuck and simply cannot fill the car up ahead of time, you'll be able to estimate the additional gas charges.
Do your research first, though! With gas prices so high these days, many companies offer car rental coupons for gas.