Drivers beware! Filling up before returning that rental car to Orlando International Airport could cost you more than if you simply turn the car in empty. Most people don't think about filling up their rental car until they are near the airport, and then look for the closest and most convenient place to stop. Well, at least two gas stations near OIA are taking full advantage of this situation, and giving Orlando a bad name. Suncoast and Sun Gas are the closest gas stations to OIA, and the place many people stop out of pure convenience. Most travelers are in a hurry and do not even notice that Suncoast and Sun Gas prices are around twice as much as the average gas price in any other part of Orlando.
For several years, these gas stations didn't even have signs advertising the price per gallon. Often, drivers didn't see the price until they were already at the pump, or after they had begun fueling the car. The City of Orlando finally forced the gas stations to post a visible price after citizens became enraged by these shady practices. The stations were ordered to post clearly visible signs for consumers. But as recently as two weeks ago the signs are rarely visible and clearly still deceitful. Rental car customers are not the only ones affected by this obvious price-gouging. Anyone who is in need of quick and convenient fuel around OIA can fall victim to this scam.
Prior to August, the next closest gas station offering reasonable prices was a 7-11 which was one mile to the North on Semoran Boulevard. However, late this summer a hero came to the rescue in the form of a new WaWa convenient store just a block away from the two unsavory stores. WaWa offered a promotional price of $2.99 per gallon to celebrate their grand opening, which left pumps at Suncoast and Sun Gas nearly abandoned.
Citizens of Orlando are hoping that the competition will put an end to overly-inflated gas prices for good. But until then, if you find yourself in need of gas near OIA, slow down long enough to be aware of advertised prices. If you don't see a sign, you are probably going to pay far too much for fuel.