December 29. Just two days left to go in 2012. We’ve had a piece of cake travel year. I flew on 41 individual flights, visited 25 countries, stayed in 35 hotels and apartments, 3 castles, and on 1 cruise ship. We had not a single delayed flight, no lost luggage, and not a bad room this year. Just when we thought we were in the clear, our biggest travel mishap of 2012 struck.
We were so excited as we made our descent into Iceland, both peering out the window at the vast whiteness. We met the representative from SADCars, a rental car company in Iceland we rented with on our last trip to Iceland and who has generously sponsored us with a Toyota Landcruiser to drive around Iceland over the next week, got all the paperwork squared away, and went on our way. About one mile from the rental place, we stopped to fill up and get a few groceries to stock our apartment.
I was blissfully filling my basket with Skyr when Tim came in and said “We’ve got a problem.” I thought he was going to tell me that the machine wasn’t accepting our debit or credit cards. No, this was a much bigger problem. Our Toyota Landcruiser took diesel and we had just filled it up with around $100 of gasoline. F%#$!
We are dumbasses.
Plain and simple. We didn’t ask what type of fuel the Landcruiser took at SADCars and we missed it on the gas cap in our haste to get out of the sideways sleet. It wasn’t until Tim was screwing the gas cap back on that he noticed it said the Landcruiser was diesel.
Luckily, SADCars has emergency roadside assistance available 24/7 and one easy phone call (boy did I feel stupid explaining why I needed emergency roadside assistance just 20 minutes after picking up our rental) and help was on the way. We didn’t have to wait long and a tow truck showed up to tow our Landcruiser to a nearby garage where the gasoline could be drained.
After draining all the gasoline from the Landcruiser, the garage towed us back to the nearest gas station, made sure we filled up with diesel this time, and waited to see that everything was in running order before sending us on our way.
$100 of gasoline down the drain (literally) and a $150 tow later, we have no one to blame but ourselves. We should have made sure we asked what type of fuel the Landcruiser ran on. At least we did the smart thing and didn’t try to drive it anywhere; the lesson could have been a much more expensive one.
Never leave the car rental counter without asking what type of fuel the car runs on.
Thank you to SADCars for providing us with a Toyota Landcruiser for our Icelandic adventure (and for not taking it back tonight!) As always, all opinions are our own.