Battling the coronavirus when filling up
Most of us know by now that physical distancing is critical in our battle against the coronavirus. By distancing from others and avoiding contact with high-touch surfaces, we’re helping to break the chain of transmission.
However, it’s not always possible to observe perfect physical distancing. For those of who need to refuel our vehicles, that means nearly unavoidable contact with multiple germ-laden surfaces.
From the keypad, to the pump handle, to the fuel selection buttons, there’s a lot of potential for contamination. Further, any contagions you pick up could then be transferred to your credit card, car keys, and door handle. Ick.
I’m no germaphobe, but COVID-19 is no joke. If possible, I’d prefer to avoid all that contact. Fortunately, there is a way to do that!
Filld—a contactless refuelling option
For over a year, I’ve been using a service called Filld—and I think it’s a fantastic way to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Here’s how Filld describes what they do:
Filld is a mobile fueling service that fills your vehicle(s) or fleet with fuel so you can focus on other things. Trained and certified Filld delivery drivers in specialized fuel trucks deliver top-quality fuel to your vehicle(s) where they’re parked.
Pretty neat, huh? That means you can top up your car without ever leaving your house or needing to touch any contaminated surfaces!
Where Filld operates
Here are the areas that Filld currently operates:
- Washington, D.C. Area
- City of Burnaby (including SFU and Burnaby Mountain)
- City Vancouver (including Downtown, East Van, South Van, and UBC)
- City of North Vancouver
- District of North Vancouver
- District of West Vancouver (to Horseshoe Bay)
And in case you operate a car share or own a fleet of company vehicles, Filld also refuels fleets in:
- Washington, DC
- Portland, OR
- Vancouver, BC
How Filld works
In a nutshell, here’s how Filld works:
- Create an account at Filld.com. (That’s my referral link—you’ll get $25 off your first order and I’ll get a $25 credit. You can also enter my referral code to get your $25 credit: a6xxty)
- Filld will text you twice a week on your neighborhood’s delivery days.
- Reply via text message if you’d like a fill-up. (If not, simply ignore the message and they won’t come.)
- Leave your gas flap ajar.
- Sometime overnight, a Filld truck will come by to fill up your vehicle.
- Your vehicle is now filled and ready to go.
- An itemized receipt is sent to your email.
How much does Filld cost?
There are two parts to the cost of using Filld:
- The cost of fuel.
- The delivery fee.
I’ll explain each below:
1. The cost of fuel
Filld provides gas at the best available wholesale rate in your area. In my experience, this translates to an average of 5¢ per litre less than gas stations. However, the savings can be less, or sometimes much more (over 10¢ per litre!)
I always suggest checking gas prices in Google Maps before placing your Filld order. That way, you’ll know if you’re getting a good deal or not.
(If you’re not sure how to do that, go to Google Maps, then type ‘gas’ into the ‘Search Here’ bar at the top. You’ll see the gas stations near you with their current gas prices listed. While this isn’t 100% accurate, it’s usually pretty close.)
2. The delivery fee
Here in Vancouver, Filld normally charges a delivery fee of $5 per fill. But between March 28–April 15, 2020 they’re waiving this fee! That’s why it’s such a great time to try this service out right now.
However, when the delivery fee comes back into effect, Filld can still be worth using. Just be sure to do the math to make sure it’s still a good deal. I work this out by dividing the delivery fee by the total volume of gas needed.
I then add this to the cost per litre to compare to the price at the pumps. Sometimes it’s more and not worth using Filld, but most of the time, it works out to the same or less.
Splitting the delivery fee
Filld charges only one delivery fee to fill multiple vehicles at the same time, at the same address. (But all the vehicles must be registered under the same account.)
This means the cost of the delivery fee is spread out over a larger volume of gas—which could mean the difference between Filld being worth using or not. I’ll explain more below.
Buying in volume
We only use Filld when both our cars need to be filled and are around 7/8ths empty. Since both our fuel tanks have a 60L capacity, that works out to 150 liters per fill-up.
That means the $5 delivery fee is essentially an extra 3.3¢ per liter ($5 divided by 150 litres). At that rate, Filld is almost always cheaper than filling at a gas station.
However, that changes a lot if you have smaller fuel tanks or only one vehicle. Here’s how the delivery fee would work out for various volumes of fill-ups:
- 40L fill-up: add 12.5¢ per litre
- 60L fill-up: add 8.3¢ per litre
- 80L fill-up: add 6.3¢ per litre
- 100L fill-up: add 5¢ per litre
- 120L fill-up: add 4.2¢ per litre
- 140L fill-up: add 3.6¢ per litre
- 160L fill-up: add 3.1¢ per litre
Since Filld averages 5¢ per litre cheaper than gas stations, you’d need to fill at least 100L in one delivery to break even. However, Filld’s rate is often more than 5¢ per litre cheaper than gas stations, so you may break even on a lower volume.
I always check the gas prices on Google Maps, then do the math each time to make sure it’s a good deal. Sometimes, I’m willing to break even or even pay a little more, just for the convenience.
And again—Filld is waiving the delivery fee right now, so there’s really no reason to not try them out! They also offer occasional fee waivers throughout the year, which is always nice.
My experience with Filld
My brother-in-law first told me about Filld. To be honest, his recommendation was the only reason I even considered trying them out!
If not for the recommendation, I’m not sure if I would’ve tried Filld. After all, the whole process is a little disconcerting: you leave your gas flap open, a stranger comes to your house in the middle of the night, refuels your car, then disappears.
Really weird and kind of creepy, right?
Well, I got over it pretty quickly. I’ve been a Filld customer for over a year now, and have been more than happy with the service and convenience. Here’s why:
It’s easy to use
It could not be simpler to place an order with Filld. They text you, then you text back “YES” if you want a fill. If not, just ignore their message and they won’t come.
After your tank is filled, they email you a receipt with all the transaction details (price, fill amount, delivery fee, discounts).
It saves time
With Filld, we may never need to visit a gas station again. This saves us 10-15 minutes each time (and more if the gas station isn’t on the way).
It saves money
With an average savings of 5¢ per litre less than gas stations, that beats most (or maybe every) rewards program out there. When the savings are even greater (sometimes 10¢ or more per litre) it’s hard to argue that Filld isn’t the best way to refuel your vehicle.
It helps us to physical distance
In the coronavirus era, we’ve all become more conscious of potential germs on high-touch surfaces. A service like Filld is 100% contactless for customers, which helps protect us and our communities.
Top-notch customer service
I’ve only needed to contact Filld a couple of times. But both times, their response was fast, friendly, and just plain excellent. I really like their customer service!
Filld offers various discounts* to help you save on their services:
- Their Refer a Friend program allows you to earn $25 every time a friend signs up for and uses their services using your link. (Here’s mine, so we can both earn $25 in credits!)
- They offer occasional promos, fuel discounts, and delivery fee waivers throughout the year. Watch for these offers in the twice-weekly text messages.
- They may ask you to fill out a survey, then reward you with credits (we were, and received $25 each).
*These discounts are not guaranteed and are subject to change.
Downsides of Filld
As much as I love Filld, it’s not perfect for everyone. Here are some of the downsides:
Not for small volumes
As mentioned in the How much does Filld cost? section above, if you have a single vehicle and/or small gas tanks, Filld’s delivery fee may make their service not worth it.
Not for garages
If your vehicle is parked inside a garage (whether in your apartment building or at your house) Filld can’t service your vehicle. However, you can get around this by parking your car on the street or on your driveway.
Doesn’t code as fuel
Filld doesn’t code as fuel on credit cards, but instead codes as a general purchase. That means you won’t earn bonus points for your fill-ups with cards like the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite.
These downsides may be deal breakers for some of you. But for many, including us, Filld is a fantastic service that works really well.
My final thoughts on Filld
With the current delivery fee waiver (until April 15, 2020) it’s the perfect time to try Filld! Not only will it help to avoid spreading the coronavirus, but it’ll also save you time and money.
Yes, it seems really odd to have a stranger fill your car in the middle of the night. But it’s a legitimate service that I regularly use and 100% vouch for!
As an added incentive, don’t forget to sign up using my referral link and we’ll both receive a $25 credit! (And once you’re registered, you can refer your friends to receive more $25 credits.)
Any questions or feedback?
Comment below if you have any questions, or check out Filld’s excellent FAQ page. Also, leave me your feedback if you’ve used Filld. I’d love to hear about your experience with them!
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