Renting a car? Here’s how to get fuel ration card

fuel card aafes
It’s easier to rent a $120,000 BMW 7 Series sedan than it is to get the fuel to power it.

For the car, all it takes is a credit card and a signature at the local car rental agency on Panzer Kaserne.

The tax- and customs-free fuel is another matter. But, considering the savings, the effort is worth it.

Whether a person is assigned to the Stuttgart Military Community, or is here on temporary duty or on leave, the procedures are practically the same:
Take car rental contract, German vehicle registration document (with the vehicle identification number), ID card, and copies of TDY or leave orders (if assigned to the community, orders are not needed — but ID card must indicate logistical support is authorized) to the U.S. Forces Customs Office on Panzer Kaserne or the Provost Marshal Office on Patch Barracks.

Both organizations issue the Short Term Registration Certificate (AE Form 550-175L).

The amount of fuel ration authorized is dependent upon how many days remain authorized on the rental contract.

Short-term fuel ration increments are 100 liters for one to seven days, 200 liters for eight to 14 days, 300 liters for 15 to 21 days, and 400 liters for 22 to 30 days.

For rentals of longer than 30 days, the PMO desk sergeant or Customs Office personnel may authorize another short term fuel ration card after the first short term card expires.

Once AE Form 550-175L has been issued, take it to the customer service desk in the Army and Air Force Exchange Service main Exchange on Panzer Kaserne, or the AAFES Shoppette on Patch Barracks (Building 2349).

AAFES personnel will issue and activate the fuel ration card.

  • Important things to remember:
    Get AE Form 550-175L, activate fuel ration card and add pre-paid cash value before pumping fuel.
  • Pumping more fuel than the existing ration balance covers means drivers will pay the taxed German price for the fuel.
  • AAFES operates gas stations at the shoppettes on Patch and Kelley Barracks.
  • Esso offers an online English language station locator and mobile app fuel finder when you are traveling at

Editor’s note: Some information for this article was taken from the Germany Fuel Ration Program website at
For more information, go to and click on “Germany Fuel Ration Card.” Then go to “Frequently Asked Questions” and click on “Renting a Vehicle.”