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The Ultimate Car Fuel Tank Buying Guide

Apr. 09, 2024

How Much Will It Cost Me For A New Fuel Tank?

Your vehicle’s engine requires fuel to function, which is stored in a fuel tank. Diesel and petrol are highly flammable substances, therefore it demands safe storage. Any kind of shock or impact force can cause significant damage to your tanks compromising the safety of your vehicle. This buying guide will assist you to understand fuel tank failures, their consequences, types, and benefits and help you in purchasing the correct fuel tanks as per your vehicle’s requirement. 

1. What Is An Automotive Fuel Tank?

2. What Type Of Fuel Tank Should I Choose?

3. What Factors Should I Consider Before Buying A Fuel Tank?

4. Which Top Brand Fuel Tank Should I Choose?

5. What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad Fuel Tank?

6. How Much Will It Cost Me For A New Fuel Tank?


What Is An Automotive Fuel Tank?

A fuel tank is used to store automotive fuel. Fuel is necessary for automobiles but is also a dangerous substance due to its high flammability characteristics. Fuel tanks are regarded as an important safety-related part as their failure during automobile collisions may result in fatal events. Depending on the construction material and mounting location gas tanks can be classified into metal, plastic, auxiliary and standard tanks. 

Top Picks For Fuel Tanks

Dorman Fuel Tanks

Spectra Premium Fuel Tanks

Holley Fuel Tanks


What Type Of Fuel Tank Should I Choose?

Based On Material

Fuel tanks are generally made from metal (steel or aluminium) or plastic (High-Density Polyethene). Plastic tanks offer better safety features compared to their metal counterparts but at a higher cost and are suitable for drivers who love to travel cross-country or anyone willing to pay an extra amount. While metal tanks provide a favourable balance between safety and fuel capacity and are more pocket friendly.

  • Plastic tanks are 30% lighter whereas metal tanks are made of stainless steel or aluminium.
  • The best thing about plastic tanks is they lack seam welds, therefore making them less likely to rupture in a crash, thus having a better life expectancy.
  • Plastic is an insulator and does not generate sparks during an impact and is a bit more flexible in terms of springing back to shape after an impact.
  • Metal tanks have better structural strength than plastic and are unaffected by extreme underbody temperatures.

Based On Mounting location

1. Auxiliary Fuel Transfer Tanks

Auxiliary tanks or fuel transfer tanks are fuel storage tanks that work in tandem with the primary tank to provide additional fuel on top of the standard tank. In cars and SUVs these the tanks are installed ahead of the rear axle and connected directly to your stock tank, while in trucks it is mounted on the carrier behind the diver cabin. These tanks can be either gravity fed that will keep filling your main tank and you won’t notice any changes in fuel levels of your main tank until your auxiliary tank is empty or they are electric pump-driven tanks that come with a switch that you can flip to fill the stock tank when you see fit.

Benefits Of Auxiliary Transfer Tanks 

  • Save your money if you are passing through a route where fuel costs are high.
  • They extend your mileage range as you can drive more miles between fill-ups and save your time.
  • Tanks are built from a combination of high-quality and heavy-duty materials meeting official safety requirements.

Shop Best Fuel Transfer Tanks

2. Standard Replacement Fuel Tanks

Standard tanks are located underneath the vehicle at the rear axle and are factory fitted which serve as the primary tank for your vehicle. You can purchase standard replacement tanks from available brands depending upon your requirement and budget.


What Factors Should I Consider Before Buying A Fuel Tank?

A. OE Vs Aftermarket

OE-made fuel tanks offer superior performance and reliability but it comes at a cost of higher price and no additional features like warranty offers and additional fuel capacity. Whereas, quality-made aftermarket fuel tanks are robust, can offer larger tank capacity, and are compatible with most vehicles. If you are a cross-country enthusiast, then an aftermarket tank along with an auxiliary could prove to be a lifesaver against the restricted capacity of OE tanks at a more competitive price. If you drive in urban areas then it is possible to select either an OE manufactured tank or an aftermarket tank weighing among the features as per your vehicle’s requirement. 

B. Based On Material

Tanks are made up of either metal (steel or aluminum) or plastic (High-Density Polyethene). Plastic tanks are lighter, have a better springing effect, and do not have seam welds making them less prone to rupture at joints during collisions. Whereas, metal tanks can withstand higher underbody temperatures. If you are willing to spend some extra money for safety and capacity then plastic tanks are a better option compared to metal tanks. Otherwise, metal tanks offer you a good balance between the two.


What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad Fuel Tank?

Like other components, fuel tanks show indications of deterioration. The best way to identify the condition of your tanks is to look for the below symptoms: 

  • You find small puddles of fuel underneath your car at every parking spot.
  • A sudden surge in average monthly fuel budget due to higher fuel consumption, thus indicating the possibility of leaks.
  • On inspecting the fuel tank of your vehicle you can see visual leakages.

Best Gas Cans

We dispense advice on the best fuel storage containers.

Written and Tested By:

Will Moore

Written and Tested By:

Will Moore

Senior Writer – Motor1 Review Team

Will has written for several major auto sites including Motor1 since 2020, logging hundreds of hours researching and testing products ranging from child car seats to torque wrenches. Will is also Certified by Safe Kids Worldwide as a Child Passenger Safety Technician (#T836339).

Reviewed By:

Charles Noyes

Motor1 Reviews Team Take:

  • The best gas cans in 2024 are the Eagle 5-Gal Safety Can, Surecan 5-Gallon, Justrite Type I, and No-Spill 1450 5-Gallon Poly.
  • The typical gas can that is OSHA-compliant costs between $40 and $60.
  • Most gas cans hold between 1.0 and 5.0 gallons. You’ll want to select the right size for your needs, considering that the shelf life for unleaded gasoline is about six months.

Whether it’s for your vehicle, lawnmower, or just in case of emergency – it can be a good idea to keep extra fuel handy. The best gas cans are easy to fill and pour while also being safe and reliable.

Not all gas cans are the same, with each brand using a different pour mechanism and materials. Our experts found and tested the five best gas cans available so you can figure out which one is right for you.

Gas Can Reviews

We tried to test and suggest a variety of gas can brands and designs. We also test and suggest both metal and plastic gas cans, as each has its own advantages and drawbacks. In the end, the gas cans we recommend are durable and easy to use.

What Is The Best Gas Can?

We named the Eagle 5-Gal Safety Can, Surecan 5-Gallon, Justrite Type I, and the No-Spill 1450 5-Gallon Poly the best-rated gas cans on the market in 2024.

Brand/ModelCostOverall RatingAwardEagle 5-Gallon Safety Can$594.5Best Gas CanSurecan 5-Gallon$634.5Best Plastic Gas CanJustrite Type I Safety Can$974.2Best Gas Can for Long-Term StorageNo-Spill 1450 5-Gallon Poly Gas Can$394.0Fastest Gas Can

*Because cost data fluctuates, the prices in the table above are approximate values that our team regularly updates.

Gas Can Ratings: Our Testing Process

After looking at factors such as size, material, customer ratings, and prices, our product testing team ordered the gas cans that best met these standards. A team member filled each gas can to capacity and then used it with an automobile, noting ease of use, pour speed, and durability.

Learn more about how we tested gas cans here.

1. Eagle 5-Gallon Safety Can: Best Gas Can

  • Cost: $59.11
  • Amazon review score: n/a
  • Capacity: 5.0 gal.
  • Weight: 5.25 lbs.
  • Material: Steel
  • OSHA approved: Yes

Eagle 5-Gallon Safety Can Review

Metal gas cans like the Eagle 5-Gallon Safety Can are high-quality and long-lasting. This particular Type I safety can is OSHA and CARB (California Air Resources Board) compliant, meaning it is acceptable for workplace use. Features like the flame arrestor screen and trigger-release grip make it safe to use. For a durable, reliable gas can that works, Eagle is one of your best bets.

You can see how the Eagle performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)Filling4.5Carrying4.5Dispensing4.5Overall Rating4.5
Eagle 5-Gallon Safety Can: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons for the Eagle 5-Gallon Safety Can:


Easy to carry and pour

OSHA and CARB compliant

Durable steel construction


Fills slowly

Some customer complaints about quality control

Eagle 5-Gallon Safety Can: Our Experience

The Eagle 5-Gallon Safety Can is a Type I gasoline canister, meaning it has a single opening for filling, pouring, and venting. The opening is covered by a spring-loaded cap, so you need to use a funnel to fill this canister. A funnel is included, but we found it easier to use our own.

A flame arrestor screen somewhat slows the flow of gasoline into the can, so you can’t fill it up using the full power of the gas pump. Filling it is simple, though a bit slow compared to filling your car directly or even other gas cans that we tested.

As a 5.0-gallon metal can, the Eagle is heavier than a plastic can, but still relatively light. It should weigh around 11.0 pounds when completely filled with gasoline. The handle is comfortable and the spring-loaded top ensures it stays closed with no spillage.

We had no issues pouring gas into our test vehicle using this can. The design of the valve release allows you to pull it while holding the top of the can at the same time. The gasoline poured out smoothly and consistently during our test. Getting the final drops out of the canister can be difficult as you’ll need to rotate the can some.

2. Surecan 5-Gallon: Best Plastic Gas Can

  • Cost: $62.54
  • Amazon review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 based on more than 650 ratings
  • Capacity: 5.0 gal.
  • Weight: 4.0 lbs.
  • Material: Plastic
  • OSHA approved: No

Surecan 5-Gallon Review

As a plastic gas can, the Surecan does not meet OSHA standards (one requirement of these standards is that cans be made of metal). However, plastic gas cans are lighter and can work just as well, though they aren’t as suited for long-term fuel storage.

We like the Surecan because of its thumb trigger, making it easy to use. It dispensed gas the fastest and easiest of any of the fuel containers that we tested. It can be used with or without a funnel and is easy to fill.

You can see how the Surecan performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)Filling4.0Carrying4.5Dispensing5.0Overall Rating4.5
Surecan 5-Gallon: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the Surecan 5-Gallon:


Easy to carry and pour

No-spill spout does not require funnel



Dispensing tube can leak if not properly drained

Difficult to open fill cap

Plastic construction

Not OSHA compliant

Surecan 5-Gallon: Our Experience

The safety cap is somewhat difficult to remove in order to fill this can, though this is by design. Once removed, the can fills simply. Because fuel is not filled and dispensed through the same opening, there is no need for a safety mechanism that would slow fuel filling.

As a plastic can, this is lightweight and so easy to carry. The handle is comfortable and has an ergonomic handle.

The small spout means this can fills slowly, but the spout is located on the bottom of the can, which makes it easy to get all of the gasoline from the can to your tank. To meet EPA standards, a fuel canister cannot have an always-open vent, so you’ll need to hold down a venting handle while dispensing. This isn’t too difficult to do while pouring the can, though it would be easier if you didn’t need to hold down this lever.

Overall, we really like the design of this can for a simple, no-spill solution. The long funnel means you aren’t likely to make a mess.

3. Justrite Type I Safety Can: Best Gas Can For Long-Term Storage

  • Cost: $96.98
  • Amazon review score: 5.0 out of 5.0 based on 2 ratings
  • Capacity: 5.0 gal.
  • Weight: 7.0 lbs.
  • Material: Steel
  • OSHA approved: Yes

Justright Type I Safety Can Review

The Justrite Type I Safety Can is designed to meet federal safety standards and is a great option for long-term gasoline storage. It also meets OSHA, CARB, and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requirements. Justrite cans are manufactured in the United States and thoroughly tested to ensure that they are completely leak-free.

The design of this can is similar to the Eagle, though it only has one handle instead of two. We found it comparable to the Eagle gas can, though slightly less easy to use. We did appreciate the arrestor screen stopping flashback ignition and the safe-squeeze trigger.

You can see how the Justrite performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)Filling4.0Carrying3.5Dispensing4.5Overall Rating4.0
Justright Type I Safety Can: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the Justright Type I Safety Can:


Durable, galvanized steel construction

Each can is rigorously inspected for leaks

OSHA and CARB complaint


Awkward to tip can and pull open safety valve at same time

No overfill protection

Justright Type I Safety Can: Our Experience

The design of this gas can is most similar to the Eagle can we recommend as the Best Gas Can. The main difference is the spring-loaded spout cover’s handle is also used for carrying the can. This can make it a little awkward to use as you’ll need to pull the handle and tip the can from the bottom simultaneously.

Once properly positioned, gasoline flows pretty quickly, and the can is not especially heavy though it is of steel construction.

Filling the Justrite canister is easy. Like the Eagle, you’ll need to use a funnel to keep the lid open while adding gasoline.

4. No-Spill 1450 5-Gallon Poly Gas Can: Fastest Gas Can

  • Cost: $38.88
  • Amazon review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 based on more than 9,200 ratings
  • Capacity: 5.0 gal.
  • Weight: 2.0 lbs.
  • Material: Plastic
  • OSHA approved: No

No-Spill 1450 Review

The No-Spill Gas Can features a wide, stable shape and a large neck for quick dispensing. The push-button design prevents spilling and overfilling. This plastic container is not OSHA-approved, but it is EPA- and CPSC-compliant for safe home use.

We found the No-Spill spout to indeed prevent leaks, though it can be awkward to position the tank over a car’s gas tank. However, once the gas started flowing, it filled our tank more quickly than any of the other canisters that we tested.

No-Spill 1450: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the No-Spill 1450:


Overfill protection

Wide mouth design for fast fuel dispensing

Push button control prevents spillage


Some reports of faulty caps

Can be difficult to push button while holding can

You can see how the No-Spill performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)Filling4.5Carrying4.0Dispensing4.0Overall Rating4.2

No-Spill 1450: Our Experience

This gas can is easy to fill and carry. Gas is inserted and dispensed through one opening, and you must remove the spout to fill this can, which is easy enough. The can is lightweight and easy to carry. We like the wide-bottomed design which helps prevent tipping when placed on the ground.

Admittedly, the push spout is somewhat difficult to operate. You may need a funnel to use this can to put gas in your fuel tank, and the long dispensing spout can make that difficult. Plus, it requires a good amount of finger strength to keep the push button depressed while filling. However, this button does an excellent job of preventing spills and leaks and the gas flows very quickly once the spout is opened.

Getting the last dregs of gas from this container proved somewhat difficult because of the angle we needed to tip the canister combined with the long dispensing spout and the angle of our funnel.

No-Spill 1450: What Customers Are Saying

Most appreciate this gas can’s anti-spill features. Satisfied reviewers rave about the no-overfill valve and simple features. Those sick of spilling gasoline like this can.

A few people received faulty caps that leaked. One reviewer recommended testing the cap using a carbonated beverage if you buy this gas can. Those that don’t leak appear to be long-lasting, with one user reporting that his No-Spill has held up for several years (and it is kept outside).

Other Best-Selling Gas Cans

Although we physically tested the five gas cans listed above, our review team researched hundreds of different gas cans. With this in mind, we want to highlight a few more gas cans that stood out to us for one reason or another.

Tuff Jug Ripper Gas Can

The Tuff Jug Ripper Gas Can is capable of pouring 5.0 gal. of gas in just 38 seconds. The ergonomic handle of this gas can makes filling and pouring that much easier. An automatic valve on the cap stops fluid flow when it reaches the end of the spout. Lastly, it should be noted that the red version of this gas can is CARB-compliant for use in California.

TeraPump TRFA01 Gas Can

Significantly more high-tech than the average gas can, the TeraPump TRFA01 Gas Can is actually battery-operated, meaning this gas can eliminate the need for you to bend down to pick up heavy gas cans and ensures you don’t spill a drop of fuel. A built-in sensor automatically stops fuel flow and beeps at you, preventing possible overflow.

VP Racing Square Utility Can*

The VP Racing Square Utility Can is constructed from premium high-density polyethylene (HDPE). An ergonomically contoured handle makes for easy pouring while a multi-purpose vented cap is difficult to lose, as it’s attached to the container via a lanyard. To withstand transit, this container features 30 percent more material than standard containers.

*The VP Racing Square Utility Can is not a portable fuel container according to the manufacturer, the EPA, CARB, and other official agencies. This container is designed to store and transport feed, water, attractants, fluids, and other outdoor products. However, many customer reviews describe using this container successfully as a gas can. If you opt to use this container as a gas can, keep in mind that the manufacturer may not be able to assist you if you experience malfunctions.

Garage Boss Press ‘N Pour Gas Can

Available in a multitude of different sizes, the Garage Boss Press ‘N Pour Gas Can is both CARB- and EPA-compliant. A simple press-button pour means you merely have to wiggle a finger to start and stop the flow of gas into your vehicle. A translucent spout extension means you can easily see how much fuel is being poured, offering users precise flow control.

Midwest Can 2310 Quick-Flow Gas Can

The Midwest Can 2310 Quick-Flow Gas Can is constructed from durable HDPE, so you can trust in the fact this gas can last for years to come. It exceeds all measures of CARB and EPA compliance and almost completely eliminates hydrocarbon emissions. It should be noted that this gas can is available in several different sizes.

Gas Can Buying Guide

The best gas can should be easy to use and leak-free. Beyond that, the best gas can for you depends on your needs and preferences. In general, you’ll want to consider capacity, material, safety standards, and the color of the can itself.

Compare Gas Cans

Brand/ModelMaterialWeightOSHA-approved?Eagle 5-Gallon Safety CanSteel5.25 lbs.YesSurecan 5-GallonPlastic4.0 lbs.NoJustrite Type I Safety CanPlastic2.0 lbs.NoNo-Spill 1450 5-Gallon Poly Gas CanSteel7.0 lbs.Yes

Gas Can Capacity

Most gas cans are sold in 1.0-, 2.0-, 2.5-, and 5.0-gal. varieties. There are gas cans, like the Scepter Duramax, which can hold upwards of 10.0 gal., but these are less common. Given that you don’t want to store gasoline for more than six months if possible, most people don’t require such large gas cans, especially considering that these are heavy and hard to move.

The smaller the gas can, the easier it is to handle, so purchase a gas can that is the right size for your needs. For most drivers, gas cans 5.0 gal. and under make the most sense if you’re worried about running out of fuel. 

Gas Can Material

Gas cans can either be made of metal or plastic, and each has certain advantages and drawbacks. For example, 

  • Metal gas containers: Metal cans are more durable and better for long-term fuel storage. A metal can may rust but is less susceptible to bloating and leaks. Because of this, a metal container would be more appropriate if you’re storing the can outside, like on the back of a work truck. Additionally,  metal cans are OSHA-compliant (certified for use in a workplace).
  • Plastic gas containers: These cans are lighter and often less expensive than metal cans and are valid choices if weight savings are a concern. A well-designed plastic can may last for several years.

Approved Gas Containers

All gas cans sold in the US must meet federal EPA guidelines. These guidelines were instituted in 2009 and mandate that gas cans cannot self-vent. This means compliant cans typically have a self-closing vent that prevents leaking gas fumes and vapors.

Not all gas cans meet OSHA and CARB standards. OSHA standards must be met for a gas can to be legally used in a workplace, and CARB requirements apply to gas cans in the state of California. Even if you plan to use your can at your own home and outside of California, cans that meet these standards may provide peace of mind regarding safety and emissions controls.

Gas Can Colors

Gas cans are typically color-coded by fuel type:

  • Red for gasoline
  • Blue for kerosene
  • Yellow for diesel
  • Green for oils

Obviously, you can put whichever type of fuel you want in any color can, but following these guidelines can make it easier to remember what fuel is stored in which container.

Best Gas Cans: Bottom Line

After researching, ordering, and physically testing some of the top-rated gas cans available in 2024, our team determined the Eagle 5-Gallon Safety Can is the Best Gas Can available. With that being said, we also highlight options for a variety of different needs across varying budgets. 

Below is a recap of the top 5 gas containers from our review:

Gas Cans: FAQ

Below are some common frequently asked questions about gas cans:

Is a metal or plastic gas can better?

Metal gas cans are more durable than plastic gas cans. Plastic gas cans can leach chemicals into your gasoline over time and are less suitable for long-term storage. Only metal cans are OSHA-compliant. However, plastic cans weigh less and often cost less. Both can be suitable options for gas storage.

What is the best gas can for long-term storage?

Metal gas cans are better for long-term storage. Keep in mind that no matter what type of can you use, gasoline will begin to degrade over time, typically around three to six months. It’s not generally recommended to store gasoline for more than a year, but if you must there are additives that can help stabilize your fuel for long-term storage.

Are there any gas cans that actually work?

EPA regulations instituted in 2009 have resulted in some gas cans with difficult-to-operate designs. But not all new gas cans are ineffective. We found that Justrite, Eagle, No-Spill, Scepter, and Surecan all make EPA-compliant gas cans that work well.

Who makes the best 5.0-gallon gas can?

Based on our testing, we think that Eagle makes one of the best 5.0-gal. gas cans. Eagle cans are leak-free, easy to fill, easy to dispense, and simple to carry.

How long does unleaded fuel last in a jerry can?

Unleaded fuel typically lasts between three and six months before it begins to break down and fuel quality deteriorates. Additives and stabilizers can increase the shelf life of gasoline, but generally, you don’t want to store gas for more than a year.

What is the difference between type I and type II gas cans?

Type I gas cans have one opening for filling and dispensing. Type II gas cans have separate openings for filling and dispensing.

Full Gas Can Testing Methodology

To test the gas cans recommended in this article, we traveled to a gas station and filled each fuel can with two gallons of unleaded gasoline. We transported the fuel containers back to our testing site and poured them into a vehicle. In this way, we were able to determine the relative ease or difficulty of using each gasoline can as it was designed.


Our filling score is based on how easy it is to fill a gas can. Gas cans that are easy to keep open during the fill-up process score best in this category. It is also important that a gas can be able to sit upright without moving.


Our carrying score is based on how easy or difficult it is to move the gas can once filled. Lighter cans with comfortable handles score best in this category.


Our dispensing score is based on the ease with which you can dispense fuel with a gas can. Gas cans that are easy to lift and pour while keeping the opening clear score best in this category.

How We Score Products

Every gas can we test is given a score between 1.0 and 5.0 stars in each category. Here’s what those star ratings mean in concrete terms:

  • 5.0 Stars: A 5.0-star rating means a gas can is among the best in a category. It is filled with no effort, is exceptionally lightweight with a comfortable handle, or dispenses swiftly with one hand.
  • 4.0 Stars: A 4.0-star rating means a gas can performs better than average in a category. It is lightweight, easy to fill, or can be dispensed with one hand.
  • 3.0 Stars: A 3.0-star rating indicates what is average or typical for a gas can, based on our testing experience. It can be filled on the ground, is not difficult to carry, and dispenses at a reasonable speed.
  • 2.0 Stars: A 2.0-star rating indicates the product performs poorer than the average gas can. It can not stand upright by itself, has an uncomfortable or insecure handle, and cannot be dispensed without a funnel.
  • 1.0 Star: A 1.0-star rating indicates that the gas can performs well below expectations in a category. It cannot be filled or carried, and it fails to dispense fuel.

Why Trust Motor1.com

Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

*Data accurate at time of publication. Products subject to availability.

Will Moore

Senior Writer – Motor1 Review Team

Will has written for several major auto sites including Motor1 since 2020, logging hundreds of hours researching and testing products ranging from child car seats to torque wrenches. Will is also Certified by Safe Kids Worldwide as a Child Passenger Safety Technician (#T836339).

Charles Noyes

Editor – Motor1 Review Team

As a member of both the APA and IMPA, Charles Noyes has devoted himself to creating and refining quality content covering automotive products and accessories, motorcycle products, RV products, and more. As the lead editor serving the product review team, he has personally reviewed, critiqued, and fact-checked over 200 product reviews.

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