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So, we have an au pair from Germany living with us here in NYC. In fact, since my daughter was born some 7 years ago, we’ve 4 au pairs (some stayed longer than the standard year). We’ve had one Swede, one Polish and 2 from Germany.

Each had their own quirks, but they all had a common habit with our cars – they would drive fairly long distances with nearly an empty tank! We have a Honda Civic (that the au pair may drive herself), along with a BMW and a Volvo which are for trips with my daughter. In all 3 cars, my wife and I have become accustomed to seeing the orange “low gasoline” light on the dash so often, we began thinking it was a normal thing.

It wasn’t until we RAN OUT OF GAS one day that we finally set a house rule – if the gas guage is below 1/2, the only place anyone may drive is to a gas station.

Each of the au pairs told us the same – petrol is so expensive it is common to drive only when necessary and a full tank is almost NEVER required.