If your home uses fuel oil, chances are you’ve come across two different payment options: full service and cash on delivery (COD). While the contracts providers offer vary, understanding these two payment methods can help ensure you make an informed decision—and keep your home heated at a price aligned with your budget.

Full-Service Oil Delivery

The main benefit behind full-service delivery is added peace-of-mind. Typically including everything a homeowner needs to keep their heat on and running smoothly, full-service provides the additional services, coverage, and help a customer may need.

The Pros

• Home heating oil and tank insurance
• Automatic delivery
• Consistent oil prices
• 24/7 service and emergency repair
• Installation, sale, and service for your units
• Convenience of automatic delivery
• Energy-efficient fuel blends for better performance
• Safety compliance and regulatory adherence

The Cons

• Oil prices are often higher per gallon
• Full-service typically requires contractual obligations
• You’re limited to one heating oil provider

Cash on Delivery

The main benefit of cash on delivery is savings. Usually used by those who understand their heating systems and can safely and efficiently maintain them, COD gives customers exactly what they pay for—the oil they need.

The Pros

• Customers only pay for their oil at market price
• You have the ability to choose from multiple providers
• There is no contractual obligation
• You only fill your tank with the amount of fuel you need

The Cons

• Oil quality is never guaranteed
• You have to be home at the time of delivery to pay the driver
• Little to no emergency service if needed
• Repairs, maintenance, and servicing are not covered
• Depending on the area, delivery services may be limited

Choosing the Right Payment for You

At the end of the day, choosing between full-service and COD depends on your availability and knowledge of heating systems. For those looking for hassle-free heating, the benefits of full-service are worth the extra cents per gallon. However, for owners comfortable with their systems and the oil they receive from contractors, COD can limit spending to just the amount of oil you home needs.