Refueling: Cheap Thanks To Planning And Price Comparison


Fuel prices make up a large part of ongoing vehicle costs. In addition to vehicle tax and insurance, they are a major cost item. For many drivers, this raises the question of where and when they can refuel cheaply.

Prices And Transparency At Petrol Stations

Operators of the filling stations are obliged to report their current prices for the various fuels to the market transparency point for fuels. The first fuel price comparisons for super, diesel and other fuels were made and published by consumers themselves just a few years ago. Petrol station operators must report the data to the market transparency point immediately after the change. The Market Transparency Unit is a sub-organization of the Federal Cartel Office. It collects current prices for E5, E10 and diesel and then makes them available for publication. The display in fuel price apps is also based on the data from this point.

In this way, consumers have the opportunity to find out about current fuel prices quickly and transparently. Since it was first tested in 2013, this unit has started operations based on the positive feedback. In practice, the respective information has to be transmitted to the market transparency office for fuels within five minutes. Online price comparisons are also based on this constantly updated data. Therefore, comparison portals cannot guarantee correctness and topicality. Consumers are therefore always encouraged to check the prices again on site at the pump.

Composition Of The Fuel Price And Influencing Factors

A significant part of the fuel price is accounted for by energy taxes. Added to this are the crude oil price as well as the operating costs and storage costs of the respective filling stations. For Europe, the crude oil price is determined on the Rotterdam stock exchange . The prices for petrol, diesel and heating oil are defined here. The significant price fluctuations depend on the price of crude oil, the production volume, demand and a few other factors.

In summary, the main influencing factors on the fuel price can be found in

  • Crude oil price
  • Taxes
  • Exchange rate shifts
  • World economy
  • Times of day
  • Special effects such as vacation periods
  • political developments in oil producing countries

In A Few Seconds At The Cheapest Fuel Prices

Fuel price comparisons on the Internet are usually intuitive and user-friendly for consumers. After entering the location or postcode and the fuel required , comparison portals or apps search for the cheapest prices in the vicinity. These are displayed in the form of lists with the nearest petrol stations. Usually the opening times of the respective petrol station are also given. The information is supplemented by addresses and links to route planners such as Google Maps.

Some comparisons also take into account travel costs. In this way, vehicle owners can find out whether the detour to a cheap petrol station is financially worthwhile. In some cases, apps and portals also allow you to specify the average consumption and the desired amount of fuel.

Planning The Refueling Stop

Depending on the cheapest prices, it can be worthwhile to plan refueling stops in advance. Not only the specific petrol station, but also the time have an influence on the fuel price. The price of oil, and with it the prices of petrol and diesel, are subject to high daily fluctuations. The prices tend to be cheaper in the evening, especially between 7pm and 8pm. Savings of several cents per liter are easily possible. At night the prices are again high. Some petrol stations close at night. Continuously open petrol stations take advantage of the lack of competitors to charge a higher price.