A reduced energy tax rate on petrol and diesel applied in Germany for three months. The "tank discount" expires on September 1st - but the sales prices are already rising sharply before then. The daily updated ntv.de graphics provide an overview of the situation at the petrol stations.
It was the idea of the FDP and the most criticized measure of the first relief package: With the so-called "tank discount" drivers in Germany should be relieved for three months. A reduction in energy tax resulted in 35.2 cents less in taxes and duties per liter of Super E5 and E10 between June 1 and August 31, and the fixed relief for diesel was 16.7 cents.
While the relief at the petrol pump promised by politicians did not materialize in June, the measure actually led to refueling in Germany becoming significantly cheaper from July. At the beginning of August, petrol cost little more than at the beginning of the Ukraine war. But how will things continue in September when the tax rebate is no longer applicable? ntv.de evaluates the current situation here in graphics that are updated daily (more on the method below).
It is difficult to predict how big the jump in prices at gas stations will be on September 1st. Based on the current level, however, drivers would probably have to reckon with petrol prices of more than two euros again. The dashed lines in the chart show the impact of the renewed increase in the energy tax if product prices remain unchanged.
However, one can assume that the product prices set by the manufacturers have not developed completely independently of the "tank discount". Currently, for example, it is noticeable that the liter prices have increased significantly from mid-August. In a European comparison, Germany is an exception when it comes to super petrol, as evidenced by figures from the EU Commission, which are published every Friday in the "Weekly Oil Bulletin" and reflect the status of the Monday of the week of publication. According to this, the prices for E5 are declining everywhere or almost unchanged compared to the previous week - only in Germany is there a clear increase.
A central reason for the price increase is obvious: German car owners want to enjoy the last few days with government-subsidized fuel. This leads to a sharp increase in demand until the end of the month. The mineral oil industry takes advantage of this, diligently turning the price screw and still encourages its customers to fill up their tanks early. Because: If you fill up at the end of the month, you have to expect long queues or even supply bottlenecks at the gas station, the industry threatens.
Anyone hoping for falling prices this month will be disappointed. The only way to save is by directly comparing prices in your own area and by refueling in a timely manner. Relevant apps and websites can help find the best deals.
The chart below shows whether the prices at a particular gas station are above or below the current national average. You can see the current average prices and the number of filling stations in Germany where the respective fuel could be bought at the time of the data query. The table is updated every five minutes.
In the course of the day, the average prices are subject to significant fluctuations, some of which are in the double-digit cent range. The next graphic shows the development of the average price for each fuel over the course of the current day. This means that at midnight the lines start again on the far left. Typically, refueling in the morning is the most expensive. During the course of the day, average prices tend to fall again.
Ultimately, however, even the biggest bargain hunters will not be able to compensate for the elimination of the "tank discount". There are no plans to extend the controversial measure. The calls for further relief for motorists are also limited. Rather, the question now arises: What has the "tank discount" achieved? The increase in the price of petrol and diesel was postponed by the measure - but it could not be prevented. An end to the energy crisis is also not in sight.
Only the mineral oil companies are happy about the record profits of the first half of the year - their sales were probably even boosted by the relief package in this country. It was only because the state waived billions in tax revenue that German petrol stations were able to sell fuel comparatively cheaply without having to adjust the product price themselves or suffer losses. As a result, the demand for petrol and diesel remained high despite the war and the crisis - and the incentive to save was low.
That is now changing abruptly. Starting in September, many consumers are likely to react to the expected "gasoline price shock" with savings measures of their own accord and leave their cars at home more often. An adapted driving style can also save a lot of fuel. At speeds of 100 to 130 kilometers per hour, for example, fuel consumption is lowest on the motorway. With a bit of luck, the situation at the gas stations will ease again when demand falls - even without government intervention. Nevertheless: You will probably have to get used to fuel prices above the 2 euro mark.
The data basis for the graphics on the German fuel prices are the officially validated nationwide average prices of the market transparency agency for fuels (MTS-K), which are published weekly by the Federal Statistical Office, as well as provisional approximate values calculated by ntv.de for the average prices on days without validated data. To calculate the provisional prices, ntv.de uses the data published daily as open data by the "Tankerkönig" portal, which is approved by the MTS-K as the official consumer information service.
Data from the EU Commission is used for the EU-wide comparison. Due to the past reference period and the strong price fluctuations from day to day, the information for Germany in the EU-wide graphics can differ significantly from the current evaluations at the federal level.