Happy hour at the gas station from June 1st. OK, not quite. But at least a tax break ensures that petrol and diesel are likely to become cheaper. Read here whether bottlenecks and deadweight effects are to be expected or whether bunkers are an option, and what else there is to know.
From June 1st to August 31st, refueling will be cheaper. This is made possible by reducing the energy tax on fuels to the minimum permitted in the EU. The tax rate for petrol will fall by almost 30 cents and for diesel by a good 14 cents. In addition, value added tax is no longer due on the part of the energy tax that has been omitted. The total tax relief is 35.2 cents per liter of petrol and 16.7 cents per liter of diesel. After all. However, it should not be forgotten that fuel prices were already at record levels before the Ukraine war.
Questions and answers on the topic:
Is it worth rushing to the gas station at 00:01 on Wednesday, June 1st?
Probably not. For example, the ADAC expects that in the first few days of June, petrol stations will still be able to pass on fuel they bought in May at the old price. The background is that the energy tax is not only levied at the pump, but already at refineries and tank farms. Fuel delivered before June 1st therefore still contains a higher tax component. The Auto Club Europa, who fears that the discount will not be implemented at all petrol stations at the same time, sees it similarly. Accordingly, it could take a few days for the price to drop noticeably.
Notwithstanding, are there bottlenecks in petrol and diesel to be expected?
According to industry estimates, this cannot be ruled out temporarily. The chairman of the Federal Association of Free Petrol Stations, Duraid El Obeid, warned in the "Rheinische Post": "High demand from motorists will meet low supply." The general manager of the Fuels and Energy Association, Christian Küchen, explained to the newspaper: On the one hand, they would try to reduce their stocks sharply by June 1st in order to have to resell as little as possible of the heavily taxed fuel cheaper from June.
On the other hand, it is to be expected that motorists will drive to the petrol pumps en masse from June 1 of all times to fill up empty tanks. Therefore, temporary bottlenecks at the stations cannot be completely ruled out. In addition, queues and unusual waiting times should be taken into account in the first few days, at least at peak times.
Will the discount reach the citizen in full?
The suspicion that the oil companies are using the tax cuts and the resulting leeway to their advantage is at least in the room. Because fuel prices have been rising noticeably for days and could continue to do so. Peter Hengstermann, head of the petrol station association TIV, said to the "Bild" newspaper as follows: "We expect that the mineral oil companies will artificially drive up prices in order to swallow up the tank discount so that cash can continue to be paid despite the discount". . The ADAC already sees the current level of fuel prices as clearly too high compared to the price of crude oil.
Should the tank be completely emptied before June 1st?
The consumer advice center in North Rhine-Westphalia advises against this in view of possible bottlenecks, possible waiting times and prices that may not be immediately favorable. So it's better to leave some reserve in the tank. The ACE advises everyone who is dependent on their vehicle and cannot use their bicycle or public transport to fill their tank before the deadline in such a way that they can easily survive three to four days without a petrol pump.
Speaking of which, should the tank discount actually bring noticeable relief for consumers, can petrol and diesel then also be stored in stock?
The short answer: in moderation, yes. Private individuals may transport a maximum of 240 liters in the car for personal or domestic use or for leisure and sport. A maximum of 20 liters of petrol or 200 liters of diesel may be hoarded at home or in the garage. The detailed answer - with all restrictions, is here.
How else can you save?
For example, by leaving the car at home once in a while. If that is not possible or if you don't feel like it, you either pay more or the driver changes his refueling behavior. Because even if it is hardly recognizable for the fuel customer, there is definitely competition between the petrol station operators. You can actually save money by using the cheapest fuel pump in each case. The cheapest prices can be found via portals and apps. The Bundeskartellamt has listed more than 30 apps online, all of which access real-time data from the Market Transparency Unit for Fuels.
In addition, the price difference during the day should also be considered. According to an ADAC study, fuel is generally cheapest between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. and between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Because even at one and the same gas station, the prices can vary by up to ten cents every day. And if you fill up your vehicle at one of the motorway filling stations, you usually pay more than 20 cents per liter more than at other filling stations. At the start of the holiday season, more is often added.
Apart from that, the ADAC has the following tips for drivers in stock:
(This article was first published on Wednesday, May 25, 2022.)