SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

MEMBERS

As prices soar here’s where to find the cheapest fuel in France

With fuel prices rising all over France, especially diesel, here's some advice on where to find the cheapest petrol at the pump.

As prices soar here's where to find the cheapest fuel in France
Photo: AFP

In France, petrol and diesel prices keep rising. Only last week, drivers were shocked to find out that diesel prices had overtaken petrol prices in one fifth of the country's petrol stations.

A petition on change.org asking the government to halt these price hikes has already gathered 190,000 signatures.

So whether you're planning a long drive across France or are trying to save on daily car trips, here's our advice on where to find the cheapest places to fill up your tank.

To start off with, here's some general advice.

Head for supermarkets

The large French 'hypermarchés' such as Intermarché, Leclerc or Casino are where you'll find the cheapest pump prices, as they try to be as competitive as possible in order to draw customers into their shops.

If you can, plan to fill up your tank in middle-sized towns and on the outskirts of France's larger cities as you'll find pump prices are generally cheaper in line with the general cost of living in these places. 

Choose automated petrol stations

Whenever possible, select petrol stations which are automated and where you can pay directly with your card at the pump. Since these stations don't have to pay someone to manage the pump or man the till, they can afford to shave a little more off their pump prices.

Now for some forward planning.

Find the best route 

If you know where you're going and can plan your route in advance, there are a number of websites which will help you find out where to find the cheapest places to fill up your tank along the way.

The government has a very detailed website which lists all the petrol pumps in France and the current fuel prices at each one.

Photo: Screengrab/Government website

The site allows you to select your place of departure and of arrival and the type of fuel you use, and it will produce a list of all the petrol stations you'll encounter on your drive. You can then select the cheapest, and you'll get an interactive map of all the pumps you've chosen on your itinerary. 

The website is updated twice a month or so, so it does not have the exact prices to the day, but it will help give you an idea of the kind of prices you can expect.

Other websites such as Carbu.com and Zagaz.com are updated by users, and so prices might be slightly more up to date that the government website. Again, they are easy to use. You just need to type in where you're going, and you'll get a list of the petrol stations nearby and their prices. 

Use an app

A number of useful apps will also come in handy if you have a smartphone and haven't been able to plan ahead. The apps Gasoil Now and Essence & Co for example will tell you where to find the most competitive prices within a 50km distance. 

If you want to get a rough idea of how much your drive in France will cost you, here is how much on average you'll currently pay for the different types of fuel, according to Franceinfo.

And finally, here's what you can expect to pay at the moment…

For Unleaded 98 petrol the average price is 1,59 euros per litre. The cheapest pump is found in Parempuyre, in the Gironde (where you'll pay 1,49 euros) and the most expensive is in Paris's 16th arrondissement, where it reaches 1,98 euros.

Unleaded 95 will cost you on average 1,54 euros per litre. The cheapest pump is in Saint-Denis-en-Val in the Loiret where it costs 1,42 euros and the most expensive is in the Ile-d'Yeu on the West coast, East coast where it soars to 2,02 euros per litre.

Diesel reaches an average price of 1,45 euros per litre, with the cheapest pump found in Voglans in the Savoie region (1,36 euros) and most expensive is in Ile-d'Yeu where prices per litre reach 1,90 euros.

Lastly, Unleaded 95-E10 costs on average 1,50 euros per litre. The cheapest pump is in Royan in the Charente-Maritime (1,4 euros) and most expensive is found in Paris in the 16th arrondissement, where prices reach 1,78 euros.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

HEALTH

Mutuelles: Why is French health insurance getting more expensive?

France’s top-up health insurance 'mutuelles' have been getting steadily more expensive in 2020. Here’s a look at what’s changing, why and who is the worst affected.

Mutuelles: Why is French health insurance getting more expensive?
A dentist is checking the teeth of an elderly lady in a nursing home in Paris. Photo: AFP

“The prices have never been so high in France,” said Fabien Soccio, spokesperson for the company Meilleure Assurance (Best Insurance).

His company this week revealed the results of a new study of France's private health insurance fees, mutuelles, to French media.

After comparing 55 different mutuelles health insurances, Meilleur Assurance concluded that there had been a general spike in the average cost.

What is a mutuelle?

France has generous state health care that covers a lot of medical expenses, but not all costs are reimbursed.

In France you pay upfront for your doctor's appointment, prescription or procedure and then the government reimburses the costs to you. Depending on the procedure and your situation, usually about 80-90 percent of the cost is reimbursed.

If that cost is a €25 appointment with your GP that's not such a big deal, but with more expensive treatments the costs can mount up, which is where a mutuelle comes in.

The mutuelle is a 'top-up' insurance – not obligatory, but recommended – which covers extra costs that are not covered by the state. How much a mutuelle covers will depend on the kind of insurance, where you live and the expenses in question.

If you are an employee, your employer must pay for at least half the cost of your mutuelle

Who was affected by the price increase?

The 2020 price hike touched the country as a whole, however some regions and population groups were harder hit than others, Soccio told Le Parisien.

To compare the costs for different socio-demographic groups, Meilleur Assurance created three different types of profiles; a 25-year-old employee with a “classic” mutuelle; a couple with two children, also on a “classic” mutuelle and a 60-year-old couple with “strengthened” guarantees in their mutuelle.

Seniors hardest hit

Retirees tend to go for fuller versions of mutuelles because these cover additional costs (such as dental and optical treatments). 

Seniors on extensive types of mutuelles were those suffering the steepest price increases this year, Soccio said. 

“In 2020, fifteen départements exceeded a threshold of €3,000 in annual fees for a senior couple with extra guarantees,” Soccio said.

“That’s an average increase of more than €176 in one year,” he said.

For the couple with a child, the increase was slighter ( an extra 4 percent), whereas the young employee saw health insurance bills largely unchanged.

READ ALSO Brexit: Do I need a mutuelle to get residency in France?

 

.. along with Parisians

The study also revealed large price differences between different regions, with inhabitants in the Paris region Ile-de-France paying the highest bills for their mutuelles.

A retired couple would pay on average €528 more if they lived in Paris compared to if they lived in a more rural, cheaper département like Mayenne.

Similarly, employees would pay 30 percent more on average in Paris than in Pays-de-la-Loire.

Parisians also saw the steepest price increases since last year, by 14.6 percent on average for the retired couple with a mutuelle covering extra costs.

On a national level, the average price increase for the same couple was 12.1 percent. 

.. but everyone was a little worse off

However the country as a whole saw a price increase last year, with even those opting for the cheapest kinds of health insurance affected by the general price hike.

In one year, from 2019 to 2020, the cheapest type of health insurance had increased by 13.7 percent, according to the study. 

Why the increase?

Prices generally increase a little every year, but this year was unusual, Soccio said.

“Today, we are in an uncertain and troubled situation,” he told Europe 1, listing several factors that had contributed to the price increase: the Covid-19 pandemic, the government's new health reform known as “100 percent Santé”, and a new health tax known as the “Covid surtax”.

When the French government presented their new budget for 2021, centred on their dazzling €100 billion relaunch plan, they promised not to increase taxes for the French. Instead, to top up their savings a little, the government introduced a new tax, the “Covid surtax”, which will be paid through the mutuelles and other health insurance companies.

This tax will provide €1 billion in total to the state in 2021, and €500 million in 2022, according to French media.

What about the future?

Soccio said he worried the trend of prices increasing would continue in the next couple of years, leading to steep prices for even those opting for the cheaper mutuelles.

“It's safe to bet that the national average costs will pass €3,000 in the next two years,” he told Le Parisien.

SHOW COMMENTS