Have French fuel prices really reached €2 per litre?

Have French fuel prices really reached €2 per litre?
Photo: FRANCK FIFE / AFP.
As fuel prices continue to rise in France, some motorists are reporting prices at the pump of more than €2 a litre.

In the most expensive petrol stations in Paris, a litre of petrol will cost you up to €1.99, Le Parisien has revealed.

On the Ile d’Yeu in Vendée off the western coast of France, prices have even passed the symbolic threshold of €2, although this is partly down to its isolation. In general, the highest prices are to be found in the capital and along France’s motorways.

While those cases are not representative of what most petrol stations are charging, prices are up across the country.

The average price of E10 unleaded petrol (which contains 10 percent ethanol), the most popular type of petrol in France, reached €1.56 per litre this week, compared to €1.32 last September. That represents a more than 18 percent increase in the space of a year.

95 petrol will cost you €1.59 per litre on average, while the price of 98 petrol has risen to €1.65. Diesel, which is usually more affordable in France, went from €1.21 to €1.44 over the past year.

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The rise is down to international market variations. Brent crude oil prices – the global reference for oil prices – fell below $20 the barrel in April 2020 as the global economy shut down due to the pandemic, but have increased have been steadily increasing since. In recent weeks the barrel price has stabilised at around $72.

The government does not appear to be worried about the impact of rising fuel prices, however, even though it was discontented motorists who instigated the Yellow Vest protests in 2018. 

“Fuel prices are simply returning to the level they were at before the Covid crisis,” a source close to Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told Le Parisien.

That is true to an extent, with diesel prices returning to January 2020 levels. However, petrol prices this summer reached levels not seen in France since May 2019.

Diesel does however remain cheaper in France than in the UK, where a litre costs £1.37, or €1.61, so for Brits travelling through France it is still worth filling up the tank. Petrol prices in the two countries are almost identical.

Motorists aren’t the only ones who will have noticed their monthly expenditure going up, either. Heating your home has also become more expensive in France, with energy prices up 12.7 percent in August compared to last year.


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