Why drivers in France should fill up their fuel tanks before Sunday

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 31 Dec, 2022 Updated Sat 31 Dec 2022 13:25 CEST
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Motorists in France would be wise to fill up their fuel tanks before Sunday. Here is what you can expect from petrol prices in France in the coming days and weeks - and how to still find affordable filling stations.


Motorists in France have until December 31st to benefit from the government's fuel rebate of €0.10 off per litre of petrol - applied directly at the pump.

The French government confirmed in November, when the aid dropped from €0.35 per litre to €0.10 per litre, that it would be expiring at the start of the 2023 (January 1st).  


After the aid is done away with on January 1st, the average driver in France can expect to pay an additional €5 to fill their car compared to the December price, and an extra €17.50 compared to the early November price. 

In addition to the government's fuel rebate, the €0.10 discount offered by the oil and gas company TotalEnergies is also set to end on December 31st. A spokesperson for the company confirmed these plans and told BFMTV that "TotalEnergies did not plan to continue its discount at the pump."

As a result petrol prices are expected to rise in France at the start of 2023 - by €0.10 in most petrol stations and by €0.20 in those owned by TotalEnergies - making the final days of the year ideal for motorists in France to fill up their tanks ahead of the price increase.

While those driving in France over the New Year's weekend can expect traffic conditions to be normal ("green") Saturday - both for departures and returns - according to the traffic watchdog Bison Futé, they should anticipate some potential problems when filling up at petrol stations, as motorists across the country attempt to benefit from the government's €0.10 discount on its final day.

To find affordable petrol stations across France, motorists can consult The Local's guide here.  

READ MORE: MAP: Where to find the cheapest fuel when you’re driving in France

What to expect when the aid expires

The French Prime Minister announced that the fuel rebate, which was first put in place in Spring 2022, would be replaced by a €100 grant for motorists on low incomes who rely on their vehicles to get to work.

Specifically, this government assistance will be made available based on reference tax income for 2021. For more information to see if you may qualify for the aid, click here

Motorists may be able to look forward to some help from the supermarket chain E.Leclerc, which also owns several petrol stations across France, after the head of the chain E.Leclerc, Michel-Edouard Leclerc, told BFM Politique on December 18th that the company would "make a gesture" to help motorists in France with rising fuel prices, but he did not provide any further details.

As for fuel prices in particular, they dropped between the period from mid-November to December, and they began to stabilise at the end of the month.

According to figures published on Monday, December 26th a litre of diesel increased slightly (by €0.01) when compared to the previous week, with the average price set at €1.75 per litre, and the average cost of a litre of SP95-E10 was €1.62 per litre.


Philippe Chalmin, a specialist in the commodities market, told La Dépêche that prices were expected to remain stabilised at the beginning of 2023. The expert said that "the price of fuel should hover around €1.80 per litre in the coming weeks."

Chalmin added that starting in February, however, petrol prices may rise if "the European Union stops importing Russian diesel on February 5th."

Driving will also become more expensive in France for those taking toll-roads. The French ministry of transport announced that in February 2023, toll fees on France’s main motorways will increase by an average of 4.75 percent. 

READ MORE: Péage: Toll rates for motorists in France to increase in 2023



The Local 2022/12/31 13:25

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