25.05.2022, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Köln: Preise für Kraftstoffe sind an einer Tankstelle angezeigt. Vor den ab Juni geplanten Steuerentlastungen für Benzin und Diesel sorgt sich die Tankstellenbranche um mögliche Engpässe. Foto: Oliver Berg/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The citizens should feel a financial relief in everyday life: This was the goal of a package of measures by the traffic light coalition, which was decided for the months of June to August, as compensation for the increases in prices as a result of the Ukraine war. Mobility by bus, train and car should become cheaper – although it was initially not clear in all areas whether this goal would really be achieved.

With the nine-euro ticket, there was no question, as the state directly specified the price for the subsidized, extremely cheap monthly tickets for local and regional transport. The so-called tank rebate, however, a reduction in the energy tax on fuel, is an indirect price control. Shortly before the introduction, it was not clear to what extent the citizens would see the tank discount at the gas pumps in the republic.

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It was feared that the reduced tax – around 35 cents per liter for petrol and around 17 cents for diesel – would hardly reach the customers at the gas station. The mineral oil industry was suspected of not passing on the tax reduction in full.

The purpose of the tank discount is debatable. For example, with regard to climate protection, for which a move away from fossil fuels is necessary and their discount encourages people to continue driving with combustion engines. However, the goal of making fuel cheaper in Germany, at least temporarily, was achieved.

Super E10 cost an average of 2.15 euros per liter on May 31, the last day before the tank discount. On June 14, the price had fallen to EUR 1.94. By August 9, it fell further to €1.70. Only at the end of the month did it rise again, to EUR 1.73 on August 23. The ADAC suspects that the increase is related to higher demand in view of a feared price jump from September. Fill the tank again cheaply before it gets more expensive again.

Motorists also had to pay less for diesel. From an average of 2.04 euros per liter it fell to 2.03 euros on June 14th. On August 9, a liter of diesel was only 1.89 euros, before prices rose again here, to 1.98 euros on 23 August.

Year-on-year, fuel remained expensive. At least for Super E10, the price level from early February 2022 was at least reached again in August, the period before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

It can be assumed. Since 2020, the average prices for premium petrol and diesel have been rising steeply. The tank discount should be reflected as a small dent in the big statistics. But the question is: will prices start to rise again on September 1st?

Nobody knows for sure. The ADAC does not consider it inevitable that fuel prices will skyrocket again on the first day of the month. The calculation: The petrol stations would fill their reserves with low-tax fuel in August in order to be able to offer low prices or increase their margins in September.

On the other hand, there is the increased demand for petrol and diesel at the end of August. It is already raising prices and could ensure that much of the tax-privileged fuel will have flowed from the gas stations into the tanks of cars and motorcycles in this republic as early as September 1st.

Herbert Rabl, the spokesman for the petrol station interest group (TIV), describes two factions of petrol station operators with different pricing structures to Merkur.de:

Faction one bought the fuel before June 1st without a tax reduction and then sold it to the people filling up at a discount. They now wanted to make up for this loss.

Group two now want to go into the price war – with the fuel from the camps, which was bought with a tank discount.

Basically, the prices for fuel vary from gas station to gas station. Anyone who monitors the prices with an app on their smartphone can save. In addition, the prices vary during the day, entirely in the financial interests of the mineral oil companies.

The ADAC looked at all price movements at all 14,000 gas stations in the country for July 2022 and came to the conclusion: 7:15 a.m. in the morning is the most expensive. The prices then go downhill, but unfortunately in waves, with price peaks at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.

The automotive experts recommend refueling between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., when average fuel prices are lowest. It is also inexpensive between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

In view of the imminent end of the tank discount, some car or motorcyclist drivers may have the idea of ​​stocking up. The following applies here: A maximum of 60 liters per canister is permitted in Germany, and a maximum of 240 liters in total, provided that the respective container has an embossed UN or reserve fuel canister approval (RKK) – and is stored in the car.

Storage is the key. Fuel is dangerous and that’s why the ADAC advises not to have more than ten liters in the car. The purpose is therefore a reserve for emergencies and not a reserve for the case of rising fuel prices.

The storage of petrol outside of the car is again severely restricted by law. According to the ERGO insurance company, the only place that really comes into question is a garage anyway, since the permitted amount per apartment and basement is low. Here it is important to observe the maximum quantity applicable in the garage ordinance of the respective federal state.

In most federal states, flammable substances may not be stored outside of motor vehicles, but in small garages up to 100 square meters, up to 200 liters of diesel and up to 20 liters of petrol can be stored in tightly closed, unbreakable containers. In Berlin, however, the following applies: Combustible materials may not be stored in garages outside of motor vehicles.

If you live in the border area with Poland, it can be worth going to a gas station in the neighboring country, which is called Stacja paliw there. Poland is still one of the European countries where fuel is cheapest. On August 22, premium petrol cost 1.37 euros per liter in Poland and diesel cost 1.51 euros, compared to 1.73 and 1.99 euros in Germany.

Numerous petrol stations are located directly behind the border, for example directly behind the Hohenwutzen and Frankfurt (Oder) border crossings. Polish gas stations are open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to the ADAC, they are often open around the clock along the main travel routes and in large cities.

You can pay in cash or by card, in the Polish national currency zloty and at some gas stations also in euros. Super Plus is called 98E in Poland and Super E5 is called 95E. Diesel is found as ON.

20 liters of petrol or diesel can be taken from Poland to Germany in the reserve canister, although the ADAC recommends limiting yourself to ten liters for safety reasons.