Why refueling remains cheap

The pricing at the gas station has changed. Even during the travel time, the fuel will remain comparatively cheap. There are other factors to consider.

Doesn't get any more expensive during the holidays: the fuel.

SEven on the main travel days this summer, petrol and diesel have so far been comparatively cheap in Germany. A wave of price increases at the beginning of the summer holidays in the various federal states or on days when the usual bed change has not yet been observed, reports the Autoclub ADAC. That is a change from earlier times. Today the prices fluctuated strongly during the day, but the changes on special days such as the beginning of the holiday are less noticeable.

That could become relevant again for the coming weekend: Then the ADAC expects considerable travel traffic again. Bavaria is starting the summer vacation, while Bremen, Lower Saxony, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and parts of the Netherlands are entering the second week of vacation.

With the beginning of the Corona crisis, fuel prices fell significantly and have not yet returned to their old level – even if there has been a certain recovery since the lows in April. Compared to the previous week, Super E10 is now even cheaper by an average of 0.6 cents to 1.25 euros per liter. Diesel was 0.3 cents cheaper at 1.085 euros per liter. Before the crisis, Super had partly cost 1.40 euros per liter, diesel more than 1.30 euros. In the meantime, however, motorists could at least fill up with diesel in the crisis, often for less than 1 euro per liter.

The ADAC continues to report that the price of crude oil has a major influence on the development of fuel prices. A barrel (barrel to 159 liters) of the North Sea variety Brent currently costs around 44 dollars and thus about as much as last week. At the same time, the euro climbed to more than 1.15 dollars after the EU summit and reached the highest level of the current year, which makes crude oil traded in dollars cheaper.

ADAC: Better to refuel “after the clock”

Anyone who nevertheless comes across prices of more than 1.50 euros per liter for Super or 1.70 euros per liter for Super Plus at motorway filling stations along the main routes will feel the difference between motorway filling stations and those in the country says the ADAC. That often amounts to 20 cents per liter. Petrol stations a few kilometers away from the autobahn are often significantly cheaper.

It cannot be ruled out that some motorway filling stations on the major north-south axes tried to raise prices on the main travel days, says the ADAC. That is normal in a market economy. However, according to all observation, a continuous price increase on the travel days is no longer a significant trend on the autobahn either. On the other hand, the price fluctuations over the course of a day would have increased significantly compared to earlier times, and the differences depending on the day of the week would have decreased. For drivers today it is better to refuel “by the clock” instead of “according to the calendar”. The car club therefore advises holidaymakers with a car to fill up in the evening between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. before their trip – and to keep an eye out for cheap petrol stations off the highway during the tour.

Eight years ago, the Federal Cartel Office examined the gasoline market in Germany with a great deal of effort in a so-called sector analysis. At that time, the authority still found that the prices were always raised by the oil companies in time for the holidays, even if real price agreements were not observed. As early as last year, however, a report by the Cartel Office said that, unlike in the past, a systematic increase in gasoline prices during holidays was not observed regardless of the price of crude oil.