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Refinery blockades: Tips on how to find petrol and diesel in France

While only a small percentage of petrol stations have reported shortages, here are some tips on finding fuel should the situation worsen

Tips on avoiding wasting time – and precious fuel – trying to find petrol or diesel Pic: Irene Miller / Shutterstock

A “renewable” strike by workers at oil refineries across France means a small percentage of petrol stations are reporting shortages of petrol and diesel. 

Refinery workers are striking against the government’s pension reforms, the most controversial plank of which is to raise the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64.

Even though the situation is under control – and nowhere near as serious as last autumn’s shortages - The Connexion has compiled some tips on avoiding wasting time – and precious fuel – trying to find petrol or diesel. 

Read more: French petrol stations see shortages as pension protests continue

Interactive websites

The French government has an online platform, which not only tells you the stocks of petrol and diesel in each department and commune but also tells you which distributors have the highest and lowest prices.

You just need to select which fuel you need, the department and the commune you are in and click on “voir la liste des stations” (see the list of stations). Only stations with the fuel requested are shown.

There is also a real-time website, which marks where stations are low or have run out of fuel, using information submitted by the website’s users.

The petrol station chain TotalEnergies also has an interactive website of its stations, which is also regularly updated with stock statuses and prices. 

Read also: Seven ways to save on French bank charges

Apps

There are also several apps that can be downloaded from the Android or Apple app stores, and sometimes both.

Essence&Co, available for both Android and Apple operating systems, shows information on which stations have fuel, as do Essence/Gasoil Now (Android/Apple), Fuel Flash (Android/Apple) and Station La Moins Chère (Cheapest station) (Android only). These apps also list fuel prices.

The GPS app Waze also shows users which stations have fuel and the relevant prices, handy for when you are already on the road. You can select in the app’s settings the type of fuel you use and even choose the chain of fuel stations you prefer. 

Waze and other GPS apps, such as Google maps and Apple Maps, also show real-time traffic, so are worth a look before you head out so you can avoid traffic jams and long queues at fuel stations. 

Read also: Why GPS apps will not always suggest the fastest route in France

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