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French fuel discount to reduce, more about replacement aid revealed

The government’s 30-cent-per-litre discount is to drop to 10 cents per litre. We look at how to check prices at your local petrol station

The government’s 30-cent-per-litre discount on fuel will be cut to 10 cents per litre from Wednesday November 16 Pic: Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Today (November 15) is the last day that drivers in France can benefit from the government’s 30-cent-per-litre fuel discount at petrol stations. The aid will be cut to 10 cents per litre from tomorrow. 

The 20-cent-per-litre discount applied at TotalEnergies’ 3,500 petrol stations will also drop to 10 cents at the same time. 

These 10-cent-per-litre discounts will last until December 31, after which they will be removed completely.

In Corsica, the discount will be 9.42 cents per litre, and in the overseas territories it will be 8.33 cents, because the reduction depends on the VAT rate, which varies in these places. 

The discount applies to all road fuels including: 

  • Diesel 

  • Off-road diesel 

  • SP95/98-E5 

  • SP95-E10

  • Super Ethanol E85

  • Liquefied natural gas

Read more: Reminder: Now might be a good time to fill up your car in France

How to check prices at your local petrol station

As the discount is cut, fuel prices will automatically increase by at least 20 cents per litre in every petrol station across the country. The ecological transition ministry has stated that diesel prices are currently averaging €1.802 per litre, while SP-95 is at €1.6855 and SP98 is at €1.715. 

This means that from Wednesday, these fuels will also be around €2 per litre. 

The government platform Prix-carburant.gouv.fr allows you to check both fuel prices and stocks at petrol stations in every department and commune in France. 

To do this, select the type of fuel you are looking for and enter your department and town to see the list of stations. Only petrol stations that have supplies of the fuel you are looking for will be displayed. 

Around 10,000 petrol stations are included and the information is updated regularly – the time and date of the latest information is shown on the website when you look up the list of stations.

The imminent end of the increased discounts has led to a rush on petrol stations, with queues lengthening over the weekend as people tried to fill up before prices change.

Some 17.5% of French petrol stations were still experiencing shortages of at least one type of fuel on November 8, which could have made it more difficult for people to fill up over the past week. 

Ile-de-France, the area around Lyon and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté were most severely affected, because they are supplied by the Feyzin refinery in Rhône, which was the last to call off its strike action on November 8, or Gonfreville (Seine-Maritime), whose striking workers returned on October 31.

Professionals from the industry have previously said that it takes 10-15 days for production and distribution to return to normal, so some disruption can still be expected. 

The government has said that it has asked depots to extend their opening hours to keep supply flowing despite the Armistice Day public holiday break on November 11, adding that it is “following the situation very closely”.

Read also: How to check stocks at your local petrol station

‘We cannot pay for a discount forever’ 

France’s government was initially going to cut its fuel discount from November 1, but the disruption to supply caused by the refinery and depot strikes in October prompted it to extend the increased support for a further two weeks. 

However, “we cannot pay for a discount forever,” Public Accounts Minister Gabriel Attal told LCI, adding that the measure has already cost “more than €7billion this year”.

He also said that “this aid is also helping out people in neighbouring countries, who are coming to fill up in France,” its universal nature meaning it benefits “people who need it and people who do not”. 

When the 10-cent-per-litre discount is removed, the government is planning to introduce a more targeted aid for lower-income households and people who have to use their vehicle to drive long distances for work. 

Government spokesperson Olivier Véran told BFMTV on Sunday (November 13) that this could benefit between 11 and 12 million people. He did not give details on the sums set to be paid out but added that it would remain in place “for as long as is necessary”. 

Mr Attal has said that people will only be eligible for the aid if they work and have an income, have a car and a carte grise and “struggle to make ends meet”. 

He added that the state will spend €1.5-1.6billion on this support, and that “it will look a lot like the measure that the government had planned for last summer,” which was “put to one side to extend the discount”. 

People who qualify, he said, will need to go on a website, enter their télédéclarant tax number and their carte grise number. 

“This will enable us to see if you work and if you are in the income bracket which would enable you to access this support.

“Then you will receive the money directly into your account after a few days.” 

The full details of the aid will be known in the coming weeks, he added.

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Log purchases, wood pellets: what help is France proposing for homes?

Heating oil help in France: Who is eligible and how is it being paid?

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