The price of a litre of petrol or diesel in France has caused its fair share of disputes between the government and the people in recent years.
A planned increase in fuel duty in November 2018 to pay for environmentally friendly policies, at a time of rising crude oil prices, kicked off the long-running gilets jaunes protests - which eventually forced a government climbdown.
But, while French fuel forecourt prices are a perpetual bone of contention, a government online tool is available that allows drivers to compare prices at nearby petrol pumps and head for the cheapest station when they need a fill-up.
The web address and app prix-carburants.gouv.fr/mobile allows drivers to find the cheapest petrol station nearby, directly from their phone.
How the French fuel price app works
After logging in, choose the type of fuel you need. You can choose from:
Then you enter the postcode area or department you are in (or allow the app to automatically geolocate you).
The site then identifies nearby petrol stations offering the chosen petrol or diesel, and lists the location and prices so drivers can compare. Drivers can ‘favourite’ results to make it easier to compare next time.
How accurate are the petrol prices?
Data and prices are regularly updated to give accurate information, and the site uses petrol stations’ own publicly-stated prices on the list, which they are already required to publish accurately by law at the point of sale.
The website lists all public and open petrol stations selling over 500m³ of petrol per year, including independent stations as well as those at big supermarkets; 500m³ is the threshold after which stations must display accurate prices by law.
It is then up to each fuel station's manager to ensure prices of petrol and diesel listed on the government website are accurate and up to date.
The government's financial watchdog, the Direction générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des fraudes is responsible for monitoring and ensuring that qualifying petrol stations in France declare their latest prices on the site - and on the forecourt.
Smaller stations can also nominate themselves for inclusion on the list if they do not already appear, and members of the public can flag up missing or now-closed petrol stations for inclusion/deletion, too, or differences in prices between the website and the forecourt via a contact form on the site.