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Can I use diesel alternatives to drive my car in France?

As fuel prices soar, we look at the rules on using cheaper possibilities such as cooking oil or renewable natural gas

Petrol and diesel prices in France are sitting at just under €2 per litre currently Pic: RecCameraStock / Shutterstock

Reader question: With the price of diesel so high right now, I’d like to know about alternative methods like cooking oil. Is this legal in France?

Petrol and diesel prices in France are sitting at just under €2 per litre (April 5), a slight drop on March prices which went over the €2 mark.

The high prices have been caused by supply line disruptions due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The French government has stepped in to aid motorists, offering a discount of 18 centimes on every litre. 

Read more: Recap: how to benefit from France’s 18 cent-per-litre fuel discount

The high prices are causing some people to explore the option of cheaper alternatives, such as cooking oil, heating oil and renewable natural gas (RNG). 

However, these fuels are illegal in France for use in vehicles that are driven on public roads. 

Any motorist caught using one of these alternatives could potentially face a prison sentence, confiscation of their vehicle and/or hefty fines, based on how much of the fuel has been used. This is calculated on the basis of the car’s kilometrage, when it was bought and the price difference between the fuel and diesel. 

Additionally, using these alternatives could void any warranty policies you have on the vehicle and potentially lead to insurers to deny claims. 

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Recap: how to benefit from France’s 18 cent-per-litre fuel discount

France and Germany prepare for Russian gas cut: what will effects be?

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