How the French government fuel discount will change from September 1

Rebates per litre of fuel are set to increase from 18 to 30 cents from next month, in a final increase before the expected drop in November

A photo of a row of petrol pumps at a service station
The new fuel discounts will apply to all fuels available at petrol stations for individual drivers
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The fuel discount applied in mainland France is set to rise from 18 cents to 30 cents per litre – after tax – from September 1, in the latest change to the rebate. It is the last increase before a drop in November.

The amount will be applied at the petrol pumps in the same way as the previous rebate, and is set to last throughout September and October.

It is the last expected increase to the rebate before it drops to 10 cents per litre from November 1, and disappears completely on December 31.

The change was confirmed in the Journal Officiel this week (August 23).

Discount varies depending on tax

The amount is technically the same across the whole of France, although in practice the amount applied may vary depending on area.

The baseline 25-cent-per-litre discount excludes tax. This means that in mainland France, where VAT on petroleum products is 20%, the real discount will be 30 cents (25 centimes excluding tax plus 5 centimes of VAT).

In Corsica, the amount of VAT on fuel is 13%. The total saving will therefore be around 28 cents for motorists on the island. In the overseas territories, no tax is added, so the discount remains 25 cents.

Which fuel is included?

The measure applies to all fuels, including diesel, LPG, petrol, and other super ethanol, used by private individuals.

Professionals also benefit when using river and maritime vehicles, agricultural and forestry machinery etc.. The only exception is aviation fuel.

Natural gas also benefits from a rebate of €25 per Megawatt-hour (35 cents per kg) until October 31. It will then drop to €8.33/MWh (0,1166 cents per kg) between November 1 and December 31 .

Rebate extended several times

The rebate on fuel has been extended several times in France since it was first introduced on April 1. At the time, several weeks before the presidential election, it was intended to ease the burden of rising fuel and cost of living costs.

It was set to last for four months only, at a cost of an estimated €2billion for the state.

Yet, it was first extended from the end of July to the end of August, and “heavy users” were promised further help after its expected end.

Read more: Fuel discount: France to phase out and replace with aid for workers

The decision was then taken to extend the measure from September, despite criticism over how much it is costing the government.

TotalEnergies ups its discount

In addition, fuel company TotalEnergies has confirmed that it will increase the discount in its service stations to 20 cents from September 1 to October 31, up from the current 12 cents per litre.

The existing discount is only being applied in motorway service stations, but it appears that the increased rate will concern all of the company’s French petrol stations.

Read more: TotalEnergies announces summer fuel discount on French motorways

This will then drop to 10 cents in November and December.

The reduction will apply "from the first litre purchased, with no limit on the amount, for all petroleum fuels sold in [our] stations", the company said.

Assistance for small petrol stations

While drivers benefit from the prolonged fuel discount, the government is also offering support to small petrol stations in France.

Those having sold at least 500 hectolitres (a measure equalling 100 litres) of fuel each month in average in 2021 will be eligible for a €3,000 cheque.

This sum will increase to €6,000 for those having sold between 500 and 1,000 hectolitres per month.

Beneficiaries will have to request the payment, which will not be made automatically.

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