Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

French petrol prices

One of the nicer aspects of driving in France - apart from the generally straigher and emptier roads - is the difference in fuel prices. It always used to be the case that French diesel was cheaper than in the UK (Diesel is taxed much less in France), but unleaded was the other way round (i.e. France more expensive than the UK), and this in turn lead to a much higher adoption of diesel cars on the continent than in the UK.

Nowadays with increasing UK fuel taxes the situation has changed and all petrol prices are now cheaper on the continent than in the UK.

I've recently found a handy website from MINEFI (Ministère de l’Économie, des finances et de l’industrie) that lists current and historical French fuel prices and compares them to the rest of the EU:The headline you can take away from this is that French autoroute unleaded prices are similar to UK prices, but that it's about 10% cheaper to buy your fuel from a French supermarket than to buy it on the autoroute. Diesel prices are even cheaper in France, about 30% less than in the UK.

Personally we always try to go over to France with our fuel tank empty and fill up at the nearest supermarket, then refill the tank again just before we board the ferry.

To help our guests we've included in our holiday cottage travel directions instructions as to how to find the petrol stations that are nearest to the major ferry ports.

Spare a thought for the Dutch though, they come out as being even more expensive than the UK for unleaded fuel prices.

Update 7/7/08: The MINEFI website's not been updated since January 2007, see my more recent article on the Prix des Carburants site for current French fuel prices, route planning and more!

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