Why petrol and diesel are so expensive again

Why petrol and diesel are so expensive again

Vacationers roll along Germany’s autobahns, summer hits blare out of the car radios – and prices at gas stations have skyrocketed again. That’s driving in August. According to an ADAC analysis on Sunday, the price of a liter of diesel has increased by 15 cents within four weeks. In Germany, it currently averages EUR 1.785. The fuel has thus reached its highest price level since February 2023.

Diesel prices are rising faster than petrol

When diesel prices go up that much, they move closer and closer to gasoline prices. At the end of May, the difference between the fuels was more than 23 cents, meanwhile diesel is only about eight cents behind the more expensive Super E10 petrol. A notable catch-up as diesel is taxed about 20 cents lower and petrol prices are not easing either. Drivers currently pay an average of 1.868 euros for a liter of Super E10 – around seven cents more than a month ago.

One of the reasons for the increased prices at the pumps is the price of oil. It depends on the time of year, the political situation and supply and demand on the global crude oil market. In the past few weeks, the USA has reported an unusually strong decline in crude oil stocks across the country. In addition, large producing countries such as Saudi Arabia or Russia have been supplying less oil for some time.

crude oil price up high for the year

Due to the reduced quantity, the price of crude oil has risen sharply in recent weeks. The price of the Brent variety is currently around 87 dollars and thus at the high for the year. According to the ADAC, the high fuel prices can only be partly explained by this.

The Automobile Club justifies the current wave of inflation with the higher demand for fuel in summer travel and the increased demand for heating oil. An even more important problem is that the price level at the petrol stations has been significantly inflated for months. Gas station operators such as Aral, Shell, Jet or the independent gas stations also base their pricing on the competition. The ADAC advises that consumers could drive down prices by always going to the cheapest pump.

Fill up in the evening, compare prices

The prices at the petrol stations fluctuate during the course of the day. According to an ADAC study, diesel and petrol cost the least between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. The period between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. is also good. At these times, motorists could save around nine cents per liter compared to the most expensive time of day at 7 a.m.

If you want to save, you should also compare the prices of the different gas stations. According to the ADAC, the price differences are up to seven cents per liter. Motorway gas stations are often significantly more expensive. In tank apps, drivers can view the current prices from many of the more than 14,000 gas stations in Germany – and if they drive to the cheapest, they can promote competition in the fuel market.

But the way you drive is also important. If you drive evenly and accelerate less quickly, you can save up to 20 percent in fuel and reduce costs.

How the prices develop could

The ADAC assumes that the prices will remain as high this year or even rise. This is because crude oil production is expected to continue to be reduced while demand is increasing. However, motorists must also be prepared for higher prices for diesel and petrol in the long term.

The federal government wants to raise the CO2 price for fossil fuels from 30 to 40 euros per ton on January 1, 2024. In 2025, it is expected to rise to 50 euros per tonne. The CO2 taxes are to flow into the so-called climate and transformation fund, a special fund that the federal government has set up for billions in investments in climate protection and the restructuring of the economy. At the same time, the higher CO2 price should encourage petrol and diesel drivers to switch to more climate-friendly alternatives such as an electric car.


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