The reduction in the energy tax on fuels, which was lifted at midnight, is clearly noticeable at many petrol stations. In the course of the morning, the price of diesel has already risen to over 2.50 euros in some cases, and the price of premium E10 petrol by around 25 cents per liter. This emerges from an initial assessment by the ADAC. The liter price for diesel rose by around 10 cents.

The ADAC is now accusing gas station operators of playing a bad game. Because until Wednesday they could still buy at the lower tax rate and could therefore initially have sold petrol and diesel more cheaply. It was forecast that it could take a while before the tax cut – also known as the tank discount – was lifted.

But now prices are skyrocketing. The ADAC now says that some operators have accumulated significantly cheaper petrol before the tank discount expires, which they are now selling for more money, although the cheaper petrol is still in the tanks. ADAC spokeswoman Katrin van Randenborgh told the “Bild” newspaper that some operators would have blocked the pumps in order to demand more money. “In view of the full tanks at the petrol stations, which were filled at low tax rates until yesterday, this can in no way be justified to consumers!”

The Bundeskartellamt had already announced on Tuesday that it would closely monitor the pricing of gas stations after September 1st. After all, competition in the fuel market doesn’t work particularly well, said Andreas Mundt, president of the authority. The automobile club is now demanding an investigation by the cartel office. At the start of the tax cut, there were sometimes heated discussions as to whether the corporations would really pass on the benefit in full to customers.

This has already been shown by a quick evaluation of the prices at almost 400 petrol stations in Munich, Berlin and Hamburg between 6.00 a.m. and 6.30 a.m. on Thursday by the German Press Agency using the fuel price data from the ADAC. E10 premium petrol cost significantly more than 2 euros on Thursday morning at most of the gas stations surveyed. On Thursday, the diesel price at most petrol stations was well above 2.10 euros, sometimes even more than 2,500 euros, official ADAC figures show (as of 11:00 a.m.).

Super E10



“In view of the full tanks at the petrol stations, which until yesterday were filled at low tax rates, this can in no way be justified to consumers,” said ADAC spokeswoman Katrin van Randenborgh. The prices for petrol and diesel are likely to rise again significantly when the tank discount ends – but when and how much is still unclear. “We will certainly see a mixture of high and low prices in the coming days and weeks,” says Jürgen Albrecht, fuel price expert at ADAC. The price differences depending on the region and time of day are already in the double-digit cent range. “Initially it will be even more.”

The Federal Association of Independent Petrol Stations (BFT) expects a significant increase in the early morning hours of September 1st. “I assume that we will initially see a large price premium,” said the association’s chairman Duraid El Obeid of the German Press Agency. “Over the course of the day and in the coming days, however, this will certainly melt away again when competitive effects set in.”

“In the overall balance, we find that the tax reduction has not fully reached the consumer,” says ADAC expert Albrecht. The high prices cannot be fully explained by various special factors – the consequences of the war, the weak euro, the low water level in the Rhine and the associated high transport costs.

Without the fuel price tax reduction, refueling would have been significantly more expensive in the past three months. There is no doubt about that, says Prof. Manuel Frondel from the RWI Leibniz Institute for Economic Research – and yet he hardly leaves a good hair on the tank discount. “The low prices mean that people drive more – which is ecologically counterproductive.”

Added to this is the unfair distribution, according to Frondel. After all, those who have several cars and drive them a lot, tend to benefit from the tax cut, i.e. households with high and middle incomes. “Low-income households, on the other hand, often don’t have a car at all and therefore don’t benefit from the tool at all.”

Comparable regulations such as the German tank discount also exist in other EU countries. In France, the discount was increased on Thursday night: instead of the previous 18 cents, a discount of 30 cents per liter of petrol or diesel will be granted on the mainland in September and October. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, a smaller discount applies in Corsica and in some overseas territories.

In the following months, however, the tank discount is also to be reduced in France. In November and December it is to be reduced to 10 cents on the mainland and phased out completely at the end of the year.

More on the rising prices:

The Austrians should be happy when they look at their accounts: 500 euros will be transferred to our southern neighbors as a lump sum. The government wants to take action against high inflation and rising energy costs. Hundreds of euros are added for children and the needy.

Economists are very pessimistic about the near future. Inflation could continue to rise, and numerous households could barely make ends meet with their money. Save some? none. Prosperity could fall permanently.