Petrol prices rising sharply 16 euros difference for a tank of gas

Rhein-Sieg-Kreis · Petrol prices are rising sharply right now. And also in the Rhein-Sieg district, motorists are watching the display boards at gas stations or checking Apps on their phones to find the best price for a liter of petrol. We looked around for the cheapest prices and asked how customers are reacting to the rising prices.

 The Aral gas station in Sankt Augustin also showing high petrol prices.

The Aral gas station in Sankt Augustin also showing high petrol prices.

Foto: Hans-Werner Klinkhammels

The website shows that there was a price difference of 15.60 euros for a tank of 40 liters of Super petrol purchased at two different gas stations in the Rhein-Sieg district. From the gas station where it cost the cheapest in Seelscheid to the one where it was most expensive in Siegburg on the A3, there are 38 kilometers distance and at least half an hour's drive. Petrol prices are rising quickly right now - also in the Rhein-Sieg district. And motorists in the district are angry.

After all, they have to pay the price for the petrol. Which is why they are complaining to the cashiers at the local gas stations. "But we don’t have anything to so with setting the prices," say the employees of the gas station at the Troisdorf-Spich autobahn exit. "Customers are afraid that prices will rise even further," they also say. But motorists aren't upset with the employees, they say, rather with those they blame for the high costs.

It often has to do with commodity prices, the economy and the dollar exchange rate. In other words, nothing that gas station operators or customers can influence. Still, customers try to fill their tanks as cheaply as possible. During the course of the day, the price of gasoline at the pumps changes frequently. According to an ADAC study, there are several price peaks during the course of the day, but also several times when customers can get the lowest prices. These curves are due to the competitive behavior of the individual gas stations amongst themselves. Customers can exert their influence by only filling up when the price is below the daily average.

For the Rhein-Sieg district, the gas price comparison websites show the highest prices late at night and in the morning; the cheapest time is in the evening. But even that can vary from place to place: 9 p.m. is the online tip for Bad Honnef, for Sankt Augustin the same site gives a period from 5 to 9 p.m., and in Niederkassel it is supposed to be cheapest between 9 and 10 p.m. - at least that was the status on Tuesday afternoon.

In Germany, the price of Super petrol has risen since May 1 of this year by about 20 cents, diesel even by a good 26 cents per liter. In the Rhine-Sieg district, the prices vary by around ten cents. A liter might cost 1.66 in Neunkirchen-Seelscheid, while it costs 1.75 in Niederkassel-Lülsdorf. Refueling at autobahn service stations Siegburg-Ost and Siegburg-West is even more expensive: with 2.04 euros per liter of Super being displayed.

"Of course, customers don't like these high prices," reports Renate Keppler, who runs a gas station in Königswinter. "They are not thrilled. Often one hears a remark that those operating the gas stations are filling their pockets." However, she says, people are mostly squarely blaming the politicians. Keppler also notices that more people fill up in the afternoon than in the morning. "Because then the prices are cheaper." That's true. In the daily trend, fuel prices currently rise to as much as three and a half cents above average in the morning, whereas in the late afternoon they are up to three and a half cents below the daily average. The price increase is hitting customers all the harder because petrol prices have been cheap in recent years and dropped again with the first lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gasoline prices were reliably stable until well into the 1970s. Then came the oil crisis, leading to bans on Sundays and rising gasoline prices. At the end of 1979, the unthinkable happened: a liter of gasoline cost more than one Deutschmark. In some cases, the gas pumps had to be equipped with new technology because the signs could only display two-digit amounts. The 1980s were characterized by fluctuations, and in the end a steady price increase began - by the end of the 1990s, prices had climbed as high as 1.51 Deutschmarks. With the switch to the euro, the ups and downs began again. From 1.03 euros to 1.43 euros (2008) to 1.09 euros (2009) to 1.73 euros (2012). After a few years of low fuel prices, they are now rising again, which is taking a toll on drivers. (Orig. text: Hans-Werner Klinkhammels / Translation: ck)

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