A new record - diesel has never been as expensive as it was last Sunday. And the price of petrol could soon smash the previous high too. What is the mood like at the petrol pumps in the city?
It is still quiet. He has two hours to go, maybe even a little longer. Ayoub Daoudi stands by the entrance to the car wash. It's just before 3 p.m., there are no cars at the pumps right now, and if all goes well, he can take a short break before the next customer comes. “Two or three cents down and people go mad,” says the 25-year-old, nodding over to the board at the entrance to the petrol station. The orange digits underneath Super are showing 1.72 Euro.
Fuel in Germany is expensive at the moment, more expensive than ever before. On Sunday, the price of diesel averaged 1.55 euros per litre, as reported by the ADAC - a new record. E10 cost 1.67 euros per litre. Four cents more would meet the previous high from September 2012.
Since 2013, companies operating the petrol stations have been obliged to report price changes for Super E5, Super E10 and diesel “in real time” to the Market Transparency Unit for Fuels. This unit belongs to the Federal Cartel Office and passes on the data to information services such as www.adac.de/tanken, www.clever-tanken.de or www.mehr-tanken.de. A complete list of all approved services can be found on the Market Transparency Unit website.
The GA spot-checked the prices in Bonn over a three-day period. On Thursday, for example, the lowest price in the afternoon was 1.53 euros for a litre, the highest 1.62 euros. The cheapest places in the city included: Q1 Scherer at Fränkische Straße 15, the Rewe petrol station at Am Weidenbach, ED at Lievelingsweg 10, Jet at Bornheimer Straße 145 and HEM at Hausdorffstraße 223. But even there filling up is expensive. So what is the mood like at the petrol stations at the moment?
“People are not happy,” says Daoudi. “They vent their frustrations out on us.” He estimates that every third customer comes to speak to him about the prices. They rant about money-making, the CO2 tax and the government. But people must know that they have nothing to do with the prices here at the petrol station. What appears on the board is managed by the control centre.
According to the ADAC, the price of fuel is highest at 7 a.m., after which it falls. The price curve in one day is reminiscent of an Alpine landscape with many peaks and valleys. “As a rule, motorists fill up cheapest between 6 and 7 p.m. and between 8 and 10 p.m.,” informs the ADAC. If you have a petrol engine, you can save up to seven cents per litre.
People fill up canisters too
“Things happen here that you can't imagine,” says Daoudi. When it's cheap, people not only fill up their cars, but also canisters. “One person had ten,” says Daoudi. ADAC spokesperson Katharina Lucà explains on the phone: “In your car you are allowed to take 60 litres per canister and no more than 240 litres.” However, the ADAC recommends having a maximum of ten litres in the car - for your own safety. The Garage Ordinance regulates how much may be stored in garages: up to 200 litres of diesel and up to 20 litres of petrol in tightly sealed, unbreakable containers.
A white VW SUV turns onto the petrol station forecourt from Hausdorffstraße. Georg Fischer gets out. “I never worry about the prices,” says the 65-year-old as he fills up. He often uses his car for work, so his employer pays anyway. But for people on low wages, the prices are of course a problem, he says. A few minutes later, Robert Ippen stops at the pump. “I drive 250 kilometres a week,” says the 23-year-old. The prices are already high, but for him the pain threshold would be two euros per litre.
Will this soon be crossed? “It is quite possible that the petrol price will reach the two-euro mark in a few months’ time,” informs the ADAC in an email. “However, it is difficult to make an accurate forecast because factors such as the price of crude oil cannot be predicted.”
Heinz Heuser already notices that prices have risen. He is self-employed and drives 300 kilometres a week. “I have to because of work.” Climbing into his white van, he gets worked up about politics. “It's an endless rip-off,” he moans out of the open window as he backs up.
At the petrol station Daoudi is standing at the cash desk. “When it's busy, people are queuing right up to the street,” he says. “Until the tram comes and they move away.” It is 3.56 p.m. Another hour, then the evening rush-hour traffic slowly begins - and the daily madness.
(Original text: Dennis Scherer, Translation: Caroline Kusch)