Petrol prices higher in the morning than the evening, report finds

Petrol prices higher in the morning than the evening, report finds

The government has recently stepped in to reduce taxes on petrol and diesel prices in an attempt to cushion drivers in Germany from the rising price of fuel, but did you know that the time of day you fill up potentially has a huge impact on the price you pay at the pump?

Fuel up to 16 cents cheaper in the evening, ADAC finds

A new study by ADAC, the largest motorists’ association in Germany, has found that petrol stations typically charge higher prices for petrol and diesel in the morning than in the evening. The study compared the cost of refuelling at different times of the day throughout the month of May and found that prices were, in general, much higher in the morning, meaning drivers who fill up later in the day stand to save quite a bit of money. 

And we’re not quibbling about fractions of cents, either: ADAC concluded that the difference between the peak price at rush hour in the morning and the low in the evening was more than 16 cents per litre for diesel - the highest level recorded since the study began in 2015. For Super E10 petrol, the price difference was about 10 cents. 

What time of day is it cheapest to refuel in Germany?

If you’re looking to avoid peak times and save a few euros, ADAC found that prices generally rose from 5am in the morning, reaching a peak at around 7am, when diesel was around 12 cents more expensive than the daily average, and Super E10 petrol 6 cents more expensive. After 7am, prices tended to fall until 9am, rose a little until 10am, and then gradually dropped throughout the day. 

According to ADAC, the cheapest time to buy petrol was later in the evening, between 6pm and 7pm, and between 8pm and 10pm, when diesel was around 5 cents cheaper per litre than the daily average, and E10 just under 4 cents cheaper. 

Drivers should carefully consider when to fill up their cars

The price differences were roundly criticised by experts in the automotive industry, with ADAC expert Jürgen Albrecht accusing petrol stations of attempting to “charge particularly high prices to some customers” during the morning rush hour before work.

ADAC urged customers to think carefully about when and how they fill up their cars, if they are concerned about the cost. “In June, the cards have been reshuffled by the current shifts,” Albrecht said, referring to the lowering of taxes on fuel. 

“The periods from 6pm to 7pm and from 8pm to 10pm will probably remain particularly favourable,” he added. “However, in addition, motorists should keep their eyes open and consciously promote competition through their refuelling behaviour. And if you do have to fill up in the morning, smaller quantities are often enough.”



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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