With only 10560 electric cars sold in 2014, it remains common to refuel your car at a gas station in France. It can also become a real challenge for drivers to find the cheapest gas. Indeed, 9609 gas stations from 75 brands could be found over the French territory in 2014. But where is the cheapest gas in France?  Learn to find where to refuel your car in France with these simple rules to follow while on the French roads.

What kind of gas are sold in France?

5 types of gas are sold and regulated in France.

  • SP95 or Sans Plomb 95, a classic fuel with a 95 octane rating.
  • SP98 or Sans Plomb 98, a classic fuel as SP95 but with a 98 octane rating.
  • Gazole, or diesel fuel.
  • E10 is SP95 with 10% of ethanol.
  • GPLc, or gaz de pétrole liquéfié, or Liquefied Petroleum Gas, or LPG.
  • E85, an ethanol fuel blend of 85% denatured ethanol fuel and 15% gas.

Highway or regular roads?

Is the gas cheaper on the highways or on the regular roads? The following bar chart show the average price for each kind of gas and the two types of locations. Regular roads show here better price. Indeed, customers are not captive as over highways. With one gas station every 60 kilometers in average, highways drivers have no other choice than to get out of the highway to find gas.

The CLCV, a French consumer association recently published a study showing the gas station on the highways with less traffic, like in the center of France, tend to have higher prices.

Supermarkets or classic brands?

Is the gas cheaper in supermarket stations or at classic brands stations? The following bar chart show the average price for each kind of gas and the two types of locations. Supermarket are known to apply the loss leader strategy. Indeed, low gas prices attract clients to the supermarkets. But dumping is illegal in France, and as any other product gas must at least be sold at cost price.

Supermarket wars

In 2013, the cheapest diesel in France can be found in Niort, the administrative centre of the Deux-Sèvres department. In this town, the 2 cheapest diesel stations of France compete and drive prices down in an interesting case study.

While the proximity of the La Rochelle oil terminal can explain the low prices of the region by cutting transporting costs, it is interesting to notice that these 2 stations are supermarket stations from large French chains: Carrefour and Intermarché. In these stations, diesel fuel was respectively sold at an average of 1,255 and 1,257 euros per liter in 2013.

Mapping all gas stations in France

In conclusion, better refuel your car on regular roads at a supermarket in France. This map shows the 2014 average retail gas prices for the 9609 gas stations over the French territory.

And the most expensive gas in France?

But the most expensive gas station in France is not on highways but on the Ile d’Yeu, a small island off the coast of Vendée. Here, the average price of diesel was 1.783 euros per litre in 2014. Fuel is carried here by the smallest tank ship of the world, the Anatife. This boat also provides fuel for the Belle-île island, at the north of the Ile d’Yeu, where the average diesel price in 2014 was 1.582 euros per litre.

Paris is another place where gas is expensive. With strict urbanism laws and fixed-term operating licenses, the number of gas stations in the downtown decreases over time, in favor of housing constructions and electric cars charging points. The Apur, the Paris urban planning agency, published a complete report of the situation.

Data show on this map is an aggregation of the dataset provided by the French Ministère de l’économie.

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