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Where Is The Cheapest Gas In France?

With only 10,560 electric cars sold in 2014, it remains common to refuel your car at a classic gas station in France. It can also become a real challenge for drivers to find the cheapest gas. Indeed, 9,609 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.

Highways 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 as captive as over highways. With one gas station roughly every 60 kilometers [1], highways drivers have no other choice than to get out of the highway to find cheaper gas.

Figure 1: Average gas prices on road and highways. Source: Ministère de l’Économie et des Finances

The CLCV, a French consumer association recently published a study [2] showing the gas station on the highways with less traffic, like in the center of France, tend to have higher prices.

Supermarkets or classic retailers?

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 [3]. 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.

Figure 2: Average gas prices for retailers and supermarkets. Source: Ministère de l’Économie et des Finances

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.

Figure 3: Gas stations in France. Source: Ministère de l’Économie et des Finances

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.

References

[1] Aire d’autoroute, (2018). http://routes.wikia.com/wiki/Aire_d'autoroute.

[2] Enquête prix du carburant sur autoroute, Les résultats à retenir, (2014). http://www.clcv.org/images/CLCV/fichiers/energie/DP-carburants-autoroutes.pdf.

[3] What is a Loss Leader Strategy, (2018). http://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/lossleader.asp.