For stock reasons, some pumps will not be able to offer the 15 cents per liter discount, risking losing customers.
This is a decline that motorists are eagerly awaiting. A discount of 15 cents per litre will be introduced from Friday 1 April for a period of four months. In reality, it can be up to 18 cents including tax, a difference explained by the amount of VAT applied in the different French territories. “Since the VAT is 20% on the continent in metropolitan France, the discount at the pump will be 18 cents per liter including tax for the consumer. It will be about 17 cents in Corsica, where VAT is 13%, and 15 cents abroad, where no VAT is charged on petroleum products.details of the Ministry of Ecological Transition.
But not all gas stations can apply the discount. And rightly so, they have to empty their tanks first to replenish the fuel sold at a lower price. After all, it is not the stations but their suppliers that apply the 15 cent discount. The fuel that they are going to buy from them will therefore already be at a discounted price, unlike what is currently in their tanks. Only when all this stock has been sold can they resupply themselves at a better price.
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So everything depends on their ability to sell their fuel quickly. “It can take two days and in extreme cases three weeks. It’s a matter of flow: a gas station that doesn’t have many customers needs more time to use up its stock, as opposed to highway and department stores that can refill very quickly.”explain to Figaro Frédéric Plan, General Delegate of the French Federation of Fuels, Fuels and Heating (FF3C), which mainly represents independent distribution companies. He fears that the pumps with less passage will take all the more time to sell their supplies, as they will book a higher price than the others, because they cannot fill their tanks with cheaper fuel.
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Disturbed the balance of competition
In general, the union is concerned about the consequences for gas station attendants of the high price volatility. “The exchange rate fluctuations observed over the past three weeks and the discount applied from April 1 distort the competitive balance, especially for independent stations in the suburbs or in the countryside”says Frederic Plan. “If you’re unlucky enough to stock up on a day when prices are high and the pump near you fills the tanks the next day when prices have fallen, it can book a lower price” and thereby attract more customers, he notes. A price difference that “can go up to more than 30 cents”to make “unsaleable” the most expensive gasoline.
For customers, the gesture announced by Jean Castex on March 12 will be indicated by a display on the pump and will be noted on the invoice if they request it. And among gas station attendants who can boast of offering fuel 15 cents cheaper on April 1, expected “big queues” predicts Franck plan. Especially since it’s a Friday ‘and motorists’ tanks threaten to run out’† But special measures must be taken to avoid a shortage of supplies, he says, citing the possibility of supply tankers running on Sundays in particular.