6 Nov, 2012 @ 14:00
1 min read

Driving up petrol prices in Spain

Petrol pump

MOTORISTS in Spain are being hit in the pocket by the highest pre-tax fuel prices in Europe, according to a damning report.

The study, carried out by the National Competition Commission (CNC), found the monopoly enjoyed by Repsol, Cepsa and BP over the market is causing a lack of competition, thereby keeping prices high and damaging the competitiveness of Spanish firms abroad.

In an 85-page document, the CNC suggests a number of measures to help open up the market.

These include ‘conflict of interest’ regulations and a reduction in red tape for operators looking to open new service stations and refineries.

“This report puts forth evidence that the level of effective competition in the fuel sector in Spain is insufficient,” it says.

“This may explain the high prices and margins recorded in Spain and their differential with respect to other EU countries.”

James Bryce

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  1. It is shocking how expensive things have got here especially in comparison to what the average person earns, I went for a bottle of gas yesterday and it was 16.60 which has almost doubled in 10 years. Everything it seems is expensive from gas to electricity from petrol to clothes

  2. Of course its cheap to live here-this article is about pre-tax costs. The price you pay at the pump today for unleaded is:
    Spain 1.35
    Portugal 1.77
    Norway 1.97
    France 1.65
    Germany 1.63
    UK 1.72
    Italy 1.80
    Netherlands 1.84

    Food is cheap, wine/spirits are cheap, bars are cheap, electricity and water is cheap. How long is it since you lived in another country Fred?? Maybe you are better off here than you think

  3. Relatively speaking, for a resident in Spain, it is significantly more expensive to live here than it was, say, a decade ago. Gas prices have tripled or more in five years. IBI (rates) have skyrocketed, as have water and electric costs. Personal income taxes have risen, as has the IVA (VAT) tax.

    A bottle of wine for two quid doesn’t mean Spain is cheap lol. Comparing countries is not the way to evaluate if a country is cheap. Compare price rices as a resident, not a tourist, and the picture is vastly different.

  4. Well, Fred, that’s true everywhere. Its called INFLATION!!!

    It is foolish to evaluate a country’s cost of living in historical terms 10 years ago because you cant go back. You have choices of where to live today , so the best comparator is with other countries today.

    Trust me, Spain is cheap relative to many, many countries.

  5. The price of a litre of petrol in spain on 22nd February 2012 was £1.113. Today, it is £1.165. Both for unleaded 95 or known as unleaded in the UK. The author of this article is over reacting.

  6. But Alled, the author is talking about pre-tax prices and how they are artificially inflated by the three major oil companies through lack of competition. That has nothing at all to do with the equivalent price in sterling at the pumps.

  7. Steve, a Spaniard would have no idea how to compare their country with another, like the UK, so comparing countries is meaningless in this context. Better to compare recent price rises, and on that basis Spain is much more expensive to live now, and some prices have risen well above inflation. Gas has risen over 250% in just 5 years (personal experience) – that’s some inflation rate lol.

  8. Fred, you clearly think that Spaniards are inferior do you and know nothing of other countries. What time warp do you live in? Mark above has just paid €16-60 for a bottle -he says nearly 100% more than 10 years ago. 4 years ago they were €12.50 so are 33% more now.

    To be up 250% in 5 years as you claim, they would have to have cost less than €5 5 years ago. Ridiculous; do the maths.

    Spain is cheap to live; nowhere is as cheap as it was a decade ago. Get real

  9. Steve, yes sorry I have an erroneous extra zero on the end of my figure; my gas has risen over 25% in just over four years. 250% would have been slightly excessive.

    Anyway, what has the price of gas got to do with the inferiority of Spaniards? I am just saying that they would have no idea what the prices of things were in another country in order to make such a comparison, just as we would not in their country, that’s all.

    Everyone I talk to says Spain is expensive to live in, including all of my Spanish friends, and I concur, but it’s only my opinion.

  10. I agree with Fred, Spain is expensive now and that is why the holiday business has fallen away. It is not competitive now. If the local wages are half that of the UK but fuel is 10% cheaper, then add food and other items then Spain is expensive to live in. Many Brits have returned because of the strength of the Euro and how expensive Spain has become. One independent petrol retailer near my place in Spain sells diesel 6 cents per litre cheaper than the Nationals. Not many of those around though. I think electric is more expensive than the UK. If you run a gas fire in Spain you can go through two or three bottles in a week. Not having mains gas will make it more expensive. The houses are not built to retain heat so I did spend more to keep my house warm in the winter there than in the UK. It is a part time job moving all those logs around as well, cutting them up…

  11. Interesting how people have such different experiences in Spain. In fact, Tourism is up, with 10% more tourists in Andalucia this August than last August. And the spend is 6% up on last year. Food is cheap. A recent survey compared Mercadona (not the cheapest here) with Asda, Tesco and sainsbury for a basket of goods-fruit etc and the UK average was 3 times the cost. We get a lot of visitors and they are amazed at how cheap the supermarkets are here. And we pay far far more for our electricity and water in the uk. It is very tough here in Spain for the many unemployed and for expats struggling on fixed incomes but my cost of living here is, without question, far less than in the UK. Even things like road tax, ITV and car insurance–much much cheaper.And no TV License=€180 in uk!

    And although this autumn is damp and cold now, generally we need very little heating through the winter.

  12. Hi Reap,
    I liked your comment about houses not built to retain heat. One night by accident I left the central heating on – never again – the boiler never stopped firing up because – the pipes were buried in concrete/zero insulation, all we were doing was heating up the conctrete slab = horrendous gas bill. No Spanish in this nearly new block used the gas c/heating. Could’nt use all 4 rings of the electric hob because the consumer unit shut down, reason – underspecced wiring – one of the reasons why so many Spanish die in house fires along with steel security bars across windows

    Our lounge had glass wall-to-wall – because the concrete floor had not been levelled, there was a big gap at the top of the windows – you could’nt make it up. Gas boiler not serviced from new until our final year there. Free solar energy kept this room warm when the sun was on it – freezing cold later – Tony Bishop take note!

    I always have a laugh when the Brits talk about Spain as if it’s all one climate and especially that ‘it’s’ always sunny, when they should be specific and talk about coastal Andalucia.

    Steve, Estepona – try living behind the Sierra Nevada mountains ( as many Brits do) very, very cold in winter and bloody hot in summer – Guadix,summer, 2009 – 6 weeks of 45/6C.

    Just got off the phone to the estate agents – conversation in Spanish with the son of Galician immigrants – he would never think of living in Spain and neither would his parents ever return home, except for a vacation.

    I see there are lots of Spanish living in Brighton now – and claiming Social Security – British taxpayers – the mugs of Europe.

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