LOW COST petrol stations in Spain are taking advantage of large companies like Cepsa, Repsol, and BP reducing or even withdrawing discounted prices of around 10 cents per litre.
The big operators are concentrating on loyalty and discount schemes including fuel price cuts- for example if customers take out home energy deals with them, but BP say they will be running reductions of up to eight cents a litre into the summer.
The policy change has come over the Easter holidays with the National Association of Automatic Service Stations (Aesae), calculating that the average price difference between its gas stations and traditional ones is 15 cents per litre this week.
It also gives its members a chance to increase income after the big operators came close to matching their prices in some parts of the country.
Aesae, which includes firms such as Ballenoil, Petroprix, or BonArea boasts that the difference in prices in the different regions ranges between ten cents and 18 cents for both 95-octane and diesel, based on figures from the Ministry for the Ecological Transition.
Navarra offers the biggest savings for 95-octane customers with an average difference of 19 cents between automatic and traditional gas stations.
The Basque Country offers the greatest difference in diesel, with a gap of 18 cents per litre.
Aesae president, Manuel Jimenez Perona, said: “You can see a direct relationship between where automatic gas stations are and the price differential of the different communities.”
“In the case of Navarra and the Basque Country, where automatic stations have a smaller presence compared to the rest of Spain, we’ve found that the difference in price is very high, due to the lack of competition that traditional stations have.”
The organisation maintains by shopping around, an average driver can save about €20 when filling up over Easter.
The regions with the lowest difference in gasoline prices 95 are Murcia (10 cents), the Balearic Islands (11 cents) and Castilla-La Mancha, Asturias, Castilla y Leon and La Rioja (13 cents).
With diesel, Catalunya (10 cents), the Balearic Islands (11 cents), Murcia, Aragon and Asturias (12 cents) are the ones that offer the least difference, according to Aesae.
It’s members boast a much lower cost structure than traditional filling stations which allows them to pick their own wholesale fuel supplier to get the best prices.