UK drivers warned of major petrol and diesel shortages in France

Woolwich resident says petrol prices are 'astronomical'

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Latest tracking of fuel availability shows that more than a quarter of petrol stations have run out of one type of fuel or completely. It comes after strikes at French refineries have tightened supply and led to queuing at forecourts.

Around midday today, of the more than 11,100 fuel stations in France, 2,183 were completely out of fuel and 1,160 had run out of one type of fuel.

Because of this UK drivers are being advised to fill up their tanks before leaving the UK.

The AA has also urged motorists to consider using eco-driving techniques, such as moderating their speeds and leaving more room between them and the vehicle in front to reduce braking and accelerating.

They added that a full tank will likely give them 350 miles or more travel, which should hopefully reduce the need to search and queue for fuel in France.

Meanwhile, the tighter supply of road fuel because of the refinery disruption is combined with increased oil prices to push up the market value of petrol and diesel. 

This was reflected in higher UK wholesale prices last week that will likely start to push up pump prices.

Luke Bosdet, the AA’s fuel price spokesperson, warned drivers of the chaos they face at the pumps.

He said: “In this country, it is hoped that the fuel trade’s lag in passing on previous cost reductions to customers, supermarkets taking longer to pass on price increases than fuel company sites and, hopefully, a resolution of the French strikes will soon ease the pressure on UK road fuel costs.”

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Strikes are ongoing in France as refinery workers are protesting for better pay and a share of the companies’ high profits.

Workers at TotalEnergies are seeking a 10 percent pay rise, with strikes going on for almost two weeks.

Three of Total’s refineries are currently blocked, including its largest in Normandy, The Guardian reported.

Maps of forecourts across France show a sea of filling stations hampered by the strikes, with many showing partial or complete shortages.

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Many of the shortages are centred around major metropolitan areas including Marseille, Nice and Lyon.

Fuel stations around Paris are facing the worst of the impact, with most forecourts around the capital not having any fuel at all.

According to French data, drivers looking to fill their tank with E10 petrol will face charges of €1.66 (£1.45).

Despite the fuel shortage issues, prices are still lower than in the UK, with diesel drivers looking to pump B7 will be charged €1.89 or £1.65.

In March, the French Government announced it would be cutting fuel duty in the country by 15 cents (13p) per litre to help drivers cope with the cost of living crisis.

This was then increased to a 30p reduction in September in response to the global rise in price of oil.

It will change again in November when the discount will be reduced to 20 cents until the end of the year.

Some fuel retailers, including TotalEnergies in France and BP Spain, have price reductions worth up to about 33p per litre.

Drivers can check the availability of petrol and diesel around France using the fuel shortage website.

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