Gas stations at the border: ‘The Netherlands must follow price reduction’

Gas stations at the border: ‘The Netherlands must follow price reduction’

The Dutch are not yet opting en masse to refuel in cheaper Belgium and Germany, now that petrol prices are rising rapidly. Filling stations near the border warn that this could happen if Belgium and/or Germany lower prices and call on the government to follow suit.

According to the Petrol Stations Association (BETA), since fuel has quickly become more expensive due to the war in Ukraine, no clear change has been seen. The fear is that this will happen if Belgium decides to intervene in fuel prices. The Belgian government is looking at possibilities to curb the rapid increase in fuel prices. “Then we can’t stay behind,” said BETA chairman Ewout Klok. “That would be a drama for the gas station owner in the border region. They are empty.” According to him, it can be seen at the pump that the Dutch ‘spend much less money due to the loss of purchasing power’. “In the last two weeks we have seen an increase in people driving consciously. The pumps are less busy.”

Tamoil, with 225 gas stations in the Netherlands, already sees that gas stations further away from the border are starting to get heavier. At pumps located 5 to 15 kilometers from the border, you can see that slightly less fuel is being sold there. “We only see that to a limited extent closer to the border. We had already lost those people,” says Ronald Kempen, director of Tamoil Netherlands. De Haan, with gas stations throughout the Netherlands and in the border region, also hopes that the government will intervene. “That will be positive for us and especially for consumers,” said a spokesperson. “The consumer is the biggest victim, but our margins are also shrinking.”

Wim van Gorsel has a Shell pump in Rilland, Zeeland, near Belgium. He also sees no difference with the situation before the war. “But we have not heard of a level playing field here in the Netherlands for a long time. If you hear that they do think about freezing prices in Belgium, if this does not happen in the Netherlands, it will of course be drama.” Several gas stations in Belgium say that the number of Dutch cars there has not changed noticeably in recent times. “Refueling has also become much more expensive here”, says a gas station in Lommel with the name Van Raak.

big differences

In Belgium, a government service sets a maximum price for fuel, which on Tuesday was €1.95 for a liter of E10. According to consumer collective UnitedConsumers, the average recommended retail price for E10 in the Netherlands is now €2.48. Germans paid an average of just over €2 per liter on Monday, calculated motorists’ club ADAC.

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