Motorists often leave without paying after refueling

Motorists often leave without paying after refueling

Filling stations are increasingly confronted with motorists who drive off without paying after filling up. SODA reports this, an organization that goes after petrol thieves and defaulters for gas stations. Since March, SODA has received between 350 and 375 reports of ‘drive-throughs’ every week. Process manager Lourens ‘t Hooft states that in a normal week there are about 300.

The increase in the number of defaulters, where the NOS previously reported, is according to ‘t Hooft a direct result of the ever-increasing fuel prices. This is also reflected in the number of people who come to the checkout with the statement that they do not have enough money to pay for their fuel. In such a case it is possible to fill in a IOU and leave collateral, for example a driver’s license. The weekly number of IOUs increased by a tenth this month compared to a normal week, according to SODA.

SODA collects compensation from people who drive off without paying for all costs incurred by the gas station operator as a result of driving away and the amount owed for the fuel. The organization emphasizes that entrepreneurs with a gas station hardly benefit from the increased fuel prices, because they receive a fixed compensation per liter. ‘t Hooft argues that the entrepreneur suffers more damage with the high fuel prices, because all the liters filled up must simply be paid for at the fuel supplier.

According to BETA, the industry association for gas stations, customers have generally not become more aggressive at gas station checkouts. That is what chairman Ewout Klok says. He states that, in many cases, customers are grateful to gas stations because they have lobbied for a reduction in excise duty.

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