Germans flock to Poland to fill up on fuel after Polish tax cuts see German prices undercut by up to a third

By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

Poland has witnessed a significant rise in petrol tourism from Germany following a decision by the Polish government to lower its fuel tax from 23 percent to 8 percent, it has emerged.

According to the German tabloid Bild, authorities are expecting traffic jams at the border, especially this weekend as savvy consumers rush to Polish petrol stations to fill up.

A driver can now refuel for only €1.14 per liter in Słubice which is right across the Polish-German border. Even as early as Tuesday there was much more traffic at petrol stations in Słubice than usual.

One employee at a Circle K station told reporters that there had been 20 percent more customers recently and that a 100 percent increase was expected during the weekend.

Meanwhile, Bild warned that the heads of German petrol stations such as Stephanie Wellnitz-Kuhrau from Frankfurt (Oder) were feeling the impact of the crisis.

“The current situation heavily strikes against German stations. I was already forced to adjust opening hours because people rarely fuel up after 6 p.m.,” she said.

Wellnitz-Kuhrau pointed out that on one hand Poland has lowered VAT on fuels while on the other, Germany has introduced a tax on Co2 emissions which impacted German petrol stations.

Polish stations, meanwhile, have been tempting German drivers with attractive prices. A liter of Super fuel in Poland is currently around €0.50 cheaper than in Germany. Only those who are close to the border in Germany, however, save money when traveling to Poland.

According to Bild calculations, the refueling of a 50-liter tank is cheaper by €25 in Poland. In the case of an additional 20-liter tank, one can save as much as €10.

The German workshop industry and North-East petrol station association has forecasted that petrol tourism in the Polish direction will significantly increase once more.

The association has warned of “catastrophic” consequences for stations in the border region. There are hundreds of petrol stations on the border with Poland which currently worry about their future — up to 70 percent of customers have abandoned the stations.

Meanwhile, the German Association of the Automotive informed on Wednesday that the average price of a liter of petrol in Germany was at a record high of €1.71 — the previous record was in 2012. Diesel has also hit a record high with €1.64 per liter.

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