What day and time is the cheapest to refuel? Certainly not during rush hour, as this exclusive assessment shows.
The most important things at a glance
Gasoline prices are like a yo-yo: sometimes they race down, then suddenly they rise again at high speed. Such a sight happens even several times during the day – sometimes more than 30 times.
During the day, t-online compared prices at more than 14,000 gas stations in Germany: when is the most expensive fuel and when is the cheapest? And how will prices develop on Easter?
This is how prices develop during the day
- Every day, the patterns are similar:
- From 6 to 7 in the morning, that is, during rush hour, the prices are the highest.
- They then descend to briefly rise again every two to three hours. There is a small peak at 9 am, but it is much lower than in the early morning.
- It also becomes more expensive around 12, 15 and 19 hours after rush hour.
- On Saturdays and Sundays, the prices are even the highest in the morning, during the day they are usually more average.
- Between the highest and lowest price per liter there can be a price difference of ten cents or more during the day.
Gas stations are the cheapest these days
Here you can see an overview of the weekly rating for Super, E10 and Diesel. By clicking on the corresponding day of the week, you can see the curve with an exemplary development in detail. Mid-week is best when demand is lowest, especially Tuesdays and Wednesdays:
This is the cheapest time to refuel
Fuel is usually cheapest between 18:00 and 19:00 and 20:00 and 22:00, ADAC also confirms. Do not refuel between 5 and 8 in the morning. At night, there is almost no fluctuation.
The development of fuel prices in the period from March 17 to March 23, 2023 was considered. Such data was provided by the “tankerkoenig.de” portal. Here, information from all gas stations comes through the Department of Transparency of the Fuel Market (MTS-K).
Where does the hesitation come from?
Price trends are mainly related to the price war between gas stations: they try to attract customers with low prices. Above a certain level, it is no longer profitable from a financial point of view – prices rise sharply again, and then begin to slowly fall.
Easter: Then you have to fill
Easter holidays are approaching – and prices at gas stations know only one direction: up. In last year’s t-online rating, they went up, especially since Maundy Thursday. Interestingly, however, while Easter Sunday saw the biggest price swing in the morning at 6am, the Tuesday after Easter is on average the most expensive. Oil multinationals seem to be trying to cheat those customers who deliberately avoid filling up on holidays.
The price of gasoline has already risen significantly compared to last week: according to ADAC, a liter of Super E10 costs 1.802 euros on average in the country, which is 3.3 cents more than last week. In contrast, diesel fuel is only slightly more expensive. The average price per liter is 1.693 euros – an increase of 0.4 cents. However, the traffic club also attributes it to rising crude oil prices.
Tip: It’s best to stock up before the Easter holidays – or well after, ie. at the end of the holidays. And remember that your fueling behavior can help your competition: keep an eye out for low prices. You can also use comparison portals such as tanken.t-online.de.
Why are gas stations on the highway so expensive?
On average, fuel costs up to four cents per liter at truck stops, and according to Andreas Mundt, head of the Federal Cartel Office, you can expect “significantly higher prices” on motorways, where the surcharge can be as much as 25 cents. per liter.
Why is this? On the one hand, it is an operator: “Tank & Rast GmbH” has a concession for almost all gas stations and their gas stations. They are awarded through a bidding process and customers ultimately bear the cost of this award. In addition, service areas are open 24 hours a day – and this also costs money. And, presumably, a monopoly position is also used. However, “Tank und Rast” refutes this and refers to the oil companies, which will set the appropriate prices, writes “Auto Motor und Sport”.
Development of prices for gasoline and diesel fuel
this is the average price of a liter of premium gasoline.