According to fuel price comparison site Carbu.com, the average price of unleaded petrol on forecourts across France has risen by more than €0.10 in the past week alone and more than €0.18 in a month; while diesel has jumped nearly €0.20 over the past seven days – and over €0.25 in a month.
Check out this interactive map to find the cheapest fuel in France
For many in rural France, where public transport is poor, running a car is essential and the price hikes have already started to make a painful impact on their wallets.
It is expected that fuel prices will continue to rise as the effects of the war in Ukraine and the EU sanctions become more evident, with some predicting prices at the pump of €2.50 per litre.
In January, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the government would increase financial help for people who drive for work, with a tax break under a scheme known as the indemnité kilométrique, while a one-off €100 ‘inflation payment’ was announced in October and paid out in December to some 38 million people.
But, with the cost of fuel rising, the government is now considering further measures pending a hoped-for increase in production from other countries.
The 2018/19 ‘Yellow Vest’ protests began as a complaint at the price of petrol, which at that time was selling for well below €2 a litre.
In his first Presidential election rally, Emmanuel Macron promised ‘quick measures’, and hinted at some of the plans that will come into effect as part of the government’s ‘Economic Resilience Plan’ to offset some of the effects of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
“What we need to improve is the support on fuel,” he told the 200-strong audience at a town hall event in Poissy. “There will be a fuel part [in the resilience plan]. It will be strengthened in line with the mileage allowance. It will be worked around the mileage allowance and inflation allowance.”
Prime minister Jean Castex is expected to announce full details of the plan by ‘mid March’.
Tax cuts, demanded by some, have for now been rejected as ineffective. Taxes currently make up about 60 percent of the forecourt price in France – but reducing them would cost the government hundreds of millions of euros, without making a marked difference. Even a simple €0.01 cut at the pumps would cost the government €0.5 billion, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire claimed recently.
“It is very costly for a result that French people won’t even notice,” he said.