Anyone who drives in Germany at the moment will be aware that fuel prices change frequently during the course of the day. A recent study by the German Automobile Club (ADAC) showed that people who fill their cars in the evening can save on cash.
In July, the ADAC found an average difference of 12 cents per litre between the peak in the morning rush hour and the evening hours. The cheapest time to get fuel was between 9pm and just before 10pm.
This year, the ADAC repeated its annual May survey in July to track the development of fuel prices over the course of the day.
The decision to repeat the study was due to continued turbulence on the markets as well as the German government’s three-month tax cut on petrol and diesel. It meant that the typical development of prices was called into question, according to experts.
But in their repeat study this summer, the ADAC found that not much has changed in the fluctuating daily prices of fuel.
Typically, costs rise from around 5am to the morning peak at about 7am. In July, prices for both diesel and E10 were then eight cents higher than the daily average.
From this peak, the price curve for both fuels then runs downwards in waves.
From the early afternoon onwards, the price is typically below the daily average. From shortly after 4pm until shortly before 10pm it’s at least two cents lower with slight fluctuations.
If you fill up shortly before 7pm or between 9pm and shortly before 10pm you can save more: up to four cents compared to the daily average. At night there are barely any price changes for filling up the tank.
The 12 cent difference between E10 and diesel is comparatively high. Since 2015, the ADAC has conducted the survey once a year in May. It has never found a greater difference between morning and evening for E10, and only once before for diesel: in May of this year it was an extraordinary 17 cents.
It comes as Germany’s fuel tax cut is set to expire at the end of August. The government brought in the measure for the months of June, July and August as part of a package aimed at providing some financial relief during the energy crisis.