The price difference to the petrol pumps in Austria causes traffic jams - because Bavarian drivers prefer to refuel there because of the prices.
Passau, for example, is a hotspot.
Munich / Passau - refueling? “Only for five euros, we'll fill it up over there.” A petrol station operator from southern Upper Bavaria, who wants to remain anonymous, is currently hearing such sentences more often. For her, the liter of super costs just more than 1.70 euros. At the first petrol station across the border in Tyrol, a few kilometers away, yesterday it was 1.37 euros. “If everyone does it like that, we will soon no longer exist,” she replies. But usually it doesn't come much more than a shrug.
The steep rise in fuel prices is fueling fuel tourism to Austria.
There are two reasons why the tank filling is significantly cheaper there, as Florian Hördegen from ADAC Südbayern explains.
“The tax burden on one liter of fuel is lower in Austria than in Germany.
And the competitive situation on site is different. ”In other words: In the neighboring country, the profit margin for the mineral oil companies is higher.
“That's why there is a certain interest in people preferring to refuel in Austria than in Bavaria,” says Hördegen.
Fuel prices in Germany: discount campaigns and "hammer price" ads
The consequences of this can be seen in Passau, for example. "Road of Emperors and Kings" is the name of the main route of the tank tourists, which leads over the only inner-city car bridge over the Inn into the Danube Valley. The border filling station, built in 2003 especially for tank tourism, is located in Achleiten. A gold mine with ten gas pumps. The Austrian company is boosting business with discount campaigns and “hammer price” advertisements in the Bavarian press. A dream for German tank tourists. A horror for the traffic-plagued city-center residents.
Also for Manuel Lang.
Sometimes the flush of anger rises in his face when he looks at the conditions in front of his border petrol station on the Bavarian side.
Those who leave the city jam there for kilometers.
“It's no longer worth unlocking on Saturday,” he says.
The traffic jam takes away his last few customers.
And: He constantly reminds him of his lost business.
Tank tourism: Nothing came of Andreas Scheuers' chip card
As a young member of the Bundestag, a CSU politician from Passau named Andreas Scheuer organized a demo in 2004 at the Achleiten border filling station.
He proposed the introduction of a chip card that would allow people living on the border to refuel more cheaply.
But nothing came of it.
The fuel refugees defend their long journeys online.
“Even with a price saving of only five cents, I always go to Austria to refuel.
The vultures in Berlin only see the bare minimum of taxes from me, ”writes one.
"The expensive SUVs and sports cars that drive across the border to save money seem particularly strange," says another.
A Passau Green City Councilor is already considering a city toll for the tank tourists.
The polluted district should then benefit from the income.
Rising gasoline prices: "The consumer is angry - but not outraged yet"
Apart from hotspots such as in Passau or a few in southern Bavaria, the bulk of people still find the fuel journey across the border too expensive, says a spokesman for the German petrol station interest group TIV.
“The consumer is angry - but not outraged yet.” The losses in the border area are noticeable, but not yet dramatic.
"But if the two-euro mark in the fuel price is broken and the difference is permanently between 30 and 40 cents, then we will see massive travel flows," he predicts.
The decisive factor is how the situation on the oil market develops.
From his point of view, the small gas station tenants in particular are suffering from the current price differences.
"The times when a gas station was a gold mine are long gone."
D. Göttler and H. Denk
D. Göttler and H. Denk