How do gas stations pay taxes

Petrol and diesel prices: This is how fuel prices arise

The price of petrol and diesel fluctuates - from petrol station to petrol station, from day to day, from hour to hour. The ADAC explains why this is, how fuel prices arise and how drivers can save.

  • Taxes make up the largest part of fuel prices

  • The dollar exchange rate and economic expectations have a major impact on the cost of crude oil

  • During the day, the petrol and diesel prices at the petrol stations fluctuate strongly

Oil companies, petrol station operators, the state: many want to earn money from diesel and petrol - or steer consumption in a certain direction. The latter is the reason for the different energy tax (previously mineral oil tax) from fuel type to fuel type: Taxes make up the largest share of the fuel price out. For gasoline, for example, the energy tax rate is 65.45 cents per liter.

Energy source

Energy or electricity tax

Natural gas (CNG, LNG)

approx. 19 cents / kg

Liquefied petroleum gas

approx. 27 cents / kg (approx. 15 cents / liter)


47.04 cents / liter


65.45 cents / liter


2.05 cents / kWh

In addition, the value added tax due. It is levied on the price of goods and the energy tax. A total of approx. 64 percent of the fuel bill as taxes with the state. With the rest the actual costs for the product from the crude oil source over the transport to Germany and the further processing up to the petrol pump as well as the CO2 tax paid. And of course the oil companies want to achieve the highest possible profit.

How are gasoline prices and crude oil prices related?

In addition to influencing taxesmarket forces the fuel prices. It starts with global commodity trading, which moves depending on the economy, political situation or time of year. Also the current oneDollar rate has a significant impact: Oil is traded almost exclusively in US currency around the world. So if the dollar rate rises in relation to the euro, the prices at the pump often rise too.

At the same time the moves Competition between the petrol station operators - in Germany for example Aral, Shell, Jet or the free petrol stations - the price of fuel. This means that consumers also have a certain influence on the price structure: namely by always heading for the cheapest fuel pump.

How do fuel prices develop over the course of the day?

Gone are the days when motorists could rely on fuel prices to be highest at night and dropping continuously throughout the day and into the evening.ADAC evaluations show that several price peaks of different sizes characterize the course of the day.

According to the evaluation is Refueling between 5 and 8 a.m. is the most expensive. The price then falls, only to pick up again significantly later in the morning. Further price peaks follow in the course of the day. Just by choosing the correct time to refuel can save up to eleven cents per liter.

For Drivers of gasoline cars refueling at the right time is particularly worthwhile. Here the difference between the most expensive time at 7 a.m. and the cheapest time between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. around eleven cents per liter. With a 50 liter tank of fuel, this amounts to a saving of 5.50 euros.

For Diesel driver the same times of the day apply, but since the first price spike in the morning at 7 a.m. is not as extreme as with petrol, the savings are "only" ten cents per liter.

The basis of the investigation was all price movements of the 14,000 petrol stations in Germany in May 2020.

How big are the price differences within Europe?

Car tourists can find out about the fuel prices of the respective holiday or transit countries from the ADAC before driving abroad. The price differences for diesel and gasoline are sometimes considerable. In addition, the prices within the individual countries differ - in some cases significantly - from petrol station to petrol station or region to region. Here you will find current information on fuel prices in Europe.

How can I compare gasoline prices and find a cheap gas station?

With the online tank comparison and the free ADAC fuel price app, the ADAC offers an overview of the current prices for petrol, diesel and natural gas / CNG in Germany as well as information on the fuel market. The prices for the fuel types Super E10, Super and Diesel are reported in real time by the petrol stations to the market transparency center for fuels, from there to the ADAC and then passed on to the consumers. The price information for natural gas / CNG is provided by

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