Relief for motorists: how the tank discount should work



Status: 05/13/2022 3:42 PM

From June 1, the federal government wants to lower the energy tax on fuel prices and thus exempt drivers. The Bundestag discussed this issue today. Answers to some questions.

By Till Booker,

In response to rising fuel prices, the federal government wants With their relief package Drivers in Germany are also exempted. For the first time today, the Bundestag is discussing a traffic light coalition plan to cut energy taxes for a limited period of time.

Where are the fuel prices currently?

Since the beginning of the Ukraine war, prices for gas stations in this country have experienced sharp fluctuations and have sometimes been more expensive than ever. By mid-March, the price of the Super E10 had risen by about 45 cents per liter to as much as €2.19, according to ADAC information. For a liter of diesel, drivers had to pay 2.29 euros, about 65 cents extra.

In other words: with a 50-liter tank of the Super E10 filled, that would have meant a price increase of about 23 euros, and diesels by more than 32 euros. Since those hikes, gasoline and diesel have given up about half of their growth by mid-April – but a continued decline doesn’t seem to be in sight.

Because according to the ADAC, a liter of Super E10 costs the national average Meanwhile again more than 2 euros – upward trend. Drivers currently have to pay an average of €2,029 for a liter of diesel. According to EU Commission data, fuel prices have risen since the Russian attack Nowhere in the EU has the rate of increase increased more than in Germany. It is still much higher than the level of the previous year.

What is a fuel discount?

According to the plans of the federal government The energy tax will be reduced to the European minimum for a period of three months from 1 June. According to SPD, Greens and FDP calculations, this would make gasoline 29.55 cents per liter cheaper. With a liter of diesel, drivers can save at least 14.04 cents. Coming in, this would be roughly 15 euros for 50 liters or seven euros per tank.

What is the fuel price made of?

Prices at a gas station consist of several components. On the other hand, market forces determine how deeply drivers dig their pockets. An important factor is the purchase price of gasoline and diesel, which depends on the prices of raw materials and therefore on the economy or political situation. The dollar rate is also important: since oil is traded almost exclusively in US currency around the world, prices rise at the pump when the rate rises against the euro.

In addition, there is the coverage amount, which includes additional transportation, storage or processing costs as well as the profits of mineral oil companies. It also includes the carbon dioxide tax, which was increased again at the beginning of the year. The competition between gas station operators such as Aral, Shell and Jet also plays a role.

On the other hand, a large portion of fuel prices go to the state: According to the ADAC, about 48 percent of the gasoline bill ends up in the public purse, and about 39 percent for diesel. The energy tax is currently 65.45 cents on a liter of gasoline and 47.04 cents on a liter of diesel. In addition, value-added tax (19 percent of the selling price) is applied.

How is all this supposed to be dealt with?

With this measure, the federal government targets the energy tax as a consumption tax. As an indirect tax, it is designed to be passed on to consumers by taxpayers – that is, gas station operators. According to the Traffic Lights Alliance, the temporary tax cut means that passing it on to consumers entirely also allows for a corresponding reduction in prices and thus relief for citizens and the economy.

It expects that prices at petrol pumps will not drop immediately after June 1, but only with a delay of a few days. According to the state, the tax cut, which is limited to three months, will cost the state 3.15 billion euros. At the same time as the reduction by the end of August, this should also be the case Nine Euro Ticket Work in local transportation.

ADAC expects a rush to the pumps in the early days of June. Sometimes there may be longer waiting times and queues at gas stations. If you want to avoid this, you don’t have to be on the road with the last drop of fuel until you are able to respond more flexibly to the situation at gas stations, the Automobile Club advises.

Are there criticisms of the plans?

There are criticisms of the tank opponent from many sides. The leader of the left-wing parliamentary group, Dietmar Bartsch, recently described the planned cut in the energy tax as insufficient. Instead, the energy tax should be suspended completely “as long as prices are at an unacceptably high level”. Furthermore, it is the duty of the federal government to stop the “price gouging” and “takeover mentality” of oil companies.

Michael Hauther, director of the German Economic Institute (IW) criticized This relief is granted regardless of need. In addition, there is no guarantee that the tax credit will actually reach the consumer. Economics Achim Troeger described the cut in the mineral oil tax as “very harmful and not targeted from an incentive standpoint”. “The FDP has prevailed, which has apparently been compensated for by waiving the tank discount,” he said recently.

In March, Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) proposed a state fixed-rate fuel subsidy, Which caused quite a stir – even among prominent economists. People with higher incomes can benefit more because they own more cars and drive longer distances. In addition, the tank discount makes fossil fuels cheaper and interferes with climate protection. “We need the mitigating effect of higher prices on demand,” confirmed Veronica Grimm, a member of the German government’s economic advisory board.

Do high prices really affect driving behavior?

In fact, compared to the beginning of the year, according to an ADAC survey from the end of April, a German sometimes abandons the car every second to save energy and money. This was stated by less than a quarter of the more than 1,000 respondents Nothing to change at all.

Due to the Ukraine war, the Automobile Club has recently Nearly 21 million of its members have called on to save fuel. They should check if they can use local public transport or the council more and drive more fuel efficient, according to an open letter from members of the presidency, Christian Reinecke and Gerhard Hillebrand. In addition to the goal of reducing Germany’s dependence on Russian energy imports, lower demand could also have a mitigating effect on fuel prices.

What advice does ADAC offer?

In the survey, 60 percent of Abu Dhabi Airports Company members stated that they had succeeded in reducing fuel consumption through fuel-efficient driving. In order to reduce diesel and gasoline emissions, experts suggest a number of measures – such as Speed. However, proactive and consistent leadership is also important. This reduces consumption by up to 20 percent.

Experts also give advice on how to save on petrol pumps: by choosing the cheapest gas station and filling it up in time. Drivers should compare fuel prices before filling up. For example, if you fill up at a gas station on the highway, you usually pay more than 20 cents per liter.

In addition, there are significant price variations throughout the day. According to a recent ADAC study, fuel is generally cheaper between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. and between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. This alone can save up to seven cents per liter.

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