All motorists benefit from a 20 céntimo discount per litre. / sur

Filling stations reported for putting prices up before Spain's fuel discount came into force

A consumer association checked prices on 31 March and 1 April and found 230 businesses nationally had tried to get round the measure, which is aimed at reducing costs for motorists and transport professionals. More cases were reported in Andalucía than any other region

ALMUDENA NOGUÉS Malaga

A consumers association in Spain has reported 230 filling stations in 37 provinces in 13 Spanish regions to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the National Markets and Competition Commission for the prices they were charging on Friday 1 April, the day the discount of 20 céntimos per litre came into force.

The FACUA-Consumidores en Acción assocation says the businesses in question had put their prices up by at least five céntimos before complying with the requirement to notify the Ministry of Ecological Transition how much they charged for fuel.

More reported in Andalucía than anywhere else

Andalucía is the region with the highest incidence of this type of cheating, as Facua has reported 65 in all: four in Malaga, four in Almeria, four in Huelva, five in Cadiz, nine in Jaén, 11 in Cordoba, 12 in Granada and 17 in Seville.

Castilla-La Mancha was second (46 filling stations reported), followed by Valencia. Facua also suspects that in some provinces the businesses made an agreement among themselves to raise their prices simultaneously.

Of the 230 filling stations which have been reported, 26 belong to Repsol, then ES Carburantes (12), Farruco SA (10), Cepsa (eight), Galp (seven), MaxOil (six) and BP (four).

Three Agla, Avia and Petronor companies also caught the eye of Facua, as did Ballenoil and Campsa (two each), and one Petrogas and Shell. Another 142 independent businesses have also been reported.

All filling stations had to start applying a 20 céntimo discount on each litre of fuel from Friday last week, and 15 céntimos will be repaid to them by the government. The prices advertised do not include this discount, as it is applied at the moment of payment and should appear on the receipt.