A Cepsa filling station. / R.c.

Petrol trade war kicks off in Spain as government's fuel discount ends for many drivers

In an effort to stop motorists switching to low-cost filling stations, Repsol and Cepsa are extending their own discount schemes

CLARA ALBA MADRID.

In response to this week’s announcement by the Spanish government that the 20 cent per litre discount on fuel will no longer apply to everybody (it will only apply to certain professional sectors from January), a trade war has begun between major fuel companies. This is because they want to keep their clients, and are keen to dissuade them from using low-cost filling stations instead.

In fact, the latest bulletin from the EU, published on Thursday, showed that the price of petrol has returned to levels close to those before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, after falling 1.57% this week to 1.565 euros a litre. On 7 February, it was 1.559 euros.

The price of diesel has also dropped for the ninth consecutive week, to 1.643 euros. The cost of both types of fuel is now far below the peaks they reached in the summer, when petrol was 2.141 euros per litre and diesel 2.1 euros, but they are still 5.81% and 21.97% more expensive than a year ago, respectively.

Despite this, households are still being hit by high inflation and will be seeking the cheapest prices, while major fuel companies want to recuperate their share of the market from low-cost filling stations.

Discounts and benefits

Repsol plans to extend its own discount of 10 cents per litre on all types of fuel for clients who use its Waylet payment app between 1 January and 31 March 2023, while Cepsa will extend its extra discount during the first quarter of next year to 12 cents. Since April it has been offering a discount of 10 cents, but is now adding and additional two for customers who fill up with premium fuels from its Óptima range.

All individual Cepsa customers who use its free Porque Tú Vuelves programme will obtain the discount directly by providing some type of identification (card, app or ID document), while professional customers who have joined its Starressa Direct programme will receive up to 12 cents discount per litre of fuel.

The company says that between April and December this year more than 12 million clients have benefited from these discounts.