Refueling stop: At these times of the day you save money when refueling

The summer holidays are getting closer – how can drivers fill up their tanks and save as much as possible? In May 2022, the ADAC observed the price development at the petrol stations. This results in tangible tips on how to keep an overview of the constant ups and downs in prices!


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New trend at the gas station: The highest price is early in the morning, then the price curve for petrol and diesel slides down over the course of the day. It is cheapest between 8pm and 10pm. But in between there are always small jumps upwards, mostly around 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. From 11 p.m. the price skyrockets again.

12 cents less per liter of diesel are in it

The ADAC concludes: “A lot of money can be saved just by choosing the right time to fill up.” If you can, you should only drive to the gas pump in the early morning or – even better – later in the evening.

For diesel, the average difference between the all-time high in the morning and the all-time low in the evening is up to twelve cents per liter! With a 50 liter tank filling, that’s a saving of around eight euros. The price curve is similar for petrol engines, but the peaks are less severe: According to ADAC, the difference here is a maximum of ten cents per liter.

These fluctuations are significantly higher than in the previous year: in 2021, the ADAC calculated a price difference of just seven cents for a liter of petrol and six and a half cents for diesel.

Up to seven price jumps per day

The investigation revealed that there are a maximum of seven upward outliers over the course of the day. This means that the number of price jumps has not increased since 2021. It can be worth waiting just an hour here to pay a few cents less per liter.

Fuel price panel at gas station

The prices for petrol and above all for diesel have risen to hitherto unimagined heights in Germany.

On the other hand, fuel is most expensive at night (when many smaller stations are closed and the supply is scarce) and in the early morning when many people are out and about in rush hour traffic, explains Steffen Bock, founder and managing director of Clever Tanken. But: “Exceptions prove the rule.”

Save when refueling with the Internet, GPS or app

In general, price-conscious drivers should use the internet, navigation system or app to find out which gas station in the area has the cheapest prices. Help with saving fuel is available at, or ADAC, as well as in navigation systems or apps for smartphones, tablets and apple watch.
If you use your smartphone in the car – sensibly via a mobile phone holder (here ten smartphone holders in the test) – you can also find the cheapest gas pump by voice input.

Low price guarantee and discount vouchers for refueling

There are even more ways to save on the Internet and in apps: and the HEM filling stations offer a low-price guarantee for 30 minutes each. Means: For this period, the app user is guaranteed the best price within a radius of five kilometers (details here).

Shell offers a similar price guarantee to its ClubSmart members. In addition, there are often discount vouchers or coupons to discover. This means using common discount portals.

Off the freeway to fill up

Travelers who stop at a motorway petrol station usually have to dig deep into their pockets. In the summer of 2019, the ADAC determined in a Germany-wide price analysis at over 14,000 petrol stations: Those who fill up on the motorway pay on average a good 20 cents per liter more than at petrol pumps in the rest of the road network (21.4 cents surcharge for a liter of Super E10 and 23 8 cents for a liter of diesel). Not much has changed in that respect, on the contrary.

Clever refueling


Fuel price check to the minute

This is how the gas price is at gas stations in the area!

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In other words: Clever travelers with ten minutes to leave the motorway and a 50-liter tank save more than ten euros when filling up with premium petrol, and usually almost twelve euros with diesel.

This also applies to petrol stations near motorway exits, although the fuel prices here are a good two cents higher than in the rest of the road network away from the expressways (there is an ADAC list of petrol stations near the motorway here). However, the ADAC found only small price differences between the individual days of the week.

Refueling abroad: The fuel is cheaper in these countries

When traveling abroad, you should remember that fuel is significantly cheaper in Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland and Luxembourg – more expensive in Denmark, the Netherlands and above all in Italy.

But tank tourism is not worthwhile if the detour is too big. You should therefore calculate beforehand whether the route will eat up the savings again. For this it is important to know the consumption of your own car.

And no matter how appealing cheap fuel prices may be in some countries: an extra trip across the border is only worthwhile in the rarest of cases, especially since it also costs time. The potential savings can be calculated using a detour calculator, for example.

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