Motorists head for the pumps as France winds down fuel subsidies

Queues have returned to France’s fuel stations as drivers rush to capitalise on the last few days of the top tier fuel subsidy. 

A 30 cents per litre subsidy (all taxes and VAT included) on diesel, petrol, liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas has been in force since 1st September, but will come to an end at midnight on Tuesday 15th November.  

After this, the subsidy will fall to 10 centimes per litre; less than the 15 cents per litre break that the French government handed down to consumers from April until the end of August.

The subsidies were introduced by the former French prime minister, Jean Castex, in early 2022 “given the sharp rise in fuel prices and as part of [France’s] economic and social resilience plan”. The price reduction was universally available and applicable to every form of vehicle, from family cars to tractors and fishing boats to construction machinery.  

After eight months of financial relief, the subsidies will come to an end on 31st December, a date confirmed by France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, in mid-October.  

The 20 cents reduction per litre offered by TotalEnergies remains in place for the moment, with no deadline for the end of the company’s “solidarity measures” announced as yet.  

For real time information on where to find fuel and at what price, drivers can consult the official online portal managed by the French government by clicking here.