Filling stations will be "packed" later this month; Excise tax on fuel returns July 1
The owners of filling stations in the Netherlands are expecting large crowds of customers during the last days of June. That will be the last chance for drivers to refuel at the current rates, before the excise tax on petrol and diesel goes back up on July 1.
The excise duty on petrol, which was reduced last year as a measure to cope with high inflation, will increase by about 14 cents per liter from next month. Diesel will then be 10 cents more expensive per liter. That will quickly add several euros to the cost of a full tank. Another step to gradually phase out the purchasing power improvement measure may follow early next year.
Filling stations are ensuring that the fuel pumps are fully stocked so they can handle the bargain hunters, said Belangenvereniging Tankstations (BETA), which represents independent station owners. The organization's chair, Ewout Klok, expects that the increase in excise duty on July 1 will lead to considerably higher prices. Klok, himself a filling station owner, does not think that filling station owners will be gradually increasing their prices before that date.
"As a consumer you would then feel cheated," said Klok. "It's very smart from a commercial point of view, but the mutual competition doesn't allow for that." Market expert Paul van Selms of UnitedConsumers previously estimated that filling station owners were doing just that.
The association for independent filling station owners said it fears that the increase in excise duty will mean station owners in the Netherlands will lose out on many customers. "Especially in the border area, entrepreneurs are having a hard time. Currently, we were lucky that we were at about the same price level as Belgium and Germany. But now we are pricing ourselves completely out of the market again. It is idiotic that the excise duty differs so much between countries," Klok said.
He also thinks that the higher cost of fuel will also lead to price increases in supermarkets. "Transporting bread and cheese will also cost more. We are a logistics country," Klok explained.