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Fuels: what deprivation to choose to drive at all costs?


AT Paris, we could see this weekend a panel displaying the extravagant price of 2.51 euros for the SP95 and 2.45 euros for diesel in an intramural service station. In Frankfurt or London, it is hardly better and many furious or fatalistic motorists paid two euros or more for their liter of fuel on Monday, an unprecedented level, a consequence of the war in Ukraine which caused the price of oil to soar. .

Taxis, for example, prefer to stop driving empty, like this Parisian driver, met in a station on the edge of the ring road, who says he drives 200 kilometers a day. “The only thing I can do is limit empty traffic,” says Aziz Brahmi, 38, jaded. “We wait for customers to come to us and we no longer look for them. »

In London, the same phenomenon has been observed: the famous black taxis, which are 10,000 in the capital and run on diesel, prefer to wait at the station.

Colin, a London courier, is also directly affected, with a full tank having become more expensive and income which is not increasing. The 55-year-old now says he prefers “walking rather than continuing to lose money” in the face of English prices, which are close to those of France: 1.61 pounds per liter on Monday in his station, or almost 2 euros.

Fuel prices have been rising continuously for ten weeks: in France, unleaded 95 exceeded 1.88 euros on average last week. The liter of diesel has jumped 14 cents in one week, and now costs 1.8831 euro per liter on average.

But this is only a national average: in Paris or on the motorways, prices already easily exceed 2 euros per litre.

Often diesel now costs as much as gasoline, as in Sweden where prices are the highest recorded in Europe: on Monday, the price of diesel was reported above the record threshold of 25 crowns (2.31 euros) per liter in many stations of the kingdom.

Same mechanical increases in Germany, where a liter of Super E10, equivalent to unleaded 95, now costs an average of 1.827 euros, and diesel 1.756 euros.

Reduce consumption, not kilometers

At the pump, Sébastien Boudineau, a 38-year-old Parisian, looks gray: he has just paid 77 euros for 38 liters of diesel. Living in Île-de-France, “in the remote countryside”, he is employed in an elevator company in Paris. For him, the car is essential. “It’s an extra budget, less money on payroll and above all fewer outings to compensate for this increase”.

Ditto for Abdellatif Helaoui, a 28-year-old paramedic who travels “more than 25 kilometers every day to come to work”. “It’s a budget of around 200 euros per month. So we’re going to deprive ourselves of something else, maybe a vacation. »

For her part, Micheline Pouriel, a 91-year-old retiree, has not yet given up driving but is thinking about it in the face of a situation she considers “catastrophic and insane”. “My mother, she eats on her little pension. We limit our movements as much as possible, but this is no longer enough. If Putin continues and blocks imports of gas and oil, in a few days we will be walking,” adds Philippe, his 59-year-old son.

Some, on the contrary, relativize, as in this station near Frankfurt in Germany. Alexandra Koch, a 37-year-old employee who came to refuel her SUV, says she is ready to take on these successive increases. “If these prizes are the contribution I can make to our independence from Russia, then I am ready to do so,” she said.

The advantage of living in urban areas is that bicycles, buses or trains can replace certain journeys.

“In town, I now take public transport instead of the car, because of the prices. Because an extra 30 euros per full tank hurts, ”says Marco Senfter, 39, bartender, who left his Audi in the garage. But he was able to do it with an existing alternative, which many commuters cannot consider unless they agree to double their journey times.

Thus, Marius Scheidemann, 23, landscaper, keeps his car for his work but tries to switch to a bike for his leisure time… Not to do his shopping, however.

“Otherwise I’m already trying to drive at a maximum of 100 km/h on the motorway”, he adds, a solution which makes it possible to reduce consumption, when you can’t reduce your kilometres.