We Onetimers visit many casinos every year, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Because those casinos are by no means centrally located and therefore not easily accessible by public transport, a car is almost a must for this. Personally, I drive around 40,000 kilometers a year with the Onetime car. This means that I use around 2,500 liters of gasoline (E10, previously Euro 95) and that costs around € 4,000 on an annual basis. I remember well that my mother used to refuel at the white pump and thus save a few guilders per refueling. I also always pay attention to the gas prices before refueling and as a real Onetimer I have investigated the prices further.Refueling in America
Structure of fuel prices
The price of gasoline consists of a number of components: Margin 10% VAT 17%, the VAT percentage for fuel is 21%, on the total price incl. VAT the share is 17% Production 28% Excise tax 45% Especially the excise duty makes the fuel quite pricey and this is one of the reasons why prices differ so much in the surrounding countries. If the oil price goes up or down, this has only a limited influence on the price at the pump, since the production (purchase price of oil and refining costs) accounts for just over a quarter of the total price. The current fuel prices can be found here. The Netherlands is one of the countries with the highest excise duty, which means that driving a car here is relatively expensive. Fuel prices are much lower in many countries. In the US, for example, a gallon costs just under 3 dollars. Converted that is $ 0.75 per liter. In Dubai a liter costs around 4 AED (dirham), this is around € 0.55. The advantage that these countries have over the Netherlands is that they can extract oil from the soil themselves. The production costs them less, but especially the transport is a lot cheaper. In addition, the taxes in these countries are much lower. In Dubai there is no VAT or excise duty on fuel (you will only pay VAT there from 2018 but only in stores and only 5%). In the US, there are two types of fuel tax: the Federal Gas Tax (by the central government) and the State Gas Tax (by the state). As a result, prices differ per state, just as with VAT. The highest excise duties are around $ 0.75 per gallon. But yes, this kind of fact is of little use to you if, like me, you can drive 40,000 kilometers a year in the Netherlands …In America, gasoline is so much cheaper than in the Netherlands
Cheap refueling in the Netherlands
Nevertheless, with a little preparation and creativity, you can also save on fuel in the Netherlands. For example, fueling along the highway is almost always more expensive than fueling along a local road. Petrol stations at highways have higher investment costs and most motorists do not leave the highway soon. In other words, if you are driving on the highway and you have to refuel, you will soon stop at that more expensive pump. But a good planning for refueling can save just € 6 on a full tank. For example, refueling at an unmanned gas station is a good alternative and you can easily save € 0.16 per liter compared to the national recommended prices. You can find these price fighters everywhere in the country. Many smaller chains also have special action days where the fuel is extra cents cheaper per liter. Often this is on a Saturday and at some gas stations you also get savings stamps and a stamp in your card to have your car washed for free. It is good to know that these actions come from the margin of the pump holders. Nobody benefits from the purchase of gasoline (and diesel) and the purchase price is therefore the same for everyone. Only the Shells, BPs and other premium brands make more margin per liter, where the small or unmanned pumps settle for a very low margin. They hope to compensate for this with the sale of many liters, many very small bits eventually make a mountain. Moreover, more and more premium brands also have unmanned petrol stations. For example, you can refuel cheaper at Shell Express, Esso Express or BP Express than at manned brothers and sisters. Often, however, you cannot participate here in saving programs etc.
Is the gasoline of the same quality everywhere?
The story has been going on for years, even when my mother filled up her car at the white pump: the gasoline at unmanned pumps, white pumps and b-brands such as Tango and Tinq is of lesser quality. Because of this you could make fewer kilometers with a full tank and so at the end of the ride it is not (much) cheaper than refueling, grab it, the Shell. I am actually very curious if that is indeed the case… Let's start with the fact that E10 is a different type of fuel than the Euro 95 that replaced it. E10 has added 10% ethanol, at Euro 95 that was only 5%. No problem for most cars, only older cars can have problems with this. There are European directives that gasoline (or diesel) must meet. In that sense, the gasoline that comes out of the pumps in the Netherlands is the same. However, a (small) difference may arise. There are two reasons for this: all gas stations collect their fuels from a regional depot. In the same city or region, the fuel comes from the same supply. These fuels meet European requirements and no distinction is made as to who purchases the fuel: everyone gets the same thing. There may, however, be small differences between the various depots, so that you do not get the same at every gas station throughout the Netherlands, even if you fill up with the same chain. A Shell in Groningen can therefore provide slightly different gasoline than that in Maastricht, to name but a few. The differences are minimal because they have to comply with the rules. Pump holders can add their own additives. This makes combustion easier, for example, or the engine to be cleaned better. However, that addition is also minimal because here too the standards and rules must be adhered to. Too many additives would dilute the fuel too much so that the octane number of 90 or 95 is no longer achieved, and that is not allowed. In other words: there may be minimal differences in quality, with the pump holder having only partial influence. Yet those differences are so small that you should not be able to notice major differences. If that is the case, then something else is often wrong.The Onetime car with full tank
Refueling across the border
Another option to save on fuel costs is to refuel across the border. If you live near Germany or Belgium, it may be worthwhile to fill your car there. In both countries the price of a liter of gasoline (E10) is around € 1.45 per liter, which is more than 30 cents lower than in the Netherlands. You can easily save € 10 to € 15 on a full tank. Note that the diesel is now more expensive in Belgium than in the Netherlands (because of the pollution tax that is on it), in Germany it saves about 20 cents on a liter of diesel (cheaper). So you can easily calculate that if you for example You have to drive an extra 20 kilometers to refuel across the border, saving you quite a few euros on a tank of fuel. And we also know stories from people who, in addition to their own tank, also fill a number of jerry cans in order to be able to move forward. If you were to refuel in Germany, you can also do your groceries here right away. Many foods but also drugstore items are much cheaper in Germany than here in the Netherlands. In this way you save many euros extra with your ride 🙂 In Belgium you do not have that advantage, the costs for this type of shopping are often slightly higher than in the Netherlands. You can, however, shop for cheap outlets in certain places, which is nice if you need new clothing. You can easily combine your refueling with a visit to Maasmechelen outlet (across the border at Maastricht) or at Bergmans in Lommel (across the border at Valkenswaard). Or you can combine your visit to the pump across the border with a visit to a casino where you have not been and be surprised 🙂
An alternative to (expensive) refueling is plugging, or driving electrically. That is of course not possible with your current car, but if you are considering purchasing a new (second-hand) car, an electric or hybrid car can be an alternative. Then you stand at least less often or no longer at the gas pump. The difference between a 100% electric car, such as the Tesla, and a hybrid is that the latter can still run on fuel. So for long distances or when you cannot charge (enough), you can also run on gasoline. There are also hybrid cars, such as those from Toyota, that charge themselves while driving and so you don't have to plug. As a result, the number of kilometers that you can drive electrically is limited, but it is feasible for everyone to partly drive electrically. Every electric kilometer you do not use gasoline and you are therefore economical. Now we should not expect that 100% electric driving means that you have no more costs. In most cases you pay a certain amount per kilowatt hour at public charging stations. And charging at home is also possible, but you just use electricity, with the associated costs. It only becomes free if you can collect your consumption at home with solar panels (and that requires a one-off investment) or if you only charge with a Tesla that qualifies for it, at a Tesla charging point. For most people this is not feasible, but from Onetime experience we know that electric driving, even if you charge at home without solar panels, is cheaper than having to refuel every time. This often makes up for the higher purchase value.
The moral of this story
We wrote dozens of articles on Onetime to save extra money with relatively easy saving tips. If you put all that money in your special wallet you can do great things and save memories from it. And if you leave the car more often and take the bike, you not only save fuel, but you also get more energy to experience all those extra adventures.