Half of the drivers in the Canary Islands resort to 'low cost' gas stations due to the rise in prices

Customers of a 'low cost' gas station in the Canary Islands on the day the 20 cent bonus came into force, on April 1. Juan Carlos Alonso

Most of them acknowledge that they have been doing so for a short time due to the general rise in costs and inflation

Silvia Fernandez

The rise in the price of gasoline in the last year and a half (filling the tank costs 25 euros more on average) has caused many Canarian drivers to
Stop looking askance at 'low cost' gas stations and also automated calls and resort to them to refuel.

price differences that there can be between a conventional service station and a 'low cost' can oscillate between 8 and 10 cents per liter, which can lead to annual savings for an average consumer of up to
300 euros a month. So many islanders, suffocated by the general rise in the shopping basket and electricity, have opted for these gas stations to save a few euros and stretch salaries that are growing well below inflation.

In the case of the islands,
they are already 50% of the drivers those who choose automatic service stations to refuel, as evidenced by the
study 'Fuel consumption habits in Spain', prepared by Plenoil. This report shows that more than half of the new customers of 'low cost' gas stations have begun to refuel at them “recently” in order to pay less in an environment of higher expenses and loss of purchasing power.

As has been pointed out, it is
the price the factor that moves the canaries to choose this type of service station, according to six out of ten. "The results obtained from this study confirm something that we have already been affirming: the business model of automatic gas stations that seek to offer the lowest possible price is responding to the needs of drivers in Spain", indicates the
CEO of Plenoil, Jose Rodriguez de Arellano.

A price increase in a year and a half of more than 40%

As indicated, it is essential that measures are taken to relieve consumers who are suffering price increases in essential products of their day to day.

Fuel is one of the products that has experienced the greatest rise in the last year and a half. In August 2021, the
gasoline 95 It was at 1,042 euros compared to the 1.5 euros it costs today.
the 98 It was 1,168 euros compared to 1.6 euros per liter today, although the price varies depending on the service station. Finally,
the diesel it was below the euro and today it is almost 1.5 euros on average. This fuel has been one of the hardest hit by the increase in an attempt by the administrations to discourage the purchase of this type of vehicle.

The 20 cents help "insufficient"

The Government implemented the aid of 20 cents per liter that will come to an end on December 31 (see information at the bottom).

In this sense, according to the Plenoil report, close to 70% of the Canaries support the measure, although a high percentage consider that it is "insufficient" and three out of ten consider that it is not a good option and that it should have gone to other types of solutions.

Finally and regarding the
fuel quality offered by low cost gas stations, Arevalo considers the need to "dispel doubts and combat the myths" that exist regarding this. As he explains, his business model is sustained thanks to a tight structure and the
elimination of unnecessary costs that can affect what the customer pays.

"We offer fuel at an accessible price and without sacrificing quality," he says. As he explains, the fuel they are supplied with is subjected to the same exhaustive and periodic controls as the rest of the service stations and carried out by an independent and certified entity.

On December 31, the 20-cent aid ends universally

The bonus of 20 cents per liter of fuel implemented since April 1 by the Government (which covers 15 cents and the remaining 5 are paid by the oil companies) will end on December 31 after several extensions.

On this occasion, and with just over three weeks to go before the date arrives, it is not yet known what changes the Government will introduce to this bonus, although what does seem clear is that it will cease to be universal aid and that it will focus on those groups more vulnerable.

The Government of Spain itself has recognized on more than one occasion that, as proposed, the bonus has served to help higher incomes to a greater extent who, having vehicles with more cylinder capacity, consume more fuel and have received more help.

The third vice president indicated this Wednesday in a statement on RNE and collected by Europa Press that the Government "will modulate" some of the measures and advocated "evaluating" the aid of 20 cents for gasoline and diesel to see "which is the best way to help those who need it most" and prevent it from having a "regressive effect". «The message that indiscriminate aid to the consumption of gasoline and diesel can be regressive comes from practically all organizations and analysts. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate what is the best way to help those who need it most because it is public money and it makes little sense that it is something that ends up benefiting to a much greater extent those who have more purchasing power, "said the minister.

One of the groups that awaits the reissue of this discount like rain in May are professional transporters. In the case of the Canaries, who organized a strike and a demonstration two weeks ago, the bonus is one of their demands along with the tachograph.