Test at ten motorway service areas: On the way on the highway: Here you can recharge your batteries cheaper

Test at ten motorway service areas: On the way on the highway: Here you can recharge your batteries cheaper

dpa/Jens Schlueter A service area is now to be built on the A71. Photo: Jens Schlueter/ArchiveTest at ten motorway service stations: Traveling on the motorway: You can refuel cheaper here

FOCUS Online expert Michael Haberland

Wednesday, 09/09/2015, 07:18

On the Autobahn, gas station operators use their power - and usually charge high prices for fuel and snacks. However, commuters and vacationers can save a lot of money with a few tricks, as a recent test study by the automobile club "Mobil in Deutschland" revealed.

"It's a pharmacy" is a common saying when you have to pay a lot of money for something in a shop and are annoyed about it. Motorway petrol stations can also be “pharmacies”.

You know that it is usually more expensive at the rest stops, but you can only guess how much more expensive. The Automobilclub Mobil in Deutschland e.V. has examined it more closely and found that it is possible to save money on the Autobahn if you accept a small detour - and prefer to drive to a truck stop instead of a Autobahn rest stop.

But first things first: Mobil in Germany has compared prices and services at ten petrol stations and rest areas nationwide, as well as at ten truck stops located directly at the exit that are close to the rest areas.

Geographically, all the facilities visited are on busy holiday motorways: for example the A3 on the Cologne-Erlangen route, the A5 between Frankfurt am Main and Basel, the A7 Flensburg-Füssen, and the A9 Berlin-Munich.


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What was tested?

Only clearly measurable and comparable products to be evaluated, namely those that almost always come into question during a stop: fuels and products from the shop.

The cost of going to the toilet was also taken into account. In July 2014, for example, Mobil created a shopping cart from ten very common products - such as cola, coffee, water, crisps, chocolate and ice cream. Added to this was the price for 50 liters of fuel. In addition, the testers went to the toilet.

In order to arrive at a comprehensible, average fuel price, the prices of the E5, E10 and diesel were collected over a period of five days using several so-called fuel price apps, and from this a daily average price was formed.

What was the result?

There are massive price differences on the Autobahn. There is a whopping EUR 16.09 difference between the cheapest total price for shop purchases and refueling (from EUR 85.52 in the Rheinböllen Autohof on the A61) and the most expensive total price (EUR 101.61 in the Hasselberg Ost tank and rest facility on the A7). .Test at ten motorway service stations: Traveling on the motorway: You can refuel cheaper here

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Where do these differences come from?

When it comes to fuel prices, the big mineral oil companies determine the prices. Here, the individual petrol station leaseholder has no influence on the pricing, neither at the truck stop nor at the service area.

Our tip: Let your passenger search for the cheapest prices on the motorway in good time using a fuel price app (e.g. tankfix.de or clever-tanken.de).

The prices in the shop are no different, although they can be calculated freely. So it is not surprising that there is an amazing difference of 12.18 euros (79 percent) between the cheapest shopping cart (15.52 euros) and the most expensive shopping cart (27.70 euros).

In the shop area, the price differences were even greater than for petrol; on average, the shopping cart at the rest stop was 5.46 euros more expensive than at the truck stop.

The necessities business

Going to the toilet is also a phenomenon. While the visit to the truck stops was always cost-neutral (50 cent fee for a voucher of 50 cents for the shop and restaurant) or even free of charge, the gas station and rest areas always cost 70 cents - of which only 50 cents are reimbursed by voucher.


If you take a close look and are informed, you can save a lot of money on the Autobahn.

About the expert

Dr. Michael Haberland studied business administration with a focus on empirical sciences and information and communication sciences. He is the founder of the automobile club Mobil in Deutschland e.V. and is its president.

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