App proposed to help find the cheapest petrol stations in Switzerland
The official price monitor for the Swiss government has recommended that drivers in Switzerland should be provided with an app that shows them where the cheapest fuel is sold. The app could help soften the impact of dramatic rises in the price of fuel.
Huge differences in the price of fuel in Switzerland
Stefan Meierhans, head of the government’s price monitoring office, said that “there is an urgent need to set up an application in Switzerland showing the five cheapest stations in a motorist’s area.” With fuel prices rising following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he said that “consumers need to be able to compare prices in real time.”
Currently, petrol prices in Switzerland can range wildly depending on location. In recent weeks, 20 minuten reported that petrol in Canton Zurich is significantly more expensive than in Aargau, Solothurn and Biel. One report found that a petrol station in Zurich Seefeld was charging 10 rappen (cents) a litre more for fuel than in rural areas of St. Gallen.
Cheapest petrol app already available in Austria
The idea of a “cheapest petrol app” has already been implemented in Austria, with petrol prices updated in real-time. The user simply types in their location on their mobile phone and is shown the petrol stations in the vicinity with the cheapest prices.
In response, the Touring Club of Switzerland (TCS) said that the idea was a good one, "even if setting up a tool that can manage daily price fluctuations will not be simple and will require complex organisation." However, they did say that drivers should not spend more than 15 minutes on a motorway in order to get the best price, as "a lower price of 5 rappen (cents) per litre for a detour of around 10 kilometres is only economically advantageous if you fill up with at least 50 litres."