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COST OF LIVING

Petrol to top CHF2 per litre in several Swiss cantons

Petrol prices in Switzerland are set to rise to heights not seen for well over a decade, with fuel to cost more than CHF2 per litre in some cantons.

Petrol costs are set to rise in Switzerland. Photo by Erik mclean from Unsplash
Petrol and diesel prices in Austria have hit a record high. Photo by Erik Mclean from Unsplash

On Monday, oil barrels crossed the $92 mark, which will soon result in higher costs at the pump for drivers. Experts expect the prices to continue to rise, with a $100 barrel of oil not out of the question. 

Touring Club Switzerland, the country’s motor authority, registers a current average of CHF1.87 for petrol and CHF1.91 for diesel fuel. 

However, due to rising crude oil costs as well as a variety of other factors, fuel costs are expected to top the 2008 highs of CHF1.99 for petrol and CHF2.27 for diesel. 

EXPLAINED: How does roadside assistance work in Switzerland?

Worldwide increases in inflation, the impact of the Covid pandemic, a slowdown in American oil production and geopolitical tensions have all contributed to the rise in prices. 

OPEC has agreed to increase production, however this is not expected to satisfy these concerns. 

There is likely to be little respite for cross-border workers or shoppers however, with Swiss fuel prices tending to be lower than those in the surrounding countries. 

This is primarily due to lower tax on fuel sold in Switzerland.

Can you save money on petrol in Switzerland, and if so, how?

Petrol distributors and stations compete with each other, which is good news for consumers.

RTS public broadcaster analysed petrol prices at various stations in several regions and found lowest prices at Rasthof Platenenhof station in Gampelen (BE).

READ MORE: Where in Switzerland can you find the cheapest fuel?

Another cheap fuelling option is a few kilometres away, at the Pit-Stop de Boudevilliers in Val-de-Ruz in canton Neuchâtel.

In fact, RTS reported that this whole region benefits from cheaper gasoline due to its proximity to the Cressier-Cornaux refinery and large volume of purchases.

Another low-cost location is in Samnaun, canton Graubünden in the region of Engiadina Bassa / Val Müstair.

The price there is 30 percent cheaper than on the notoriously expensive Lake Geneva region.

The reason for this price disparity is that this community of just over 700 inhabitants is a historic fiscal enclave that does not apply VAT or other taxes.

Other options include EK Automobile in Kestenholz, Solothurn and Tankstelle Fiechter in Teufenthal, Aargau.

But what if you don’t live in these areas?

You can still save some money on petrol if you do your research and know where the best (meaning: cheapest) places are to fuel up in your region.

Here are some tips:

Autoclub memberships often offer discounts on petrol. ACS members and TCS members can save between two and five cents per litre. 

Larger petrol retailers will also often have discount deals, while Swiss supermarkets also offer deals with particular gas station chains. 

Prices are usually the highest on (or close to) motorways, in or near large cities, and at branded chain stations. You can find better deals at smaller, independent stations away from main roads.

However, you should avoid going too far out of your way to save on fuel.  

“A one-cent difference on the price of the litre justifies a detour of  two to three kilometers, at most. Otherwise, the excess consumption drowns the economy on a 50-litre tank”, said TCS’s Erich Schwizer.

One useful website listing cheaper petrol options throughout Switzerland is this.

READ MORE: How can you save on your household energy bills in Switzerland

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DRIVING

Bottlenecks and delays: Which Swiss cities have the worst traffic?

Switzerland may not be known for bad traffic, but there are some frustrating congestion points which can see people lose dozens of hours a year. Here's where it gets the worst.

Bottlenecks and delays: Which Swiss cities have the worst traffic?

TomTom GPS has unveiled its annual statistics for the most congested cities in the world.  

The findings cover 404 cities across 58 countries and focus on which urban areas suffer from the most congestion. 

READ MORE: Which Swiss canton has the worst drivers?

Where are Switzerland’s cities placed?

Fortunately, Switzerland again ranked relatively low from a global perspective, with no Swiss city in the top 70 internationally. 

The findings show that Geneva is the 75th worst city globally in terms of traffic jams, but first in Switzerland.

Drivers in the western Swiss city lose 69 hours each year stuck in bottlenecks.

Zurich follows closely in the 77th place and Lugano in the 93rd.

This TomTom chart shows the congestion level as well as time lost in traffic in Switzerland’s six major cities.

Geneva, Zurich and Lugano are in the second worst category globally, while Lausanne, Basel and Bern are in the third worst. 

Tom Tom uses navigation technology to see where people are moving and how fast, thereby giving an indication as to how much time is spent in traffic. 

While Geneva drivers may have lost the most time on the whole, the highest congestion was seen in Lugano, where a 75 percent rate was hit in the middle of summer 2021. 

Things could be set to get slower in Switzerland, with several Swiss cities planning to cap speed limits at 30km/h

What are the world’s worst cities and regions for traffic?

The worst city in the world for traffic is the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul, which has an average congestion level of 62 percent. 

This is followed by Moscow, Kiev, Bogota and Mumbai. 

EXPLAINED: How does roadside assistance work in Switzerland?

There are three Russian cities in the top ten, with Moscow second, St Petersburg seventh and Novosibirsk ninth. 

There are two Ukrainian cities – Kiev (third) and Odessa (sixth) – and two Indian cities, Mumbai (fifth) and Bengaluru (tenth). 

Western European cities do not feature highly in the list, with Dublin (35th), Palermo (36th) and Paris 37th). 

More information about the ranking can be seen here

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