Fuel

France is a large country and it is not unusual to travel long distances without seeing a petrol station.

Just in case you don’t know the pumps are colour coded and Green, Sans Plomb is unleaded. Yellow, Gazole is Diesel.

Whilst service stations on the auto-route network may be a little more expensive than elsewhere they do offer two distinct benefits.

  1. They are always open, day or night
  2. Payment by Credit or Debit Card is a lot easier

Off the auto-route network it is not unusual to find petrol stations that are closed for business especially on Sundays. There are some self-service petrol stations where payment by card is possible, however this can sometimes be a frustrating affair.

Some supermarkets have petrol pumps and their prices are typically a bit cheaper than those of traditional petrol stations. This website, le Prix des Carburants, provides up to date information on fuel prices across the whole of France – most useful indeed.


If you are returning to the UK by car always fill to the brim when you get to your port or the Tunnel terminal as fuel in France is at least 20% less than in the UK. In Calais the Auchan Petrol Station offers the keenest prices 

AUCHAN CALAIS LES 2 CAPS
AVENUE ROGER SALENGRO, 62100 CALAIS Рsee this map for their location You can find that using your debit or credit card may not always be possible. We have  been unable to fathom the capricious nature of fuel payment in France. On some occasions cards will be accepted but subsequent attempts to use the same card at the same establishment can result in a transaction being declined and this has nothing to do with credit limits being exceeded.

If you are travelling to or from ports or the tunnel you would be well advised to make use of the service stations on the auto-route network, they may be more expensive than supermarkets but they tend to accept UK credit cards including AMEX.

If you are driving a hire car we would suggest you check the closest petrol station to the drop off point as most hire agreements require you to return the vehicle with a full tank. 

For your convenience we list the following:

La Rochelle Airport – Total Access, RN. 11 / Sens Niort – LA Rochelle, 17138 Puilboreau
Poitiers Airport – Total 25 Avenue de la Loge 86440 Mign√©-Auxances
FranceNantes Airport – Total Rue Bauche, Periphique
Poitiers Gare – AVIA Boulevard Jeanne d’Arc

If you need to locate petrol stations for any other destination you can use the Total Service Station locator.