Lonely Planet Writer

Free smartphone app helps holidaymakers drive around petrol shortage in France

France currently has 40% or about 4500 of its petrol stations either without fuel or are running at a seriously low level because of strikes.

Smartphone apps tell you the best places and prices in which to get petrol during the current scarcity in France
Smartphone apps tell you the best places and prices in which to get petrol during the current scarcity in France

If you are driving there and need to fill up your tank, there are ways to stop you embarking on wasted journeys.

Over 40% or 4,500 Petrol Stations across France either have no fuel or are running low
Over 40% or 4500 petrol stations across France either have no fuel or are running, which makes the free apps invaluable by giving directions to motorists on where they can locate the nearest and cheapest fuel stations  Image by Nick Bramhall / CC BY 2.0

Fuel apps can mark your card and Essence is the most comprehensive in telling you which of their 10,255 petrol stations are the best to approach.

It will assist you in earmarking the cheapest and nearest station within a distance of 50 metres. Better still, it provides a map and show you how to get there.

Gasoil Now gives a driver two options –the closest and the cheapest in your area.

You can tap on the individual station to getting further information on the cost and types of fuel available. You just need to be wary of efforts at in-app purchases and too many adverts.

The Zagaz app may not be a lot to look at but it has loads of petrol station info, including payment options.

The Stations Service app offers map and list-based information. However while it lists locations, it does not give prices.

Finally, the Mobicarbu app gives searchable details from either a price or location perspective. It is free for a week but  you will have to pay if you want to use it beyond that.

Rationing of fuel has been imposed across large areas of northern France.  To beat the crisis, many motorists  were crossing the border into Belgium to fill up their tanks.

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