Fuel For Members

Why are fuel prices on the rise in Switzerland?

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Why are fuel prices on the rise in Switzerland?
The level of the Rhine river (here in Basel) is a factor in the price of gasoline. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

You have probably noticed that filling up your vehicle has become a tad more expensive recently — more so in some Swiss regions than in others.


After falling during the winter months, petrol prices  in Switzerland are climbing again.

Swiss motorists currently have to pay, on average, 1.90 francs for a litre of unleaded 95 gasoline.

In some regions, however, the price is even higher.

Just as an example, at 2.29 and 2.37 francs per litre, respectively, two petrol stations along the Gotthard motorway in Airolo and Piotta in Ticino are among the most expensive in the country.

Why is there such price disparity?

Several factors are at play.

"The price at the pump is influenced by criteria such as the location of the station (city or countryside, motorway, border area, isolated regions), the rent of the land where it is located, the salary level in the region in question, and the costs to transport the fuel to this station,” according to Touring Club Suisse (TCS) motoring organisation. 

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.


Why have petrol prices increased after dropping at the end of 2023?

There are several reasons for the hike:

Wars in the Middle East and Ukraine

World politics affects the price of gasoline.

In addition to the war in Ukraine, which has been going on for more than two years, the conflict between Israel and Gaza, which began in October 2023, has exacerbated the petrol situation.

In this geopolitical context, the price of oil had exceeded 90 US dollars at the beginning of April for a barrel (159 litres).

Fewer oil exports

The reduction in oil exports has certainly has had an effect on fuel prices at the pump.

As an example, very recently Mexico stopped exporting large quantities of oil, with significant consequences for the global market. 

The franc is weakening

After the Swiss National Bank had cut its key interest rate from 1.75 to 1.50 percent in March, the franc has weakened against the euro and the US dollar.

Remember: while weaker franc is good for the export industry, it is less so for goods coming from abroad — as is the case with gasoline.

Higher cost of freight on the Rhine 

Petrol is brought into Switzerland mainly by cargo ships.

But shipping via this particular route becomes more expensive in summer — when the bulk of transport takes place —because the water level drops.


What’s ahead in terms of gasoline prices?

According to a recent analysis by the Swiss company Moveri, which manages BP, Ruedi Rüssel, and Miniprix service stations in Switzerland, the current price of shipping petrol via the Rhine is 16 francs. 

In 2023, these prices rose to 80 francs during the river’s lowest level.

Based on this data, the price of gasoline at pumps in Switzerland will likely increase further in the coming months.

Where in Switzerland can you get cheaper fuel?

Looking for bargains — or, in this case, least expensive pumps — is a good idea.

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 kilometres, at most. Otherwise, the excess consumption drowns the savings on a 50-litre tank”, according to TCS

This is a useful website listing cheaper petrol options throughout Switzerland. 

READ ALSO: Where in Switzerland can drivers find the cheapest fuel?


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