Czech drivers queue for cheap fuel at pumps near the Polish border

While gasoline prices have traditionally been lower in Poland than in the Czech Republic, the current gap has widened significantly. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 02.10.2023 10:00:00 (updated on 02.10.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

On Sunday, the Polish oil company Orlen made a significant reduction in fuel prices at select gas stations situated along the Czech border, leading to lengthy queues of motorists eager to fuel up.

In Frýdlant, in the Liberec region, both gasoline and diesel were priced at CZK 33.90 per liter, prompting a queue that stretched approximately 50 meters and comprised around fifty vehicles. The Czech Press Office reports that lines went on throughout the day, and similar scenes unfolded at several stations in the Moravian-Silesian region.

Typically, the price for petrol and diesel in the Czech Republic hovers around CZK 40.

In pursuit of discounted gasoline, many Czech residents ventured to neighboring Polish cities such as Opava and Karviná. Gasoline stocks at some stations were reportedly depleted due to the influx of drivers, rendering refueling temporarily unavailable later in evening.

The substantial price drop was primarily limited to gas stations located near the border region. For instance, at a station in Ostrava, a liter of gasoline was still priced at CZK 40.5. Operators have clarified that the price cuts were implemented specifically at stations frequented by Czech residents to prevent potential fuel shortages resulting from the increased demand.

The influx of Czech motorists into Polish border towns led to traffic complications in Opava on Sunday with police officers stepping in to direct drivers.

Cross-border shopping and fueling have become common practices for residents living along the Czech-Polish border due to the lower prices offered in Poland. The recent reduction in fuel prices further intensified the trend, with gasoline being sold up to CZK 10 per liter cheaper than in the Czech Republic.

Czech-registered vehicles were a common sight at Orlen's Chałupka station, the first one across the border into Poland, on Sunday where drivers waited for extended periods to fill up.

Polish media and analysts have linked the price drop to the upcoming parliamentary elections in October, where the national-conservative Law and Justice party is seeking a third term in power.

Reports from Polish publication Gazeta Wyborcza suggest that Czech consumers are benefiting from the pre-election gestures of the ruling party as they flock to enjoy cost-effective refueling in Poland.

While gasoline prices have traditionally been lower in Poland than in the Czech Republic, the current gap has widened significantly, GW reports.

In a bid to cater to the needs of Czech motorists and potentially influence public sentiment ahead of the elections, Orlen's bold move has stirred a surge in cross-border fuel consumption, emphasizing the economic interconnectedness of the neighboring nations.

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