Tesco and Sainsbury’s petrol station rules see drivers charged £100 when using Pay at Pump
Petrol prices: RAC spokesperson reacts to criticism from The AA
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Drivers will be charged a £100 deposit when they go to fill their cars at Tesco and Sainsbury’s Pay at Pump machines. The money will be taken out of drivers’ accounts the moment a card is put into the machine before the petrol station works out the correct fee after the tank is topped up.
Motorists will then see money refunded into their accounts minus what they owed for the fuel payment.
Tesco previously used a £1 authorisation fee, but this will be replaced for the new £99 deposit.
The money will be “ringfenced”, with Tesco confirming money would be released back into drivers’ accounts immediately after topping up.
The supermarket said the changes were being rolled out to help shoppers keep track of their finances.
It comes under new requirements by Visa and Mastercard, meaning self-service pumps can “reserve” a certain amount of money temporarily.
According to Money Saving Expert, if a driver has more than £100 available in their account then £100 will be reserved on their card when they pay at the pump.
The account is only billed for the amount spent and the rest is returned, although this can take some time.
This comes as the AA warns that some drivers may be charged twice when filling up.
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Many drivers are now reporting that they are being asked to pay twice when using self-service pumps.
Most machines cut off at £99 as they refill, but with fuel prices so high, this may become more common.
Analysis of Experian Catalyst data by the AA shows that the price of petrol and diesel rose again yesterday with the average cost of petrol now 191.43 pence per litre (ppl) while diesel flirts towards £2 a litre at 199.05 ppl.
June showed a month of regular price hikes which show no signs of offering relief heading into the weekend.
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Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, said: “With Wimbledon well underway, drivers may be forgiven for borrowing the iconic rant from John McEnroe as they pull up to the pump – You cannot be serious?!
“However, with some reports of aggressive behaviour towards forecourt staff we urge people to channel the zen-like mentality of Roger Federer when refuelling and not abuse staff.
“It is not their fault which is why the AA is directly challenging the Government, retailers and the CMA to find a quick and effective solution.”
A Tesco spokesperson said: “Under new rules implemented by Mastercard, Visa and American Express, we must now request authorisation from your card issuer for up to £99.
“Once you’ve finished filling up, the final transaction amount is sent to your card issuer, and the remainder of any unused funds up to the maximum filling amount will be released back to your available balance.
“We’ll only ever charge you for the value of the fuel you’ve actually purchased,” they told Sussex Live.
A statement on the Sainsbury’s website says: “Under new industry requirements mandated by VISA and MasterCard, self-service pumps at Sainsbury’s Petrol Forecourts will request a £100 pre-authorisation amount before starting the fuelling process.
“This is to ensure that customers have sufficient funds to cover the cost of fuel dispensed.
“Previously, customers had a £1 pre-authorisation taken from their account to confirm that their card was valid before they began to fill up.
“The exact cost of the fuel would then appear on the customer’s account typically one or two days after the transaction, which could make it difficult for customers to track available spend.”
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