Petrol station dying: There are fewer and fewer petrol stations in Germany


There are fewer and fewer petrol stations in Germany

Petrol station dying: There are fewer and fewer petrol stations in Germany-station

Abandoned gas station: no tenant can survive today just by selling fuel. Money is almost only made in the big shops.

Source: picture-alliance / Bildagentur-o /

The petrol station network in Germany is steadily shrinking. Despite high prices, the tenants hardly make any money with fuel.

D.he petrol station dying in Germany continues. In the last five years alone – from 2005 to 2010 – around 650 filling stations were closed. As of January 1, 2010, 14,410 filling stations were still in operation in this country. The largest petrol station networks are maintained by Aral (2407 stations), Shell (2080) and Esso (1106).

However, the rate of dismantling has slowed. The largest decreases were recorded in the 1960s and 1970s. In the Federal Republic of Germany alone (excluding the GDR), for example, the petrol station network was thinned from 45,849 to 27,026 stations between 1970 and 1980. With reunification, the number of petrol stations rose slightly from 1990 to 1991, but in the meantime, even in reunified Germany, it is well below the level in 1990.

The German petrol station network expanded in 1969, when 46,684 stations were registered. However, the petrol stations at that time had far fewer petrol pumps than they do today and were significantly smaller. While the stations used to make their main income from the sale of fuel and car parts such as windshield wiper blades, spark plugs or headlight bulbs, as well as repairs, by far the largest turnover is now achieved in the shops. Long opening times, a wide range and the mostly convenient location favor the business.

According to Aral, the tenants receive a fixed commission for every liter of fuel sold – regardless of how high the price at the pump is. Today, depending on the oil company, contract and total sales volume, they usually only earn between 0.5 and 1.5 cents on a liter of fuel. The petrol station leaseholders have nothing from high fuel prices, on the contrary. Because if drivers drive less and refuel less, then they also buy less in the shop.

So there is no getting around a well-stocked shop at petrol stations, but space is required for this. And the long-established stations don’t have that to offer. In addition, high investments are necessary for a new building, which only the large oil companies can afford. As a result of this development, free petrol stations have fallen behind, and many have had to go out of business.

In order to reduce costs, the first self-service filling station was opened by the Texaco company near Augsburg as early as 1972. Service stations then gradually disappeared. In recent years, however, some brands have increasingly offered this type of service at special fuel pumps – mostly for a surcharge.

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