When you start to do your research for your first motorcycle trip to Europe, one thing you will read time and time again is about your card being pre-charged when you are buying fuel in Europe.
What you have read about petrol stations hanging onto this money for days or weeks is a myth.
The petrol stations will pre-charge your debit or credit card a large amount, the same as in the UK. We were in France and Spain at the end of May 2022, and every time we bought fuel, we paid with a debit card.
The cards were authorised to allow us to fill up with either €120 or €140 of fuel, depending upon where we were buying fuel. The BMW R1250GSA was able to take around €45 of fuel each time, but every single time, the petrol station had taken the correct amount from my account.
Read that again: every single time, the petrol station had taken the correct amount from my account.
Prior to this trip, I was working as a van driver for European Van Courier Ltd, making two trips a month from the UK to Holland, Belgium, France and Spain, and the petrol stations never took the pre-payment amount, they only ever took the correct amount for the fuel I had taken.
And this was the same whether I used supermarket filling stations or regular filling stations.
When we returned to the UK, I wanted to share this information on various Facebook pages aimed at UK bikers touring Europe, and the post was denied approval by the page administrators. I can only assume that the subject of buying fuel in Europe, along with the myth that petrol stations will hang onto your money for days or weeks, generates a lot of traffic to those sites so they don’t want you to know the truth. Well here it is. The truth about buying fuel in Europe