European self serve fuel stations

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Wikisnoodle, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Wikisnoodle

    Wikisnoodle Read Only Funster

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    One problem that frustrates us when touring in Europe (approx 4 weeks/year) is that most of the cheaper self serve fuel stations won't accept our Mastercard or Visa card (credit or debit). Is it possible for someone based in the UK to get a card that would work and, if so, who from?
     
  2. ericonabike

    ericonabike Read Only Funster

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    We've only been in France and Belgium but have never had our Halifax Clarity card refused. Which countries are you experiencing problems in?
     
  3. PhilandMena

    PhilandMena Funster

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    I have the same problem with my Caxton card in France. However, my visa card is always accepted and my Caxton card too when their is someone in the booth !

    Unmanned fuel stations are increasing for obvious reasons.

    Not sure what the solution is however.
     
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Pretty unnerving too. A pay station miles from the pump and instructions I can't understand. So I'm wondering whose fuel I am paying for. I often do a €10 note test run just to see if I've got it right.

    We survive, it adds to the fun.
     
  5. scousebird

    scousebird Funster

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    We use our Nationwide credit card, have done for years, never had a problem.
     
  6. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Yep, same here. :thumb: We used a Norwich & Peterborough debit card on the way down to Spain and back this year, with no problems either.

    Cheers,

    Jock.
     
  7. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    This used to be a common problem but is much less of an issue today. I thought the majority of French supermarkets had reprogrammed their systems to accept foreign-issued debit and credit cards; there are still a few where we have had problems though. I carry two credit cards for fuel, both Visa and issued by different UK banks; usually one or other will work.
    Perhaps it would be worth noting the supermarket groups that accept your card, then try to stick to them.
     
  8. Chas17

    Chas17 Funster

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    When we moved to France in 2000 their chip and pin system had been in existence for some years and there were hardly any atm's, self service fuel points and supermarkets that would accept the later technology UK issued cards. If you didn't have a French bank account you had to use the old paper voucher card machines in supermarkets and pay cash for fuel - making sure that you bought it during the hours that the kiosk was manned.
    Fortunately most places are now updates to a common system although we found a couple last year that gave us trouble.
     
  9. BwB

    BwB Funster Life Member

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    Last time I experienced a problem like that was in the '90's. I've noticed, since about 2007, that many of the pump card readers will change the display to English when I use a UK card so things are always improving.

    When it did used to happen to me in the 90's I would hang about until a local came along and offer him the cash in exchange for using his card and they were always happy to help.

    I normally use a debit card so maybe that's more acceptable than a credit card? Just a thought - don't know for sure.
     
  10. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    We only use a Nationwide credit card and haven't had a problem at all.
     
  11. motorhomer

    motorhomer Read Only Funster

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    Me too. My problem was on a Saturday, towing a caravan up to Calais to come home. Almost ran out of fuel, no self service pumps would take my card and as it was Saturday lunch time supermarkets were all closed until 3 (I think).
    Had no choice but to wait for a local and give him cash to put some fuel into my car on his card.

    I have had no problems in recent years though.
     
  12. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    I use a Natwest debit card-only had problem twice in 3 yrs.
    Never let tank drop below 1/4 so no problem looking for another station if there is a problem :BigGrin:

    Mike.
     
  13. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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    We had this problem in October in France at unmanned stations on quite a few occasions. Luckily each time we managed to find a manned station but a couple of times we nearly ran out of fuel. We had Visa, Mastercard and Halifax card non accepted in unmanned stations.
     
  14. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    There are a new breed of unmanned fuel stations, often owned by the large fuel co's, these are not connected to supermarkets. They are increasing as others have said so will create more problems for non French in the future.
    No idea why so much of the country accept UK cards and these don't, but we have come across this with more frequency in the last few years.

    We are fortunate enough to have a French bank card (although our main funds are in our UK account) but prefer not to use that. So to counter this problem there are a few things you can try.

    If you see reasonably priced fuel and are say half full then top us if you are in a region you are not familiar with.

    In the main most supermarkets will accept UK cards when closed, so look for supermarkets hoardings or 'Centre Commercial' sign posts

    In extreme, stop and ask where the nearest fuel station is at whatever price, there are many more than you realise.

    Stay where you are and ask a French person if you can pay them cash (better keep to say 20 or 30 euros max) for them using their debit card for you. That will always work as long as it's not 3am.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  15. Gunner29

    Gunner29 Read Only Funster

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    Have used the CC visa card for past 7 yrs and never had a problem.
    With all the points gained we caimed 4 free nights on CC sites as well
     
  16. mick noe

    mick noe Funster

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    barclaycard visa credit card never had a problem (other than paying the bill when it arrives:cry:)
     
  17. klyne

    klyne Read Only Funster

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    Funnily enough during the Autumn in France I started to use a few self pay fuel pumps through choice as I have found them less busy than the cashier ones. Also for anyone towing or with a motorhome these pumps have easier access both in and out!

    David
     
  18. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Brian in France. all the pumps that you pay the attendant at a booth...you fill with diesel or petrol...take the number of the pump and then drive to the pay booth....the attendant does not allow the other person now stationed on the pump you have just used to take any fuel until you have paid...and self service you pay at the pump......that is why it takes so long in France filling stations:Doh:
     
  19. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    The single pay point self service I was describing was in Italy. We came across a lot of small filling stations with no attendants.
     
  20. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    We have found for the last few years that most will take UK cards. It used to be a big problem back in the 90s though.
    Supermarket pumps always seem to accept UK cards, and these are always the cheapest too:Smile:
     
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