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Credit Card and French fuel pumps

5151 Views 15 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Penquin
I wonder if anyone who has used a UK credit card to obtain fuel from the credit card controlled pumps in France can 'talk' me through the process, please.

When we came back 4 weeks ago we were catching a late ferry and went for fuel to the Auchan near Boulogne.
I tried to use the card controlled pumps, was unsure of the system and eventually aborted the attempt. I had expected there might have been a way to switch the instructions to English but didn't see one.
I had enough to get to Sainsburys near Folkstone so wasn't running low but would like to know the method for the future.
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Hello Gillian

from what I can remember

card into pump

asked for PIN

entered pin and was allowed a limit of €68

card was returned

Filled tank - €59

receipt printed for this amount and that is what was charged to the account

I'm sure I was able to select the language and it was at Intermarche
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I also used one of these in Northern France about four weeks ago and it gave a limit of €100, which was more than sufficient. As I remember, I put the card in, the machine talked to itself for a bit and then gave a french text which mentioned a number, so I put the PIN number in. It didn't actually seem very impressed with this and shortly afterwards gave a different text also mentioning a number, so I put the PIN in again. It seemed to be satisfied with this and let me pump the fuel. Afterwards I got the card back and a receipt. Sorry, I can't remember which supermarket.

I think the key thing is when it has a talk to itself, you sort of think things are working and just have to wait until it satisfies itself about your card. No doubt these things take longer because of the need to contact the UK to check the card.

I have used a similar system in the UK and that worked quicker.

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They do vary from place to place. When you insert the card at my local supermarket it first asks which fuel you want - type the number for gazole (diesel) - then it asks you to confirm your choice - then it asks for your code (PIN) - then it comes back and shows you how much you can fill up with. Take your card out and fill up.

Hello Gillian,
Do not rely on using a UK card in French automated fuel pumps. All the supermarkets and 24 hour stations around us in Normandy ONLY accept French CCs.

i used my debit card in france,belgium and holland last week they changed to english text as soon as put the card in
Whenever we have used automatic card reading pumps they have always given English text instructions and on occasions shown a graphic video of the instructions.
If the pumps accept UK cards it should, but not always, allow you to change the language.

It will ask first which type of fuel you require - press the appropriate button and then press the green V (validate).

It will then ask for your PIN, again after entering your PIN press V (validate).

It will then ask if you want a receipt, press V if the answer is yes.

Then it will tell you how much fuel you can have at that pump.

The above instructions seem to be general on all the pumps we have used over here but we can't speak for all of them. If you are struggling then people will be only too willing to help, just ask.
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I agree with Randonneur, we recently bought fuel at SuperU, HyperU and L'Eclerc using automated pumps with a nationwide debit card. Some asked the language before inserting the card, some after, some just print the instructions some talk to you but they are all very similar.
raynipper said:
Hello Gillian,
Do not rely on using a UK card in French automated fuel pumps. All the supermarkets and 24 hour stations around us in Normandy ONLY accept French CCs.

The Intermarche we used was at Berniers sur Mer and the UK card was OK :?

Slightly off topic, but on one of my Italy trips I had an incident where the card would not work, so I gave cash to the chap in the queue behind me and used his card. I think it was the Shell service station in Luxembourg. I have used the BP @ Capellen since then.

Thats very helpful as I did it wrong last time I tried.

However at what stage should you remove the nozzle from its holder? I did it first but should it be AFTER the machine has read the card and given the ok to dispense diesel?
Thank you all for your help.
We have been going to France for over 30 years but have always planned our journeys so that we take on fuel at times when the kiosks are open. It's not normally a problem.

This last trip we altered our return ferry plans during the course of the homeward journey leaving us to fill up after kiosk closing time.
It really upset me :cry: having to pay £1.04 a litre in Folkstone as against 94 cents at the Auchan outside Boulogne where we normally do our last fill before we get home.

If similar circumstances arise it's nice to know we can try the card pumps again with more confidence.
I have used L'eclerc, Super U and Hyper U and all the infomation seems spot on.

The added bonus that I had was whilst the best exchange rate I could get in March was 1.02 euros, after filling up and getting my statement from my Credit card company..I was getting 1.06 and 1.08. No other charges are levied. It was a Mastercard...AA.....Automobile Association.

With a bit of luck fuel by CC will be better again now the pound is going up slightly against the Euro.
French auto petrol pumps

Hi everyone, I live in France, The French don't normally use visa credit cards as we do in the uk,
They use CB cards, its a visa/mastercard debit card. most of the major petrol outlets are changing and accepting UK cards but it is a hit or miss.
usually if you insert your card you will get a choice of language, if not , it wont take your card,

best to do a dummy run at the pumps before you are caught out.
We filled up several times last week including at automatic pumps and only had a problem with one card, changed to MasterCard and worked quite OK.

Used L'Eclerc as main source as their fuel was cheapest €0.929 per litre c/w €1.12 elsewhere.

Found it essential to leave nozzle in pump unitl told to start dispensing, instructions usually in English, although had to select at one station. Limit was €99 - more than enough!

Enjoy your trip, we did and will be back again in six weeks!

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