Fuel shortages in France.Hi we are planning to drive

10/11/2022 - 04:31

Fuel shortages in France. 

Hi we are planning to drive down to Italy next Monday.

We are reading about the issues in France with major fuel shortages and just trying to get a sense of how bad it is and if we need to make alternative plans.

We usually travel down via the Monte Blanc tunnel (we have a 20 discount trip pass). 

Thoughts wound be appreciated. 

And any idea about how much extra fuel a vehicle is allowed to carry, we take a trailer so space is not an issue. 






 Normally, I'd suggest the following route down to varallo, but as it includes going through Switzerland you would need 2 vignettes, one for the car and a second for the trailer.  Vignettes cost 40 swiss francs at the border - don't buy from Swiss Travel Service in UK, they add a £20+ handling fee.

If you fill up at the Maidstone services, much of your trip will be covered. 

I don't think you can take extra fuel in cans on either the Ferries or Eurotunnel 

I'd go ......  Calais, up into Belguim near Dunkirk, then on to Luxembourg via the (free) motorways.  Fill up in Luxembourg at the petrol station near the French Border (cheapest around, as prices are set by the Luxembourg government). 

Then down to Metz, Nancy, Mulhouse and into Germany to take the autobahn towards Basle.

Stop at Bad Bellingham services to buy the vignettes, and possibly top up with more fuel. Petrol in Switzerland is significantly more expensive than Germany or Italy.  (There are websites that give European petrol prices if you want to check - https://www.cargopedia.net/europe-fuel-prices .  German petrol is still pretty dear)

Turn off autobahn towards Lorrach, and into Switzerland.  Then on past Lucern and through the Gotthard tunnel.  Turn off motorway towards Locarno and into Italy by  the West Side of Lake Maggiore.  On to Lake Orta and then you are nearly there.

The route won't be much longer, the swing up to get to Luxembourg adds a bit, but it has the advantage of no motorway charges at all, so a significant saving there - making the cost of the vignettes seem minimal

Good Luck

Just checked eurotunnel site.  It says - 

Fuel:The maximum permissible quantity of liquid fuel (petrol, diesel or biofuel) that can be carried in portable reserve fuel containers on board a passenger Shuttle per Vehicle, is as follows:

  • Plastic containers: 3 x 10 litres
  • Metal containers: 1 x 20 litres
  • The total maximum amount is 30 litres.

Had a quick look on 'via michelin' at the effect of going via Luxembourg and GotthardTunnel, as opposed to going direct via Mont Blanc Tunnel.

Seems it takes (in theory ) only about 30 minutes longer, and the overall cost is slightly less,allowing for 2 vignettes.

Of course, the return journey would be 80 swiss francs cheaper, as you already have the vignettes

Latest information......

"The maximum speed for towing a trailer or caravan (up to 3.5 tonnes) on Swiss motorways has been increased from 80km/h to 100km/h. Suitable tyres must be fitted."

Quick update found this website that seems to give stock levels at the petrol stations (remains to be seen if its accurate) 


Have filled jerry cans and hope to make Italy in 1 run if needed.

Seems like years since it was straight forward. Covid, boarder control issues, fuel strikes etc. 

"Have filled jerry cans and hope to make Italy in 1 run if needed."



Make sure they are well hidden in the trailer, in case someone decides their need is greater than yours!!!

Have a good trip