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Brands Provide Explanation Over The Petrol Pump Charge

Brands Provide Explanation Over The Petrol Pump Charge

Petrol stations have started issuing £99 earmarked checks to see if drivers have enough funds which has been issued by Visa and Mastercard

Rebecca Shepherd

Rebecca Shepherd

Yesterday, we saw angry drivers ranting on social media over being charged £99 by supermarket giant Asda but reassurance is here.

We can all say thanks to Visa and Mastercard who have implemented the policy.

The money being taken is a 'temporary' charge to make sure we can afford to fill up our motors and it's not a scam - and the money is always returned.


As reported by The Sun, when buying 'pay at the pump' petrol you have to put your chip and PIN in first before the fuel is dispensed into your car.

Due to the how the system works, 'pre-authorisation' checks are taking place - this removes cash from your account which is essentially put to one side in order to pay for what you have used.

Since the scheme first started, most supermarkets would only charge £1 to your account to check for funds, and that money would be refunded once the transaction went through.

But now, thanks to new rules from Mastercard and Visa, petrol stations such as ASDA and Sainsbury's are starting to use a much larger figure. Tesco still has the amount set at £1.


Asda is trialling the figure at £99 in a handful of stores before a wider roll out - which baffled customer Jade Louise when she saw the figure on her account.

Jade slammed the store for the fee which left her £99 down for two to three days, even though she only filled up £5. Other drivers have promised to boycott using the store for petrol after seeing her post.

Similarly, Sainsbury's can charge an earmarked fee from £1 to £99 depending on how much drivers have in their account.

In a statement from Asda, the chain said: "Visa and Mastercard have increased the minimum pre-authorisation amount at pay at the pump petrol pumps for all retailers."

And the UK supermarket claims they don't see a penny of the earmarked charge.

Mastercard argued that the increased rate has been introduced to make sure drivers can't buy more fuel than they can afford.

The company said that if drivers don't have the required funds to meet the high figure, then petrol stations can check exactly what funds the customer has available and then dispense a lower value of fuel.

So they can check we have £4.63 to our names? Not sure we're entirely comfortable with this to be honest.


Mastercard provided a statement in which the firm explained: "Last year a change in industry rules meant that petrol stations with automated fuel pumps were required to pre-authorise a value equivalent to a full tank of fuel, so that customers didn't fill up with more fuel than they could afford.

"This is designed to protect them, and the petrol station. If customers don't have the required funds in their bank account, a further step is available to petrol stations which allows them to check what available funds a customer has, enabling a lower value of fuel to be dispensed.

"While some customers may see a request for a higher amount than the fuel they bought - perhaps on their mobile banking app - these funds are not taken from their account. Only the value of the petrol dispensed is withdrawn."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, supermarket, sainsbury's, Community, UK, Tesco, Asda