With gas going up, new policy no longer cheaper
BAMBERG, Germany — For the second week in a row, prices at the pump are going up 5 cents a gallon.
But for the last 23 days, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service’s new pricing policy has saved American drivers in Germany and the United Kingdom a little bit of pocket change.
On. Feb. 1, AAFES announced that its new weekly price of regular unleaded gas would be $2.33 a gallon. Under the old policy of setting prices monthly, the price for February would have been $2.44, meaning motorists were saving 11 cents a gallon.
But stateside prices have been slowly creeping upward, and AAFES’ prices have done the same. Saturday’s 5-cent hike will drive AAFES’ pump prices to $2.46 a gallon, the first time this month that prices are higher than they would have been under the old policy.
At the pumps Saturday morning, prices will go up 5.5 cents a gallon for regular, 5.1 cents for super, 5.3 cents for premium and 1.5 cents for diesel, according to an AAFES news release.
One gallon of super unleaded — the only grade carried by AAFES in all countries its serves – now costs $2.56 in Germany, $3.01 in the Netherlands, $2.61 in the United Kingdom, $2.82 in the Azores and $2.56 in Turkey.
In the release, AAFES also announced that prices for all grades, including diesel, were at “floor” levels in the Netherlands, as were prices for premium unleaded in the Azores. “Floor” prices — the lowest possible selling price — occur when the cost of fuel plus dispensing costs is greater than the Department of Energy average plus incremental dispensing costs, the release said.
Even though prices are on the rise, at least one customer doesn’t seem to mind.
“I think the prices are decent compared to the German prices. Americans have no room to complain,” said Will Krauss, head teller at the Warner Barracks branch of Service Credit Union.
Krauss, who drives a 1996 Volkswagen Golf, added, “If you want to complain, go out and buy gas at the Aral down the street for 1.30 euros a liter … or better yet, sell your SUV.”
At Friday’s exchange rate, 1.30 euros a liter is about $6.50 a gallon.