Drivers are furious at Tesco over big change at supermarket's fuel pumps | The Sun

DRIVERS are furious after discovering a big change at Tesco's petrol stations.

It comes as one driver discovered that they'd been charged £120 after filling up with just £15 worth of fuel.

Scott, had visited an Esso Tesco in Manchester this week, and paid at the pump.

But after checking his account later that day, he was shocked to find £120 had been taken, according to Manchester Evening News.

Unable to contact his bank, Scott decided to drive back to the petrol station and claims it was only then that he spotted a sign inside the shop warning customers about the charge.

A sign at the cash desk said: "Please note, paying at pump with your card will automatically charge £120 then refund the difference back to your account from your fuel total."

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It comes after Tesco upped the pay at pump charge in line with Visa and Mastercard requirements back in October from £99 to £120.

This ringfences cash to cover the cost of the fuel and then the actual amount is taken later.

The checks are in place at several supermarkets and are there to make sure customers have sufficient funds in their accounts to cover the cost of the petrol.

The charge is meant to be returned immediately after the customer has paid for fuel, but in recent months some say they have waited several days.

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The measure – where a temporary hold of £120 is applied to a customer’s account – is intended to stop people driving off without paying for fuel, or filling their car with more than they can afford.

Tesco said the new system was due to Visa and Mastercard’s payment rules and that the £120 should be returned immediately after sale.

Back in 2021 the retailer first changed the way it sold fuel at a small number of forecourts – which involved "reserving" £99 in customers' accounts when they paid at the pump.

Before that, Tesco only reserved £1.

Tesco said if a customer does not have £120 in their account, the pump will tell them how much they have available and allows them to refuel up to this amount.

Asda and Sainsbury's still only pre-authorise £99 and £100 respectively.

Shoppers wanting to avoid a pay at pump charge should pay at the petrol station cashier.

A spokesperson for Tesco said: "Following discussions with Visa and Mastercard, we confirmed last year that we would be changing the way customers pay for their fuel at a small number of our forecourts.

"With these changes, the customer’s bank will now pre-authorise £120, with the unused amount released back to their account immediately."

"This change is now in force across all Tesco petrol stations. But if a customer doesn't get the refunded amount immediately they should contact their bank as a first port of call."

This is not the first time Tesco has come under fire for price increases on the forecourts.

How can I cut fuel costs?

There are ways to save an extra 5p per litre if you sign up for major supermarket loyalty schemes.

Esso has partnered with Nectar for its loyalty scheme and you can get 5p off a litre when you swap 300 Nectar points.

Drivers with a BPme rewards card will get one point for every £1 they spend in-store or on a litre of regular fuel at a BP garage.

Motorists will get £1 off their fuel or shopping for every 200 points.

Texaco, Shell, Sainsbury's and Tesco loyalty card holders can also get money off their bills.

You can also cut fuel costs by driving more efficiently. This can be achieved by:

  • Accelerating gradually without over-revving
  • Always driving in the highest possible gear
  • Allowing your car to slow down naturally as your brake

There are also sites you can use to help you find the cheapest petrol prices near you, like and

These allow you to search the prices of UK petrol stations. All you need to do is enter your postcode and tell it how far you want to travel (up to 20 miles).

It's also so easy to forget about the clutter building up in your car – whether it's tools, kids' toys or general rubbish.

However, additional storage space can increase fuel costs by a whopping 12%.

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So, don't forget to do a car clearout every now and then.

And, if you're driving at a slower speed, think about taking the roof rack off and switching off the air-con to save on running costs.

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