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Thread: Automated Fuel Pumps in Spain and Portugal

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    Automated Fuel Pumps in Spain and Portugal



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    Hi all, I've been slowly tootling down through France the past month and about to head into Spain.

    In France, fuel pumps seem to be overwhelmingly of the automated, unmanned type which require card pre-payment. This presents a bit of a problem as I'm using a Revolut account for my day to day banking. Great for managing multiple currencies but unfortunately since starting this trip I have found that they don't support automated fuel payments. Therefore I have to keep a lookout for fuel stations with a manned booth and these are few and far between.

    Am I going to encounter the same problems in Spain and Portugal? Any suggestions as to how to deal with this mid-trip? I'm not due back in blighty until the end of March so opening a new account and having a card posted to the UK isn't an option. I have an Irish bank account but the card has expired. Don't suppose there are any banks who will allow non residents to open a Euro account over the counter?

    Grateful for any advice
    Cheers
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    Wooie1958's Avatar
    Wooie1958 is offline That`s Nice.
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    Precisely the reason why i got a Halifax Clarity card just for fuel, Caxton FX card for everything else, purchases, ATM, etc. etc.
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    Loads of Repsol Stations and they all seem to be manned. They even come out and fill your tank for you sometimes. Only ones you wonít be able to use are some of the cheap fuel ones where they donít have staff or out of hours supermarket filling stations so you should be ok.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaunr68 View Post
    Hi all, I've been slowly tootling down through France the past month and about to head into Spain.

    In France, fuel pumps seem to be overwhelmingly of the automated, unmanned type which require card pre-payment. This presents a bit of a problem as I'm using a Revolut account for my day to day banking. Great for managing multiple currencies but unfortunately since starting this trip I have found that they don't support automated fuel payments. Therefore I have to keep a lookout for fuel stations with a manned booth and these are few and far between.

    Am I going to encounter the same problems in Spain and Portugal? Any suggestions as to how to deal with this mid-trip? I'm not due back in blighty until the end of March so opening a new account and having a card posted to the UK isn't an option. I have an Irish bank account but the card has expired. Don't suppose there are any banks who will allow non residents to open a Euro account over the counter?

    Grateful for any advice
    Cheers
    I've experienced no problems opening Euro accounts over the counter in France - we're (still just) in the EU. But of course you can't expect a branch to issue a card over the counter - they are generally centrally produced and mailed out.
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    You could book onto a campsite, using that address to open a bank account.
    Then transfer money across from the UK, either by bank transfer or using an online FX platform, then paying them via a debit card.
    That worked Ok for us, in Portugal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaunr68 View Post
    Hi all, I've been slowly tootling down through France the past month and about to head into Spain.

    In France, fuel pumps seem to be overwhelmingly of the automated, unmanned type which require card pre-payment. This presents a bit of a problem as I'm using a Revolut account for my day to day banking. Great for managing multiple currencies but unfortunately since starting this trip I have found that they don't support automated fuel payments. Therefore I have to keep a lookout for fuel stations with a manned booth and these are few and far between.

    Am I going to encounter the same problems in Spain and Portugal? Any suggestions as to how to deal with this mid-trip? I'm not due back in blighty until the end of March so opening a new account and having a card posted to the UK isn't an option. I have an Irish bank account but the card has expired. Don't suppose there are any banks who will allow non residents to open a Euro account over the counter?

    Grateful for any advice
    Cheers
    Many of our self service take money you can easy open an account in Spain but first you will need a NIE number and have an address you can go and hire a post office box but you will have to pay about 70 euros for the year. Or go into a Repsol garage and ask if they still do a pay card we call them if they do you pay in an amount you want each time you use it the money comes of the card like the pay as you go phone cards then when it gets low you top it up.
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    Thanks all, sounds like manned stations are likely to be more plentiful and thanks for the other options and suggestions. The situation became so dire at one point where I'd pulled into five fuel stations into succession only to find them card-only and unmanned, the fuel light came on and I was relieved to find I could pay at the counter at the sixth. Note that the Revolut card is a Mastercard debit card and has been fine for purchases in every other scenario, including paying for fuel at the booth, they simply don't support automated fuel pumps. Quite a serious setback with a multi-currency account which will obviously appeal to people travelling to different countries.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaunr68 View Post
    Thanks all, sounds like manned stations are likely to be more plentiful and thanks for the other options and suggestions. The situation became so dire at one point where I'd pulled into five fuel stations into succession only to find them card-only and unmanned, the fuel light came on and I was relieved to find I could pay at the counter at the sixth. Note that the Revolut card is a Mastercard debit card and has been fine for purchases in every other scenario, including paying for fuel at the booth, they simply don't support automated fuel pumps. Quite a serious setback with a multi-currency account which will obviously appeal to people travelling to different countries.
    The moral being, always have a back-up card.
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    Pre-payment at the pump requires the use of a credit card not a debit card.

    Clearly there is a significantly greater chance of payment being authorised with a credit account than a debit card which may not have a credit balance in the associated account ...

    Though I suspect it's the card issuers who determine what cards are acceptable.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by carol View Post
    The moral being, always have a back-up card.
    Agreed, and I did. Unfortunately the AIB debit card from my Irish bank had expired and I suspect there is a replacement card waiting for me, not much use out here though. The moral for me is check expiry dates on everything

    Quote Originally Posted by POI Admin View Post
    Pre-payment at the pump requires the use of a credit card not a debit card.
    Over the past few years I have filled up all over the continent using several different Visa Debit cards issued by UK (Intelligent Finance and Co-Op) and Irish (AIB) banks in Sterling and Euro respectively. The problem is specific to Revolut, not debit cards in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by POI Admin View Post
    Though I suspect it's the card issuers who determine what cards are acceptable.
    Yes, there is a lot of conflicting information and speculation around but it seems that Revolut have imposed restrictions on these type of transactions.

    Pay at Pump - Feedback - Revolut Community
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