Drivers with foreign license plates can no longer buy gas in Hungary at government-capped prices – the lowest in the EU, Budapest announced on Thursday. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff said the measure is aimed at stopping “petrol tourists” abusing Hungary’s fuel supplies.
Gergely Gulyas told journalists, during a regular press briefing, that “foreign buyers are exploiting the fact that Hungary is able to maintain petrol prices at 480 forints (€1.22) per liter, while they are at 700-900 forints elsewhere in Europe.”
According to the official, “abuse” of the low gas prices by fuel tourists has become a real issue of late, threatening his country’s own supply.
The decision means that motorists with foreign license plates are now charged higher market prices at Hungarian gas stations.
Viktor Orban’s government originally introduced the gas price cap on November 15, 2021 amid accelerating inflation. Budapest has since extended the scheme several times, with the latest coming in late April.
Along with gas, similar price caps were introduced in Hungary for some staples, like flour and sugar.