Just as for other goods and services, prices for petrol and diesel are purely a result of supply and demand. At the same time, however, legal price standards are to be adhered to.

Studies regularly show that prices for petrol and diesel at petrol stations in Germany generally display the same trends as wholesale prices for fuels on the Rotterdam oil market. These prices for their part once again follow the price of crude oil, but can also decouple from the crude oil price up to a certain degree for a brief period of time depending on supply and demand for the respective product.

In addition to the price for the respective product, additional cost items also flow into final consumer prices: these include the Energy Tax, which has been 47.04 cents per litre for diesel and 65.45 cents per litre for petrol since 2003, and value-added tax, which is 19% of the total value of the good. In addition, costs accrue due to the mixing of biocomponents to meet the biofuels quota, transport, storage and distribution of fuels. Business enterprises that produce their fuels or import these into Germany also pay a contribution to the Petroleum Stockpiling Association for the stockpiling of petroleum and petroleum products as a provision for times of crisis. This is 0.3 cents per litre for diesel fuel and 0.27 cents per litre for petrol.

Companies that operate public petrol stations or are able to dictate prices to these have been obligated since 31 August 2013 to notify the Market Transparency Unit for Fuels (MTS Kraftstoffe) about any changes in prices. You can obtain more information on MTS Kraftstoffe here.

The European Commission publishes a so-called "Oil Bulletin", which provides an overview of consumer prices and taxes on fuels in the Member States of the European Union, in the Internet on a weekly basis.