Do petrol pumps pinch my pennies?

There’s been a niggling suspicion in the back of my mind several times recently, when refuelling my car. At the petrol pump I fill up to, say, £15.00. But by the time I reach the cashier, it mysteriously costs me £15.01.

The first few times I let this go without a second thought. Fair enough, it’s easy to misjudge and not spot the pump ticking over that extra penny. But tonight my suspicions were raised. I caught a glimpse of the cashier’s screen, and every person who had refuelled had a total price of £XX.01.

Could petrol stations really be stealing 1 penny from every customer? Some may notice, but 1 penny isn’t worth complaining about.

But in the course of a day, if this speculation were to contain any truth, the petrolium companies would be stealing thousands of pounds straight from our wallets.

Has anybody had similar experiences? Please leave your comment at the bottom of the page.

71 thoughts on “Do petrol pumps pinch my pennies?

  1. AT LAST I brought this to the attention of the cashier at my local ASDA and told her that I was not going to pay the extra 1p just on the thought of 1p x 1000 customers per day equals £10 per day x 365days equals £3650 per year which is a fair amount of undeclaired revenue for an already high charging commodity,which is a modern form of highway robbery

    • A couple of days ago I went to a petrol station which I do not normally use (I had just passed my usual station due to it being full) so I placed just 10.2 litres in the car and I was looking at the litres dial and after 10 litres had gone in I released the handle and it read just fourteen pounds,being mindful of the situation of pumps often putting one penny on I watched the amount of money on the dial as stated above and as soon as I placed the pump back into its holder it clicked and placed 1p on the sale. I commented on this to the person on the till and after informing him of the above he could not give me an answer.How much must they make on this,there is no doubt in my mind that we all need to complain to the
      relavant people about this to get something done.

      • i have started to stop the pump at .99p to beat this crafty way of stealing our pennies, and it never clicks to the next whole pound so its true the government are getting extra out of us, as if we dont pay enough already.

  2. Some pumps seem to drip or recalculate or *something* as you put them back on the hook. I’ve had this happen visibly before – as I’ve put the pump back I’ve watched the display click over – but never without my knowledge. And it’s only happened perhaps two or three times that I can remember.

    It could be that a whole forecourt, fitted with the same batch of pumps, has the same problem throughout. Never ascribe to malice etc. etc. but raise a hoo-hah over it, definitely.

    (The debate as to why we all aim for round-number amounts of petrol, regardless of payment method, is to be had another day, I think! :) )

  3. the petrol pumps are wrongly caliberated and should be retested by customs & excise as it is wrong to operate with faulty pumps.even military pumps have to be checked on a regular basis if the books show a discrepancy there should and is an enquery so the argument that the pumps drip or leak or even distribute excess amounts don’t even enter the argument

  4. Interesting theory, my local garage (ESSO) actually has a dish of coppers on the counter that you are free to use if you run over by a few pence.

    I’m not sure if the garage owner puts them there or if other customers leave their spare penny change(I do) but it’s a nice gesture anyway.

  5. I agree, it’s a problem.

    It’s irritating, however I’m more concerned about feeling like a nerd at the counter… not knowing to question a penny or walk away feeling cheated.

    Bugger!

    A cool website that I used to use a lot is http://www.petrolprices.com they’re starting to pick up on areas of interest to do with petrol scams too.

  6. petrol at over £1.09 a ltr what a rip off we were promised years ago when oil was discovered in Scotland that we would be one of the cheapest in europe I’ve never benefitted from it has any body out there? maybe just maybe it could have given the government a few extra bob as well as the filling stations .can you imagine running a business at a loss?if the owners of said forcourts are to be believed.no its too much coinsidence that the amount of pumps trickle the odd pence out of its captive customers.tackle the staff after all they would let you know if you paid short for your liquid gold.

  7. I always fill to a value that ends in zero’s but my last three fills included those extra pennies… I even shook the nozzle to prove it was clear of drips, then when I returned it to the holder the penny added on! – At current prices 1p is equal to 10ml of fuel… you would definately notice two teaspoons of fuel dripping out? There’s something fishy going on!

  8. Hear in the U.S. seems the pump will almost never land on the exact amount you want, aways seems to end up a penny or two over the amount I have offended wonder about this.They are so hard to regulate, the pump I mean. Looks like they are getting all they can from a person. Jerks.

  9. If large petrol co’s are doing this it explains why the small retailers go out of business. This is why I did TWENTY-FOUR FORMER FILLING STATIONS as well as my own nostalgia. See my site http://www.frankeye.co.uk and check your impressions against the reality of my archive.

  10. same experience happened twice did not take notice
    but noted on second occasion
    will be informing trading standards

  11. I am so happy someone has brought it up it really annoys me. this happens everytime i fill up now!!! the screen b4 i pay says £30.00 then when i get to the cashier £30.01!!!

  12. I’ve noticed a few times that if you jiggle the pump nozzle to get that extra bit out it pushes it up by a penny even though you’ve taken your hand off the handle bit.

    Given the extortionate rise of fuel prices its probably gone up a penny in the time it takes you to cross the forecourt!!!

  13. This has happened to me on several occasions and I’ve ignored it but it’s happened to me again today and I decided to work out my receipt…sure enough my local Tesco is charging me 1p more than I have dispensed into my tank. The gauge displayed £20.01p AFTER I replaced the nozzle. This is theft and I will contacting trading standards

  14. I have noted this at asda stores eventualy stopped using asda (all a stores.)always check pump before you pay

  15. I have noted this several times and have come to the same conclusion,as have several friends of mine. 1p extra from each customer adds up to a lot over a year. It makes me mad.

  16. Thanks Jarvis!

    In particular, this paragraph:

    Sometimes the price advances when you close the nozzle and return it to storage. This can be caused by the hose swelling slightly which allows a fractional amount of fuel to pass through the meter. Because of the high price in petrol only a very small amount of fuel is needed for the price display to change by 1 penny therefore this problem is much more prevalent now than it used to be. One penny’s worth of fuel only equates to a very small amount and is well within the permitted tolerances of -0.5% and +1%.”

  17. Happened today.You just know when you feel you have been screwed.Went to petrol station near in-laws.Not filled up for a couple of weeks.Put £49.94.The highest I have ever put in is £46,but it’s gone up a couple pence and I used a tad more petrol,and I recall the wife saying a few weeks ago she felt she had paid more than normal.
    Not sure.Niggling doubt in my mind

  18. Today I went to my local Morrisons Petrol station and was very careful in rounding it off to the pound (£27) yet when I put the nozzle back into the pump I saw that it clicked up 1p. When I questioned as to why at the till I was told that this happens. I stood my ground and got my 1p. back and the person who was behind me took a stance complaining that it had done the same with him yet at a different pump.
    THIS IS DEFINATELY A FIDDLE and appears that it is the supermarket chains that are mainly involved in this scam. I am going to contact trading standards.

  19. I’m glad you got the 1p back, but according to Leicester trading standards, the sudden jump of 1p IS within limits.

    If you win, then all the best and well done.

  20. I was in my local ASDA store today 28.01.10 and put £15 in but when I went to the cashier it was £15.01. when I told her the pump was faulty her reply well its serviced every 3 to 4 mths. I told her I would be complaining she just said ahh well you do that.

  21. Do as I do when you finish topping up the tank you make a note mentally as to what is on the pump i.e £10-£20 just give the cashier the exact amount and if the pump has recorded any thing over tough that is the amount that was on the m/c thats all your getting.argue in court for a penny I doubt it.

  22. @arty All the best, but apparently a 1p ‘jump’ can be due to meter to register the fuel flow/movement because of the flexing in the pipes as the nozzle is returned. It’s apparently within tolerances the -½% to +1% of the pump.

  23. You are all ridiculous, this is not some sort of conspiracy! I work at a supermarket petrol station so I can tell you that you are completely wrong.
    Do you think us employees would favour the earache we get over a system that would make it impossible for this ‘fiddle’ to happen? I can tell you that there wouldnt be a single petrol station attendant that thinks the abuse we get over it is justified!

    ‘Jarvis Kay’ is correct, there are explainations as to why this (rarely) happens but it seems 99% of the public dont want to hear it and when they do they just dismiss it!

    Do you notice how when you put the nozzle in your tank you get (I would argue a fairly significant amount) the fuel thats already in the hose for free…certainly over 1 pence worth. Funny how nobody picks up on the fact that EVERY SINGLE fueller gets this for nothing, but are more than happy to argue the toss over the penny that ‘ticks over’.
    As for informing trading standards; good luck with that, perhaps mention the free fuel that is dispensed from each pump before they are authorised for fuelling!

    I’m all for causing the greedy b*stards aggro, I have nothing but negative things to say about the chief executive of the supermarket I work for but the problem is it isnt him that is given abuse, it is the staff who are just doing their jobs!

    • YES! YES! YES! i have been saying this for an absolute age….Morrisons and Tescos filling stations being the biggest culprits. The same thing again and again…..19.98….19.99…20.00….little shake (not to glean an extra millionth of a litre, but to stop the last little drip hitting my shoes or trousers) then returning pump to holster ‘click’ 20.01!!….I mean, REALLY??
      Over the course of a day, a week, a year, a few THOUSAND pennies equates to A SHIT LOAD OF PROFIT!!
      And JC…you’re full of shit!! What I HAVE noticed at the pumps is the counter flies to about 8p before any fucking fuel is delivered!! That accounts for the ‘free fuel’ in the nozzle.
      You work in a petrol filling station cos you’re too thick to get a proper job and have been brainwashed by the robbing fucks that you work for!!
      I urge everyone who feels as wronged about this as I do to write complaints to petrol stations involved. It is theft!!
      And I really do understand the engineering/scientific reasons behind pipe dialation n all that but THEY MAKE ENOUGH PROFIT!! what ever the reasons that penny has not got in my tank!!

  24. As an ex engineer i have seen this .. it is usually caused by hose dilation when people tap the nozzle to try and extract the one/millionth of a millilitre sat on the end whilst the fuel in the tank of your car is evaporating away.. or when people are a little harsh with the handle putting it back in the nozzle holder

    to be honest it has always happened. the price of fuel today makes it really noticeable where as 3 – 5 years ago that difference would have only been a fraction of a penny and would have never shown up on the display

    it is a problem that is only going to get worse as the price as fuel increases.. so maybe we should stop whining about it on a website and maybe petition the government into dropping fuel duty…

    Good luck with trying to get the government to drop fuel duty..

    All the best

    Tigerpaws

  25. Lucky we have laws to protect people. I would have liked to knock out the annoying cashier that tried to say I was wrong.

  26. I’ve noticed this one penny petrol pump incremental crap one time too many. Today, I put £5.07 of diesel in my tank at a BP petrol station. I saw it was £5.07 with my own eyes. When I went into the station to pay for the fuel, it had arisen to £5.08. Having been a victim of this robbery before on numerous occasions (and dismissed it for want of immediately reconciliable evidence) something inside made me realise that this is an endemic problem in this country and something needs to be done about it now, not tomorrow. This is a massive fraud being perpetrated in front of people, out in the open, as it were. You see, that’s the beauty of the scam. It’s only a penny and if you go out to the pump it registers what they tell you it registers inside their swindle machine. So, you say nothing more if you feel you made the mistake of mentioning something about it in the first place. That’s how and why they’ve been getting away with it. Getting away with it for years more than likely. Now, when I pointed this out to the person serving at the counter I got some nonsense about “clicking (something or other that was unintelligible).” I left it at that. Now, as digital cameras are so easily available (traffic wardens use them as weapons against innocent motorists), I’m going to film every instance of filling up. It won’t be long before I catch the filthy sods with empirical evidence they can’t refute.

  27. Its a relief to have found this site and all the people who recognised that the BP,s and the Shell,s and the other Fuel companies who are already charging £1.37 PER LITRE are shafting us big time with the wee penny click over , Its infuriating i know however, ive fucked them all right back by NEVER rounding up to £10 £20 or whatever , i NOW take the fuel pump up to £9.99 £19,99 and LEAVE IT at that then i will stand at the counter and WAIT for my penny change . . . Not a Mug , your absolutely correct in that there is a massive fraud going on but the reason why the bastards get away with it is because we let them , WE are like little conforming sheep who hate to be a bother by moaning about a penny ,however could you imagine “STEALING” a penny from the oil giants ? The would spend thousands to drag you through the courts for their penny back again and these bastards STEAL hundreds of thousands of our pennies nation wide every year …. I would urge EVERY MOTORIST to fuck them back at the pumps by ALWAYS staying a penny under what you intended .

  28. I experience the same problem at service stations in and around Wolverhampton. I creep up as carefully as I possibly can, 19.97, 19.98, 19.99 and then apply the lightest of touches but it still shoots over to 20.01! I began stopping at 19.99 and having a penny change instead, but last week, when I stopped at 19.99, took my finger off the trigger and replaced the nozzle in the pump, it shot up to 20.01 again! That isn’t rounding up to the nearest penny, that is rounding up to the penny after! Everything’s crooked!

  29. I had noticed this before but didnt think anything about it,but its happened to me the last two times i put petrol in my car at the local Esso garage,it rerally grinds my gears,dont they make enough bloody money out of us without this!

  30. I’ve noticed this for weeks and weeks now at my local Shell petrol station. Tonight, I deliberately stopped pumping petrol when it got to £19.99, thinking this scam would take me up to my required £20.00 but oh no… the price jumped up to £20.01. I complained in the shop and asked the girl that surely I can’t be the first to be mentioning this. she replied that more and more people are commenting. I think I shall be contacting trading Standards also…… do these places think we are all morons?

  31. I have for years suspected a scam at the pumps since I try to copy a Seinfield sketch where he gets ecstatic when he gets .00 at the end of his re-fuelling.
    I have long assumed that the pumps must be programmed to add 1p to every sale with the assumption that most punters will be too embarrassed or not bothered about complaining.
    Today I was mildly chuffed to score 35.00 on a Tesco pump but on turning round to check the pump number, the reading had jumped to 35.01.
    On reaching home I thought I’d Google some key words relating to petrol pumps and pennies and was amazed to find this site.
    Now I’m convinced that this scam exists.
    What can be done ?

  32. Glad to know I’m not the only one with these suspicions, but I think it’s less to do with fuel companies nicking an extra penny of us, and more to do with getting people to try to go up to the next pound again.

  33. Today I was proud of myself for landing exactly on 30 squid!
    Went to the till and handed over my money! She then said to me “and the 2p?” 2p had been added to my total in the short walk to the till =(

    Wasn’t happy! Wasn’t the thought of being 2p down but the principal of the matter!

  34. I have the same experience. Often I cannot stop on £**.00, most of the time it will skip to £**.01. However a few times now I filled up in my local Sainsbury’s petrol station and something different also happens. I managed to stop on £64.00 the other day, and when I went to pay at the cashier to my surprise he asked for £64.01..!!! Judging by the amount of times this is reported (internet search shows many cases of this), I think this is either a ploy by the fuel companies to make even more money than they do already, or most fuel station’s pumps need to be recalibrated. I have written to Watchdog about this, and if others do, hopefully some investigation can take place…

  35. On some old pumps, back in the last century, you could actually choose the amount in pounds, simillar to a cash dispenser, that you wanted the pump to deliver.
    With all the modern electronics nowadays surely that would be an easy way to stop being overcharged by these pennies, by choosing the amount prior to delivery.
    I found this site after filling at ASDA and having put the nozzle back wirh £50.00 showing on the pump, gone into the kiosk and was asked for the other 2p for £50.02.
    Crooks the lot of them. Bring back the Birch and petrol at 31p a gallon…….!!!!

  36. It just happened to me, I just put £60 of petrol in my car and I 100% know I did as I remember the pump kept cutting out but I wanted to get to a round number (sad yes I know!), anyway I went to pay and I said “pump 9 please” and the cashier said “£60.02″ I said “no pump 9 £60.00″ and he said “yes £60.02″ I pointed out that I know it was £60 dead on but ended paying £60.02. With the fuel companies making Billions of profit it is no wonder!
    I agree someone needs to report this higher up as this has happened to me many times and I have seen it with my own eyes.

  37. Tescos seem to be the worst for this. It’s now impossible to buy £xx.00 worth of fuel as the price *always* bumps to £xx.01. Interestingly, buying £xx.99 worth of fuel *never* bumps up the extra penny. I thinks it’s done because customers, when they see the extra penny click over, tend to carry on the the next exact £1 boundary (or £5 boundary). It’s a marketing scam to sell more fuel…

  38. To be honest I’m amazed at how uneducated you all are, especially when we live in a world where education is predominantly free. I guess Mathmatics wasn’t your strongest subject at school. If you went to a petrol station and bought 1 litre of unleaded priced at 139.9p per litre how much would you pay. I can hear the cogs turning in your head think “well 139.9p of course,or is it 139p”, well I’m afraid that’s the wrong answer retard, as there is no such thing as a 0.9p coin. We live in a world where decimalization is part of the monetary system. So if you bought 1 liter of petrol at that price you would pay 140p not 139p or 139.9p. If you paid 139p then that means you have gained 0.9p of a liter for free where the owners would be losing money. That’s why you pay 140p because you pay for what you put in, you may miss out on a bit of unleaded and when I say a tiny bit I mean the size of the saliva from inside of your mouth. Does anyone here complain to their banks that their APR on their credit cards is 19.8% or whatever it is, instead of not 19% or 20%, no, I didn’t think so. You may also be asking yourself “why does this guy come across like a prick”, well my answer is this; I’ve been working as a sales assistant part-time at a service station for over 7 years now and during that time I’ve had 100s of customers, similar to you lot, giving me grief, threatening me and being abusive all because “it’s clicked over a penny”. When deductions start coming out of your wages because difficult customers refuse to pay the full amount then you can possible understand my ill-mannered wording within this text.

    • Yes…I understand ‘simple maths’ and I too understand the rounding off in a decimal world but why the extra penny?? If I put 10 litres (now here goes for simple maths again(funny how your name is Simon(Simple))) 10 x 139.9 = YES 13.99…a decimally correct number. Now you try putting 10 litres in for whatever the price xxx.9. 99 x out of 100 you will pay xx.00- to the nearest pound (not pence) In my book that is a rip off, I don’t give a flying fig how small said rip off is, I am paying (yes a SMALL amount) for fuel I have not had. Now, SIMPLE SIMON, I don’t complain to my credit card company because they do reverse rounding also. If my monthly interest is less than point 5 of a pence it goes DOWN not UP!! The petrol pumps don’t do that…and if you get deducted these pennies from your wages then don’t worry…it’s only a penny…a hundredth of a pound…and really not worth worrying about, surely that’s your point?? Oh, I see….If it happens more than once it is more than a penny…in fact it can add up to quite a bit over time….SHIT!! I’m getting the hang of this SIMPLE MATHS lark! Now….SS…why should you pay it??? I think I REST MY CASE…You shouldn’t and nor should we!! And working in a service station for 7 years?? Really??? Get a life and a new job.

      • It’s funny how you say “I understand simple maths” but it seems like you contradict yourself a little. Will go back to the 139.9p per litre method as I mentioned. Firstly your 100% correct 139.9p x 10 litres is and will £13.99 at the pump (find me a receipt that states differently) but it’s more common for people to put £10 of fuel in rather than 10 litres of fuel, am I right in saying that? Okay so this is just a little demo I’m going to add below:

        a) 1lt x 139.9p = £1.399 (Price you pay is £1.40) [You pay extra 0.1p OR 1/10th of a penny]

        b) 2lt x 139.9p = £2.798 (Price you pay is £2.80) [You pay extra 0.2p OR 2/10th of a penny]

        c) 3lt x 139.9p = £4.197 (Price you pay is £4.20) [You pay extra 0.3p OR 3/10th of a penny]

        d) 4lt x 139.9p = £5.596 (Price you pay is £5.60) [You pay extra 0.4p OR 4/10th of a penny]

        e) 5lt x 139.9p = £6.995 (Price you pay is £7.00) [You pay extra 0.5p OR 5/10th of a penny]

        f) 6lt x 139.9p = £8.394 (Price you pay is £8.39) [You then have 0.4p of fuel ABSOLUTELY FREE, like you said]

        g) 7lt x 139.9p = £9.793 (Price you pay is £9.79) [You then have 0.3p litres of fuel ABSOLUTELY FREE]

        h) 8lt x 139.9p = £11.192 (Price you pay is £11.19) [You then have 0.2p litres of fuel ABSOLUTELY FREE]

        i) 9lt x 139.9p = £12.591 (Price you pay is £12.59) [You then have 0.1p litre of fuel ABSOLUTELY FREE]

        j) 10lt x 139.9p = £13.990 (Price you pay is £13.99) [You then have exactly what you pay for]

        As you mentioned “If my monthly interest is less than point 5 of a pence it goes DOWN not UP”, well then my special friend if you look at the figures carefully, especially f,g,h and i, you will notice they give you petrol for free, but what did you say again “I don’t give a flying fig how small said rip off is, I am paying (yes a SMALL amount) for fuel I have not had”, well do the people at the petrol stations go to all you and moan that you’ve just got a small piece of fuel free, no do they heck, cos we couldn’t care less. Simple question to you Wayne, there are to screens on the pump, 1 says litres and other says pounds/pence if you live in UK, what do you put into your car, fuel or money. My point is simple, because of the price of fuel it is impossible to land on every penny and depending on the price of fuel it misses different numbers each time, these numbers change when the price changes. Here’s a challenge for all of you in hoping that my point is valid. Go to a petrol station and put in your car 1 litre of fuel (say it’s 139.9p per litre) and try paying £1.39, you won’t because for this instance it won’t and can’t land on that specific number, yet on certain ones you will get free fuel as its suggests in my table.

        Oh and Wayne I think you need to resit your G.C.S.E maths or what ever was around when you was in secondary school because it seems to me you don’t know how to do, and I quote ‘simple maths’.

        Additionally in relation to your comment “working in a service station for 7 years?? Really??? Get a life and a new job.”, I’d like to add out that in the space of those 7 years where I have worked part-time (like I stated) I have done 2 years of A-Levels, completed a 3 year Degree course and about to complete my Masters Degree over the summer which has taken me 2 years to complete. Also to add to that I have met my beautiful wife at University who is about it give birth to a baby girl over the next 3/4 months. I have a life, I have an education, I have a family and most importantly I’ve just pissed all over you from the comfort of my own home.

        P.S. Your the sad man moaning on here, I’m the sad man for wasting my time trying to educate your simple existence.

  39. Yes!!! Every single time at Tesco! For ages I have dismissed it. But yet again today, it jumps from 99p to 01p in the next pound.

    Every time without fail! I complained today becasue I purposely tapped the pump in the most slow and miniscule way just to test it and yes it jumped 2p.

    Now for some people they may say stop moaning what’s an extra penny – but if Tesco are doing this on purpose think about how much money they are making fraudulentIy.

    I suggest that everyone emails BBC watchdog about this!

    • See above my comment reply, hope this helps understand the method of how and why this 1p occurs.

      • Simple Simon……. I tip my hat to you matey….I really do. I mean this in every unpatronising way I can possibly muster by the way of text. I did o levels (real exams) only got a b in maths (never my strong point) but still realise we are been diddled at the pumps. I realise my comments of 8 months ago may have been harsh to you, my ‘special friend’ but I am a tight arse Yorkshire man….second only to the jocks in the penny pinching stakes…. I have since, this comment, tried on a number of occasions the 10 litres opposed to 10 pounds and (slice of humble pie!) you’re right! Every time 13.99 (or whatever) never, I repeat NEVER the rip off penny. However this doesn’t explain the ’rounding UP to the nearest penny’ and the jump from .99 to .01. We are been robbed….and they already make so much profit from us. They can afford to lose a few quid a year. I simply cannot. I don’t have the luxury of a degree, staff discount (maybe) and a supportive wife! I have my hard earned cash, mortgage, kids, wife who works hard (but complains less) and a salary that barely meets my outgoings, so therefore need to find a second job – just to make ends meet. A penny here and there is not much, granted, but this is a new thing at the pumps, over the last couple of years or so. It seems every time it is ** and a penny!
        Anyway, by way of this message, I genuinely offer my humblest apologies to my (probably) drunken writings last time….. I do however remember chuckling at them! A service station is not for you, my friend, you deserve so much more! If you spend all them years and money gaining a masters get a job that recognises your commitment and education. As I said at the start of this….. I tip my hat to you! With my 8 a’s and 1 b (maths) I wish I had had the balls to continue with my education.
        Out of interest….how old are you?

  40. You are right.
    I didn’t believe this when someone told me but today I put in exactly £10.00. Replaced the pump and it still displayed £10.00, but the cashier asked me for £10;02?
    Sure enough when I got back to my car there was the the “NEW” amount £10.02.
    This is FRAUD!
    It is ESSO in Ilkley

  41. I visited my local Shell garage and fill up with varying amounts at different times. I had with me on this occasion a shell fuel voucher for £4.50 so I filled up with £64.50, released the handle on the nozzle at £64.50 and allowed the annoying drips to drop into my tank, however the drips did not stop and become more of a slow flow, all of the time the price showing ticked over until I actually replaced the nozzle in its holder. Remembering that that I did not have the trigger pulled I complained to the cashier who merely stated that their pumps had a very quick flow rate and I must not have released the trigger quick enough. I admit this is the first time this scenario has happened to me and I suppose the trigger could have stuck partially open.
    Either way the cashier should no interest ans I was charged a further 9p.

  42. this has happened several times to me at my local sainsbury store mostly one pence but a week ago it jumped to two pence . i closed off the pump as soon as i reached 45 pounds . no petrol was flowing , as i placed the nozzle back in its holder the meter showed an extra two pence . management just give a load of waffle , but to me waffle = fiddle.

  43. Why the penny happens?

    The pump uses a meter which physically measures the amount of fuel passing through. A device attached to the meter converts the movement of the meter into a digital signal, which drives the quantity indication – ie the “litres”. That indication is then converted into an amount of money, based upon the price programmed in, which often ends in .9 of a penny. This means the price to quantity calculation is not as straightforward as if it were in straight pence.

    The amount of fuel which equates to a penny used to convert well, when the number of 0.01’s of a litre (which the pump displays) when the price was lower, but as the price value has exceeded the .01’s of a litre value, the conversion rounds the price, and because the digital signal is also rounded, sometimes the price literally cannot stop at some values and will go consecutively say from 9.99 to 10.01 due to rounding. OR
    If the pump is stopped suddenly, pressure builds within the pump which gradually releases in the next few seconds after the pump is stopped and results in the indication moving forward by 0.01 litre and a penny, but the customer notices the penny! The pump can only advance forward, it cannot go back. OR
    There is a device built into the nozzle which shuts the flow off as the fuel reaches the top of the tank, which is controlled by springs. If a spring weakens fuel under pressure during the delivery will slip past the spring into the nozzle and the pump records this – its such a small amount that it doesn’t overflow the nozzle, but can be spilt out the next time it is picked up. (Got all that?)

  44. I have seen this happening now for some months a Tesco’s becuase no matter how hard ITry to get £70.00 worht of fuel in my car it always drops over to £70.01. I have also wondered how can they charge 0.9p when we dont have .01p coins in circulation?

    • Again my tip is pay with cash.
      “Soz, mate, I only have a tenner! That’s all I can pay. Here’s my name and address, take me to a small claim court!!”

    • Petrol isn’t the only thing bought using less than a penny, but as an every day shopper we are accustomed to buy things in pound and pence. When suppliers buy things in bulk they sometimes use the extra decimal, as we buy fuel in bulk it is worked out differently.

  45. This is not just about the 1p. If I want to pay £10 or £70 I should not be forced to pay any more. Theft, deception, extortion, call it what you like it’s not ok to round up if your at a pump with the correct money and they decide they want more. If your pump is at £20.01 pay £40 and never help with the 1p.

  46. Notice to SIMPLE SIMON!! If i put ten pounds worth of fuel in then that is all i want i dont want a penny more, and as litres have an extra zero compared to pounds, the .9 p can be worked into how much fuel you put in, maths degree or not your a fucking retard!

    • Also petrol companies will NEVER let us fill up to the exact amount. WHY? Because they know that as soon as we get to 19.99 we will try to put the extra penny in to get an even 20, how do they know this? Because theyve researched it for years, so every time you go a penny or two over there getting even more out of you the blood sucking bastards, swap to diesel befriend a farmer and buy it off him cheap thats what i do

    • Haha, okay, okay. I’ll answer that for you as you seem a bit of a retard. When you fill your car up, what do you put in your tank, fuel OR money??? It’s a simple question so stop thinking about it. You put fuel in, so you pay for the fuel you put in. It’s alright you saying I want £10 worth of fuel, but if maths doesn’t allow you to put in exactly that amount (pending on the price of fuel) then I’m sorry… Retard.

  47. at last other people to share my suspision yes it is only a penny but no matter how careful i am it just jumps from £29.99 to £30.01 i too am convinced they are stealing from customers and over a huge number this could amount to thousands of pounds . are we not paying through the nose already please someone sort this out it is a discrace

    • After years of grumbling this is my tip……
      The twats are not going to change! Fact!
      Aim for litres instead of pounds……10 litres, 20 litres, 30 litres etc but always a division of 10.
      Try to pay with cash.
      Take your 1p, 2p, 3p change and put it in a jar.
      1 year later….this is the amount the robbing fuckers at ESSO, shell, asda, tescos, morrisons (or wherever) would have had in their profit pots. I bet you will almost be able to have a, essentially, free tank of fuel!

  48. this has been happening every time i put petrol in my car ..i always try to round it up to the next £….but when i went to pay it was always an extra penny…and sure enough..when i came back and looked at the pump…there was the extra penny added….today i put £29.99 …..put the hose back…still £29.99…went inside to pay…..£30….it had jumped a penny….no matter what amount we buy …there’s always the extra penny…and i don’t care what anyone says ….it’s robbery plain and simple

  49. yes wayne,,that makes sense…we’re so used to watching the money meter going round….we should check on how many litres we’re buying…maybe that way they wont rob us…

  50. I have had this problem for about a year now, i did not complaine for about 6 months then mentioned it. They tried to argue, bythen gave me the 2p back, this is so wrong on any level, what should we do ??? Trading standards?????

    • Yes , I urge you to contact your Trading Standards at your council offices … I did with mine but they just talked Maths and Science and said everything was fine , like i knew they would …. What i now do at the pumps is STOP when i get to £14.98 and rarely does it click over to £14.99 but what am saying now is that the fuel company does not now get the £15 and A PENNY i have it down to a “Fine Art” and now its them that are getting Screwed out of their Rip Off PENNY !!!

      • Wow, glad your not our Prime Minister. So your telling me, your gonna stop a few pence short to ‘screw’ company’s that make billions a year. Well done, your officially so retarded that you should be in the sequel to Rain Man.

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