Fuel prices are set to rise for the 10th time this year, a rise likely to be the highest in a week – with estimates pointing to an increase of 14.5 cents per liter for diesel and 8.5 cents per liter for gasoline. The values come into force this Monday, March 7, and the government has already presented measures to mitigate the impact on the lives of Portuguese people.
One of them is the strengthening of the AUTOvoucher, which has been extended until the end of March and has also undergone an increase in the amount of reimbursement: from 5 to 20 €, announced the Minister of Finance, João Leão, during a press conference this Friday, March 4, broadcast by RTP3.
In addition to this measure, the increase in the carbon tax has also been suspended until the end of June (translating into a saving of 0.05 centimes per liter of petrol and diesel) and the deadline for returning the VAT on the tax on the tax has been extended. Petroleum Products (ISP) until July 20.
Discounts for taxis and buses will also continue, as announced by the Minister of Environment and Climate Action, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, at the same conference. The government has decided to extend the support program until June, from 0.10 cents to 0.30 cents per liter for professionals in the sector (which represents a saving of €342 for taxi drivers and more a thousand euros for the buses).
Of all the executive measures, the benefits of the AUTOvoucher are the most immediate in the wallet, so we explain how to proceed to access the reimbursement of gasoline and diesel consumption.
1. What is the AUTOvoucher?
This is a government-created program that allows taxpayers to receive financial support to refuel vehicles with gasoline or diesel. The AUTOvoucher was created at the end of 2021 to deal with the sharp increase in fuel prices in October and was to last for five months. However, it is now reinforced to respond to the new rise in prices at petrol stations following the war in Ukraine, said Finance Minister João Leão.
2. How can I order it?
Simply register on the platform IVAucher. You will need to indicate the NIF so that all the bank cards you hold, issued by partner establishments (just consult here which banks are part of the program), partner and receive the refund (which goes directly to the bank account associated with the card with which the payment was made). Registration takes less than 1 minute, says the platform.
AUTOvoucher membership will be active within 48 business hours and from then on you will be eligible for the discount. After that, just refuel and pay in full at the gas station with the bank card associated with the program. Within two business days (approximately), the remittance is credited to the same account.
3. In practice, what will I receive?
Previously, the amount of the reimbursement was allocated to deposits of up to 10 centimes per liter within the limit of 50 liters per month, which corresponds to around €5. With the new measures, the amount returned is €20, collected monthly. If you get lost in your accounts, you can check your balance on the IVAucher (program for accumulating the amount of VAT paid in certain sectors affected by the pandemic, which appeared before the AUTOvoucher support).
“The refund of the available balance occurs after the first consumption of the month in a service station integrated into the Program”, specifies the website.
4. Can I use any pump?
Do not. There is also a list of all gas stations that have joined the AUTOvoucher, with pumps from north to south of the country. However, the list is long, which means that there is probably a position near you that allows you to benefit from the program. Search participating publications here.
You can also directly find out which ones are integrated thanks to the “AUTOvoucher” seal that will be visible at each participating gas station.
5. Do I have to use the entire amount at once?
It’s not necessary. “The amount not used in a given month is carried over to the following months”, can we read on the AUTOvoucher site. This way the value accumulates and can be used in the future.