Price differences between app and gas station: How does this happen?

Sometimes it can happen that the PACE Drive app shows different prices than the gas station actually charges. But why is that the case? We explain why.

When you open the PACE Drive App, a map appears automatically, showing all gas stations in the area. If you tap on one of the gas stations, all important information appears: the distance from your current location to the gas station, how to navigate to it, its opening hours, payment methods, and how expensive the fuels are there at the moment. One question comes up time and again:

Why does the app sometimes show different prices than those actually charged at the gas station?

The reason for this is as follows: German gas stations change their fuel prices several times a day, often several times an hour.

By the way, not all countries allow service stations to change their prices as frequently as in Germany.

However, to ensure that price changes remain comprehensible and transparent, service stations are required to report their price changes to the MTS-K. MTS-K stands for Market Transparency Office for Fuels. It is part of the Federal Cartel Office. The MTS-K compiles the prices of fuels, electricity and gas and then makes the collected prices available to consumers.

But why does the MTS-K do this?

On the one hand, the prices are to be made available to providers such as PACE so that they can then use them for their products. On the other hand, too large price differences between the providers or large price jumps are to be disclosed.

The notification of a price change must happen within a prescribed time window of five minutes.

Price transmission to PACE 

If the service station has transmitted its price change to the MTS-K, it is stored there. PACE can then query the change and include it in the app.

The processing of the price change at the MTS-K and the integration of the change into the PACE Drive App does not take long. Nevertheless, the time adds up, of course, which is why a few minutes pass between the actual price change at the gas station and the adjustment in the app.

Since the prices of the gas stations are changed several times a day, it can happen that the PACE Drive app still shows the old price while the gas station already charges the new price.

It is also the case that service stations do not have to report all price changes. This reporting obligation does not apply to premium fuels.

For these fuels, the determination of the current prices is not possible via the MTS-K and has to be done in a roundabout way, which of course costs more time.

However, things get really fast if the service station is connected to the PACE Connected Fueling platform, because then price changes are passed on directly to the PACE Drive app. So all in all, if the prices in the PACE Drive app do not match the prices at the pump, this is due to the time needed for the technical transmission of the prices from the gas station to the MTS-K and then to PACE.