Drivers may face a £99 charge next time they refuel and here's why

MasterCard and Visa have given pre-authorisation payments the go-ahead to rise from £1 to £99 at petrol stations

Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 3:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 3:25 pm

Motorists who choose to pay at the pump could see £99 disappear from their accounts.

In a shock move, this temporary charge, which is affecting MasterCard and Visa debit and credit card users, will be automatically taken at fuel pump payments.

The pre-authorisation charge has risen from £1 to £99 due to a change in industry rules, and means the customers could be left without funds or be unable to purchase fuel.

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Picture: Drivers may face a £99 pre-authorisation fee when paying at the pump, TSPL

Drivers who fill up at Asda, where some of the charges have taken place, have taken to social media to complain.

One Twitter user, Craig Gibson said: “think I’ll carry on going in to the kiosk to pay for fuel seeing as some companies plan to charge £99 deposit at the pump”

With another adding: “You have to enter your pin number to be able to fill up at a pay pump. No funds no fuel... If you have no funds then you go in to the red resulting in a bank charge.”

Although not unique to the supermarket, it has been piloting the new change in some stores.

It is not clear if they plan to roll out the new policy in all stores, but the £99 charge could see customers turned away at the pump payment site if they don’t have enough funds to cover the pre-authorisation payment which is the equivalent to a full tank of petrol in some cars.

The policy is said to have been brought in to protect both customers and garages to ensure that drivers aren’t filling up with more fuel than they can afford.

An Asda spokesperson said: “Visa and MasterCard have increased the minimum pre-authorisation amount at pay at the pump petrol pumps for all retailers.”

For customers that don’t have a spare £99, MasterCards say that a further step will be made available to petrol stations to allow them to check what funds are available, which will allow a lower value of fuel to be purchased.

Visa say that the pay-at-pump payments will now mean that an initial amount [£99] is held against the account whilst the fuel is dispensed, which ensures the customer has the sufficient funds to pay for the fuel.

A Visa spokesperson added that the company has been working closely with banks “to ensure that consumers do not experience delays in the adjustment of the initially-held amount”.

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