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MONEY

How and where to get the cheapest fuel in Denmark

Motorists in Denmark are experiencing higher and higher prices for refuelling their cars. Is there any way to limit costs?

A Circle K petrol station in Copenhagen in October 2021. Fuel prices are currently high, but there are ways to maximise what you get for your money.
A Circle K petrol station in Copenhagen in October 2021. Fuel prices are currently high, but there are ways to maximise what you get for your money. Photo: Olafur Steinar Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix

In common with many countries, Denmark is seeing a rapid rise in fuel prices as global oil prices soar.

READ ALSO: Danish fuel prices at highest-ever level

Although the main cities have good public transport networks this is far from the case in small towns and rural areas, leaving residents with very little choice but to use their cars.

Prices at some petrol stations recently reached as much as 14.09 kroner per litre, including VAT.

High prices are expected to persist for the time being, despite a small decrease in the price of petrol at the end of last week.

So are there cheaper places to fill up? If so, where are they?

Although fuel prices in Denmark are primarily determined by three factors – international oil prices, the strength of the dollar and tax and VAT – a fourth element, local competition, means the price is not universal.

Local competition can also mean it’s an advantage to refuel in cities, where there are more competitors, than in rural areas, where fuel stations are more sparse.

As well as checking which stations have the cheapest prices on a given day, many offer loyalty rewards for customers who use their payment card systems. These aren’t always in the form of cash discounts but do offer various benefits.

Price checking 

There’s no single platform or aggregator that directly compares prices at different stations, so you’ll have to do the legwork yourself. However, most of the companies which operate petrol/gas stations in Denmark update their websites daily, showing the current price on any given day.

You can find this information on the websites of, for example, Circle K, OK, Ingo, Q8, Shell and F24.

Some of these pages also include links to a historical record of their prices, so you can check whether they have got more or less expensive since yesterday (or last year, for that matter). The change in price since yesterday is often displayed next to the current prices.

Petrol cards

The main companies in Denmark all offer some form of loyalty or membership rewards for fuel customers. These are commonly in the form of what is referred to in Danish as benzinkort, petrol cards.

A benzinkort is a special credit card which you use to pay when refuelling your vehicle. The cards only work at the stations run by the company to which the card belongs. Different deals and types of card are available, depending on the company. Some offer cash discounts while others include different types of rewards.

For example, the Shell benzinkort offers a discount of 10 øre per litre, can also be used to pay for car washes, and allows you to add offset CO2 emissions in your payments. You get up to 30 days’ interest free credit on the card.

OK’s benzinkort offers the largest number of stations, has an app for easy payment and refuelling at unmanned stations, can be used to pay for car wash, and is also valid as a payment card on the Great Belt Bridge. Bills are repaid monthly via the  betalingsservice direct debit system, which you can set up through your bank, or you can be sent a bill in the post.

Circle K and Q8 also offer discounts on fuel (at 13 øre and 10 øre per litre respectively).

More details can be found on the websites of the various companies, where the cards can usually be ordered for free.

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MONEY

Boligstøtte: Who can claim Denmark’s national rent subsidy?

Residents of Denmark can in some cases apply for ‘boligstøtte’ (“housing support”), a reduction on their monthly rent.

Boligstøtte: Who can claim Denmark's national rent subsidy?

What is boligstøtte? 

Boligstøtte is a tax-free sum which people who live in rented housing can – in some cases – qualify for. It provides a subsidy to rent.

The subsidy is available to anyone who rents their home, provided the home meets certain criteria and the household income is under a certain level.

For example, your rental home must have its own kitchen (which would rule out student housing with shared kitchens, termed kollegier in Danish) and you must live permanently in the property.

Homeowners can also be entitled to apply for boligstøtte under certain circumstances. In such cases, the boligstøtte is a loan and not a subsidy, however.

The size of the subsidy – the amount of money you receive each month – depends on the overall income of the household (the total of the incomes of all wage earners at the address), the number of children and adults who live at the address, the amount of rent and the size of the house or apartment.

Boligstøtte is paid out on the first working day of each month.

How do I know if I’m entitled to boligstøtte?

Most people can apply for boligstøtte if they live in rented housing. There are a few living situations that can disqualify you, such as if you live with the owner of the property (including as a tenant) or if you own the property yourself and rent part of it.

You can, however, apply for the subsidy if you live in a property owned by your parents and pay rent to them (known as a forældrekøb – “parent purchase” – in Danish).

You can also apply for boligstøtte if you are sub-letting your house or flat, although the person sub-letting to you might have to change their address in order to avoid their income being taken into account in your application.

People who own their homes can receive bolistøtte (as a subsidy, not as a loan as detailed above) if they receive the state pension folkepension, or disability pension, førtidspension.

How and where do I apply?

You can submit an application via the borger.dk website at this link. The application platform will ask you to submit a rental contract and other documentation for your claim to be processed.

If you’re applying after moving to a new address, you must have registered your change of address with the national personal registry prior to applying. This can be done here. If you apply within 30 days of moving, the subsidy will be effective from the date you moved in. Otherwise, it will count from the first day of the following month from when you submit your application.

The processing time for the application can be up to seven weeks. You’ll receive a confirmation of your application via your Digital Mail inbox, and you will also receive notification here once the application has been processed.

By how much can I reduce my rent?

This depends on the various factors on which your eligibility is calculated – for some, you will not qualify to receive any subsidy at all.

There are five criteria upon which your eligibility – and the amount you receive – is calculated. They are the income of the household; the savings or fortune of people in the household; number of children and adults living at the address; size of the home (in square metres) and amount of rent paid.

You will receive more money if you have more children. For example, people who live in rented homes and are not receiving the state pension can get up to 1,039 kroner per month if they have no children; up to 3,654 kroner per month if they have 1-3 children; and up to 4,568 kroner per month if they have 4 children or more.

The borger.dk website has a tool on which you can estimate your boligstøtte here.

Source: borger.dk

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