Petrol is cheaper in France than in Switzerland at the moment and as a result many Geneva residents cross the border to fuel up their cars. However France's cheaper prices are ultimately funded by the French taxpayer, and some French officials are none too happy about this 'pump tourism'.
Geneva area residents have been shopping in nearby France for years, as most goods are cheaper on the other side of the border. It is not unusual to see cars with Geneva and Vaud registration plates in parking lots of French supermarkets, and this practice, known as ‘shopping tourism’, has been boosting the economies of border regions for decades.
Lately, however, ‘shopping tourism’ has spawned off a new phenomenon dubbed ‘pump tourism’, as an increasing number of cars from Switzerland fill up at French petrol stations with cheaper petrol/gasoline or diesel.
A litre of fuel in Geneva now costs 2.20 francs, while the price is €1.80 just across the border. Given the exceptionally strong franc and favourable (for the Swiss) exchange rate — €1.04 for 1 franc — buying a full tank of gasoline in Haute-Savoie makes financial sense.