After recent price increases in Croatia, many people from Slavonia have against started going to neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina to buy fuel for their cars. The price difference has never been greater, reports Večernji List on January 2, 2017.
For example, a litre of the best-selling Super 95 fuel costs 1.82 Bosnian convertible marks, or 6.82 kuna, with the exchange rate of 3.75 kuna per mark. Although all petrol stations in Bosnia accept the kuna, they use the exchange rate of 4.00, and therefore it is better to pay with a credit card.
Since the same amount of fuel at petrol stations in Croatia now costs 9.65 kuna, it is clear that the difference is almost 3 kuna per litre. This means that a person filling a 40-litre tank can save almost 120 kuna even in Bosanski Brod, which is just on the border with Croatia and where prices are traditionally somewhat higher than farther away from the border.
Given the increase in prices of coffee and cigarettes in Croatia due to higher VAT rate, as well as higher excise duties in Croatia which took effect on 1 January, it can be expected that even more Croatian consumers will travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina. “I come here twice a month. Of course it is worth it, since to come here I spend just one litre of fuel, and given the price difference I save more than 200 kuna every month”, said Zoran from Garčin, who bought fuel on a pump on the main road from Bosanski Brod to Derventa in Bosnia.
Additional 16 kuna can be saved if consumers come after 10 pm. After the closing of a pump, they can use a self-service machine and petrol prices then fall by further 40 lipa per litre. The total savings can thus reach 135 kuna per average tank.
The difference in the price of diesel fuel is somewhat smaller. In Croatia it costs 8.90 kuna, while on the other side of the Sava river it is 1.80 convertible marks per litre (6.75 kuna). However, even with diesel fuel consumers can save about a hundred kuna per tank.
“This latest increase in prices is too much. It is really worth it to cross the border. In addition to buying fuel, my husband and I have a coffee, which is almost half the price in Bosanski Brod, and we buy cigarettes, Vegeta and some other products”, says Vesna from Slavonski Brod.
The largest crowds at Bosnian petrol stations can be seen when the bridge between Slavonski Brod and Bosanski Brod is half-empty, because people do not want to go across the river to refuel when it is crowded and they have to wait at the border. Licence plates of Croatian cars show that buyers come from Slavonski Brod, Zagreb, Požega, Đakovo, Našice, Osijek, and many other towns. “We are really making a living thanks to them. There are more Croatian customers than Bosnian and they bring us more traffic”, says a worker at a petrol station in Bosanski Brod.