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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 October 2018

Motorists experience first day of pump your own petrol or go premium at Abu Dhabi service stations

Choice of self-service or Dh10 charge to have attendent fill your tank

Both petrol and diesel prices have been rising in the UAE in 2018. Victor Besa / The National
Both petrol and diesel prices have been rising in the UAE in 2018. Victor Besa / The National

Even early in the day, filling up with petrol at the Adnoc station in Khalifa City usually involves a lengthy queue.

This morning, though, was different.

The service station, the first coming into the city after the international airport, has split in two.

At the first group of pumps, the queues were still there as motorists opted to pump their own. For an extra Dh10, though, the lines will disappear with the full implementation of the "premium" service by Adnoc.

Saturday was the first day of pay to pump at Abu Dhabi’s Adnoc stations, as motorists are presented with an option after several weeks of a free trial.

In plus 40-degree heat, and the chance of a swift getaway, the likelihood is that many will be tempted to pay a little bit extra for the convenience and comfort.

At the Khalifa City Adnoc, the pay pumps are in a newly constructed separate section after the serve yourself area.

Only a few cars opted to pay the Dh10, and seemed mostly to be more expensive models and 4X4s.

At least one driver doubled back on realising the fee was now being collected. In the self-service areas, commercial vehicles and smaller Japanese saloon cars predominated, perhaps reflecting how much Dh10 means to some pockets.

The elderly and people with special needs are exempt from the charges

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Read more:

Relief for UAE motorists as petrol prices set to fall in July

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At the pay pumps, attendants carefully explained the rules and the cost of their services. After paying, motorists are given a flyer explaining the new Premium Rewards service, with discounts on everything to a discounted cup of coffee or 25 per cent off a car wash.

The rewards are redeemed by presented your payment receipt and can only be used for one of the offers at a time. With the cost of a car wash costing nearly Dh40 when VAT is added, it effectively cancels out the pump charge.

The first serious test of the new system will come on Sunday with the morning rush hour at the start of the working week. At least July will bring some good news for motorists – the price of petrol is falling.