First “low cost” gas stations approved in Madrid

Madrid has become the first region of Spain to allow a new style of low cost gas station to open, issuing eight permits across the region.

It’s an attempt to shake up Spains oligopolistic network of gas stations by letting new operators into the market, and comes from a 2013 change to the appropriate national laws.

The low cost stations are stripped of all amenities. No staff, you just put your credit card in and pump yourself. No branding. No associated costs. The idea is that it’s just gas, sold cheap.

Naturally enough, the gas station association is up in arms, predicting that we’ll all die in a fiery fireball when people try to pump their own gas. Or, horrors of horrors, with no on-site personnel, the law on handicap accessibility will be infringed.

Madrid, bravely, has thrown out all the complaints and authorised them. Don’t expect to see them in Andalucia any time soon – the current plan to fix the economy is to force all companies to employ more people, not fewer.

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