How to Avoid Being Overcharged at Petrol Stations in Laos

A petrol station in Savannakhet Province
A petrol station in Savannakhet Province.

Self-service at the petrol station is not a common practice in Southeast Asia, and in Laos, most petrol stations still employ fuel pump attendants to fill up the tank for customers. While it’s nice to be able to sit back and relax without getting out of the car, it’s important to ensure you remain alert and protect yourself against petrol pump fraud.

Motorists in Vientiane Capital have been reporting an uptick in petrol pump fraud recently. Here are five things drivers can do if they suspect they have fallen victim to petrol pump fraud: 

Check the Fuel Pump Meter

Make sure that the number on the pump meter starts at zero. The number on the meter may have been from a previous vehicle’s transaction, so ask the petrol station attendant to reset it before they fill your vehicle.

Get Photo Evidence if you Suspect Foul Play

To avoid being cheated, try getting out of your car and observing the refueling process so in case there is an attempt to short-change your vehicle, you can hold the petrol station or attendant accountable by getting photos or videos as proof. 

Report to the Petrol Station Owner 

Find the owner’s contact details, or check the petrol station’s phone number to connect with a relevant authority if you are having trouble interacting with the attendant at the petrol station.

Search for Reliable Petrol Stations 

In the event that you have the time to travel and locate reliable gas stations, such as PTT, Plus, Lao State Fuel, and others, it could help protect you against fraud.

File a Complaint 

Call 1510, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce’s consumer protection hotline, to report your incident with images and videos as evidence for authorities.