Do you move your car before paying for fuel? You probably shouldn’t, even if there’s a big queue behind you.

While you do not legally need to pay for fuel before moving your car in Australia, it could be frowned upon at some service stations.

There are no laws prohibiting you from parking in another space before settling the bill, but it’s more a matter of a fuel retailer’s expectations of customers than anything else.

If you move your car before paying, a service station attendant could be left to wonder if you’ll be parking in another spot – or simply driving off.

The general guidance from service station staff around Australia is that if you’re in a service station and it’s busy, note your pump number and pay inside in a prompt manner before returning to your car – where you can leave or move it into a parking spot.

If another customer queuing behind you takes issue with you paying for fuel before moving your car, you can be satisfied you’ve done the right thing provided you kept the dithering to a minimum.

Even better, if it’s busy and you have the app of a fuel retailer that offers Pay at Pump – such as BP, Shell Coles Express, Ampol, 7-Eleven, OTR and EG Australia – you can quickly pay after getting back in your car before driving off. Note that you should use the app and pay while seated inside your vehicle, not on the service station forecourt where mobile phone use is commonly forbidden.

Is it illegal to move your car before paying for petrol?

Drive contacted police and transport bodies around Australia and confirmed there are no laws preventing someone from moving their car before paying for fuel – unless they moved their car out of the petrol station. And continued moving it, to the point that paying lapsed their mind.

“It is a matter for the individual seller to determine what condition they wish to impose on using their services,” a spokesperson for Western Australia Police told Drive.

There are laws around ‘securing’ your vehicle in all states and territories, however. If you intend on venturing more than three metres away from your car, according to Section 213 of the Australian Road Rules you must apply the handbrake and turn the engine off.

If there is a child under 16 inside the vehicle, you must remove the keys from the ignition. If there is nobody in the vehicle, you must put the windows up and lock the doors. Fines and penalties apply and vary depending on your state or territory.

Drive recommends observing other service station etiquette such as pulling up to the frontmost available pump, avoiding cleaning your windscreen and checking your oil if there’s somebody waiting behind you, and moving your car immediately after having paid for fuel.

Elsewhere in the service station, check your tyre pressures promptly and coil the hose back up when finished. Don’t leave your car parked in the tyre pressure bay.

As ever, a little bit of common sense – and patience – goes a long way.

Extracted in full from:  https://www.drive.com.au/caradvice/do-you-move-your-car-before-paying-for-fuel/

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