Is it legal for a gas station to charge you for inflating tires?

Is it legal for a gas station to charge you for inflating tires?

Adequate pressure in automobile tires is essential for the safety of the vehicle itself and those traveling in it. Many motorists resorted to pumps at gas stations: in most, this service was free. We’re talking past and conditional because more and more organizations charge for it: Can gas stations charge us to inflate tires? Is it legal?

What now starts as an app It has now become a dominant fashion. Where it used to be easy to find a service station where tire pressure correction was free, now it’s more complicated. This, in turn, led to complaints from drivers wondering if this change was allowed.

What does the law say?

The truth is yes: There is no law that prevents companies operating gas stations from charging drivers for using the pump. It’s not surprising that it’s a machine they have to set up and maintain…

What the norm specifies are: Requirements to be met by the gas station if you decide to determine that this service will be paid at your premises. You must indicate the price in a visible and permanent manner with a legible mark indicating the accepted currencies and whether you are returning it. It should also include instructions for use and the duration of the service.

The law pays special attention to the following: service clarity: The gas station cannot mislead the user, who should have been clear from the beginning, that the money is paid. However, if you do not give prior notice, the driver can take up the case at the General Directorate of Trade and Consumption by submitting a complaint form. Finally, if the pump breaks down, the service station will not be able to offer the use of the pump: in this case, it must also indicate this, along with a sign indicating the time the pump will not operate.

minor edit

Gas stations and drivers lack of regulation for such services: when it exists, it is usually dependent on the autonomous community and is characterized by being loose. Using as an example the regulations in force in the Community of Madrid regarding the rights of consumers and users, Article 9.1 states that air pumps must be available at service stations. Clause 9.4, for its part, specifies that if its use is for payment purposes, it must clearly state this and its payment.

So it’s possible for us to go to a gas station where they don’t charge us to adjust the air pressure of our car’s tires… and the next time the same service is not free.


Considering that experts recommend checking tire pressure every two weeks or every 1,000 kilometers, there is an alternative to minimizing the impact this can have on our pocket: buy a portable air compressor to inflate your car wheels (and other objects) at any time.

Most of these devices have two ways of connecting to the valve (clip or screw) and determine the appropriate pressure for our tires so that when it reaches this level the compressor will stop on its own. Some are even equipped with a light to perform this operation in low visibility.

If you decide to buy a portable air compressor, you will find it in the links below some of the top rated by users with different prices (updated 11/15/2022):

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What do you think?

Written by Adem

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