Last week, a frustrated driver said he had been when filling up, even though he had only put £15 worth of in his tank. He was left "gobsmacked" by the charge and tried to ring his bank before returning to the when he noticed a sign.

It stated that paying at the pump with a card would automatically charge £120 then refund the difference back to the account.

The note added that the money would be refunded within two to 48 hours, depending on which banks the drivers use.

Many were frustrated with this new policy, especially during the cost of living crisis, when many are struggling with their finances.

For someone to only fill up £15 and potentially need to wait two days to have more than £100 returned to them could cause chaos for that driver.

READ MORE: 'Hefty' parking costs may see drivers pay £135 for just eight hours

The original driver claims he wasn't refunded until 12 hours after he visited the petrol station.

With the discovery of these pre-authorisation fees, many took to social media to criticise the policy and call for it to be scrapped.

Despite the recent outrage, this is not a new scheme, with payment providers Visa and Mastercard introducing the fees in 2021.

When it was first brought in, most reserve fees started from £1, before they were upped to £100 and now £120.

The purpose of the pre-authorisation charge is to ensure all motorists buying fuel have enough money in their account to pay for it.

It also provides assurances for both petrol retailers and the consumers themselves.

James Armstrong, CEO at Veygo, advised drivers on what they should do if they have insufficient funds, but still need fuel.

He said: "If you don't have enough money in your account to be charged a fee as high as £120, your bank will send this information to the petrol pump and agree on a lower authorised amount.

READ MORE: UK expats can use driving licences in Spain without a new test

"Once this is agreed upon, your pump will cut out once it has reached the set limit - otherwise known as partial authorisation. Bad news if you're planning a long trip.

"If done correctly, motorists should only see one charge on their account for the value of the fuel purchased.

"However, some mobile banking apps may show the total pre-authorisation fee as a pending transaction and there might be a delay of up to 48 hours for the actual amount to show and be taken from your account."

If drivers have concerns regarding their account, it is always best to contact their bank directly as they can advise them with any issues.

Three of the "Big 4" supermarkets - Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons - charge consumers a fee of up to £100 depending on their available funds.

This has been the case since 2021, but with pay-at-the-pump facilities becoming more common, drivers may only be seeing these changes in recent months.

Fuel giants BP charge customers up to £150 for a full tank, while Shell offers a mobile fuel payment service at selected stations.

When using this method, motorists can choose their maximum spend before filling up, helping to avoid the frustration of not being refunded the funds quickly enough.

In June last year, a £120 deposit charge was trialled at a number of Tesco petrol stations, with the supermarket chain hoping to roll the scheme out across all locations this year.

2023-03-23T08:16:56Z dg43tfdfdgfd