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TOTAL fuel card for France

Peter wrote:

OTOH my chances of working out the user interface of a TOTAL self service pump (which is likely to be purely French) are probably worse than an AIR BP pump

It is more or less the same as getting fuel from a self-service garage.
Put in card
Put in pin #
Select fuel you want Avgas or JetA, select pump #
It will then ask if you have attached the ground lead and switched off your cell phone, press valider
It will tell you to insert card after pumping to get receipt.
Take out your card and pump fuel
Insert card again for receipt

It is worth getting a Total card as they have a majority share in France. I believe the deposit is negotiable.
OTOH I have not yet succeeded in getting an AIR BP card, is this as easy?
caution = deposit
recto-verso = on both sides of the page

Last Edited by simon32 at 19 Dec 07:45

simon32 wrote:

Select fuel you want Avgas or JetA
It will ask if you want a receipt

You must not be using the same pump I do. It usually asks me for the pump number (but that’s probably because there is only AVGAS) and to insert the card after refueling to get the receipt. We should probably make a little video some day and post. I’ll try to keep that in mind for next time I refuel.

simon32 wrote:

OTOH I have not yet succeeded in getting an AIR BP card, is this as easy?

See other thread about Air BP cards

Last Edited by Aviathor at 19 Dec 07:25

I have made a few alterations to above.
I’ll try again with the BP procedure.

Last Edited by simon32 at 19 Dec 07:50

We should probably make a little video some day and post. I’ll try to keep that in mind for next time I refuel.

Great idea. We can have a thread entitled “random self service pump videos” I would be an absolute scream (urban dictionary translates that to something inappropriate). I could then keep the video on my phone.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The deposit is not a spending limit. It’s a one-time up-front payment that they hold in case the direct debit is refused. It varies case by case. It seems to vary based on yearly usage estimate that you provide. But as far as I can tell, once you’ve paid the deposit you can use/buy as much as you want without them coming back and asking for a larger deposit. It works with direct debit exactly the same as BP card and yes, it is oriented towards national traffic using self-serve pumps. I’ve never tried to use it with a delivery truck.

It should be possible to get information about UK banks using SEPA via one of these links. I’m quite sure that the Royal Bank of Scotland supports SEPA, but then does it qualify as a British bank?
SEPA IBAN list of participants

LSZK, Switzerland

Is there any annual cost on the TOTAL card, and do you get a new one mailed to you each year, etc, even if the usage is low or zero? IOW, if I go through the procedure to get it (my bank does appear on the above SEPA participants list) will I have to do anything afterwards?

There used to be years when I didn’t use my AIR BP card (nobody wanted it) and they didn’t cancel it. Now, of course, it is widely used, even in France. And most AIR BP bowser drivers take it.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

AFAIK there is not validity limit on the TOTAL card. I have not heard of anyone who had it canceled due to inactivity.


No, there is no annual cost.

Yes, every 2 years. There is an expiry date on the card just like a credit card and a replacement (include plastic pouch) is sent shortly before the expiry month. A new card that I received mid-November has a 12/2018 expiry, replacing a card issued in Dec 2014 valid until 12/2016.

I can find nothing in the contract to say that the card needs to be used or it won’t be renewed, or of a max spending limit. A SEPA instruction is valid until revoked by you. I suppose that if you said you would buy 500 liters/year to get a low deposit and then bought 5’000 liters then they might come back asking for the deposit to be bumped up, but I would be surprised if they did. Once you have a record of the direct debit working without any issue I wouldn’t expect them to make a fuss. The direct debit works exactly the same as for the Air BP card and they send an email for every debit to notify you that one has been done and that the invoice is available for online retrieval.

The only real challenge for some might be that it is all in French of course: contract, web site, etc, etc. One expects nothing less (or more) from a proudly French company

However, there is a dynamic map online at the link previously provided in this chain. Click anywhere you see the magnifying glass picture to pull it up. Click anywhere you see “Télécharger” to get a 2-page table pdf with the current list of locations, fuel type(s), self-serve (“automate”) and pricing. This pdf is updated the first day of every month.

There are a few larger airports with customs and avgas on the list that have the self-service station. E.g. Bergerac, Figari (Corsica), Lyon – Bron, Montpellier, Rodez, Tours, to name a few. There are very few airfields in France where advance customs notification is not needed. Bordeaux and Marseille accept the card but don’t have self-service and only Jet-A.

Last Edited by chflyer at 19 Dec 15:51
LSZK, Switzerland

chflyer wrote:

confirm that the TOTAL card is easy to get if your bank supports SEPA direct debit, and at least one bank in Switzerland does (Postfinance

UBS also does. I don’t know where the “most UK / CH don’t do SEPA” OWT comes from. UK’s deadline for SEPA implementation was October 2016, most banks implemented it way earlier.

I don’t know where the “most UK / CH don’t do SEPA” OWT comes from

Well, October 2016 is, ahem, ahem, about 2 months ago….!

GA forums that I have been on (especially the very very few that cover actually flying to a “foreign country” and I can think of just two, one of which is behind a paywall and nowadays has almost nobody on it, and EuroGA is the other) have been dealing with people tearing their hair out for years over this, and I have seen long posts with instructions of how to get around the system. Especially when it involved setting up a French bank account, which was basically impossible unless you could come up with a French address plus some subterfuge. Later, it became possible via (IIRC) HSBC.

So it is good news that it is possible today via many non-French banks. Even my own one (a UK building society) now appears on the SEPA list, though I would prefer to test it before assuming too much because they struggle to even do an IBAN payment to the USA!

It is also good to hear there is no hassle after it has been set up, and that it might get you cheaper fuel (if you can operate the machine – we need the videos previously suggested ). The latter is especially relevant since the necessity of having the TOTAL card pretty well correlates with flying to airports which don’t have customs/immigration or often other facilities.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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