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Iran's fuel quota system
Tuesday, 02 October 2007
From June 2007 the Iranian government has implemented a fuel quota system throughout the country. For travellers with their own transportation there are a few changes. Here you find a few practical bits of info about the fuel quota system we picked up from other travellers and contacts inside Iran. The info is gathered during the 2nd half of 2007 – where we’ve heard rumours we added it here as such.

Basically the fuel quota system rations petrol (not diesel) consumption in Iran among motorists.
Each Iranian has a quota of 100 litres a month for 1000 Rials / litre. For tourists there is no quota, although the price is higher. (see below). So far diesel hasn’t been rationed and is still being sold as before. That is when it’s available – as before don’t expect to find easy & cheap diesel in border regions.

The petrol fuel quota system is based on a chipcard distributed by the NIOPDC.

Iran's petrol chipcard

The chipcard is sold in cities in nominations of 50 and 100 Litres. Once bought, the chipcard can be recharged – topped up. For tourists one litre petrol is sold for 5000 rials on the chipcard. At the petrol station another 1000 rials has to paid in cash. This means for tourists petrol costs 6000 Rials / litre. Compared to Turkish petrol that’s still quite reasonable.

Diesel is sold for 160 Rials/litre on the edges of cities, usually recognisable by long queues of trucks on the mains roads. Petrol is sold everywhere.

When you enter Iran – make sure you have enough diesel to reach Tehran (coming from Turkey) or Esfahan (coming from Pakistan). If not there is the black diesel market where the price is 10 – 20 fold if available.


Diesel tax, fuel tax or petrol tax doesn’t exist. The new petrol quota system can be a reason for conmen to trick travellers into paying any fake tax. When you find yourself in this situation – in any case don’t get angry, take your stand and see how things progress. We’ve heard one case in september 2007 in the Mashad border region where someone was tricked into paying a couple of hundred of Euro’s of fuel tax.

However for motorists entering Iran without a carnet de passage there’s a fee. This has nothing do with the fuel quota system of any kind of fuel tax. For any info how to obtain a carnet at the border contact this man.

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