Tesco Pay At Pump £1 - Not Charged?

Photo of a green car's fuel tank
Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

I did some research to find a quick answer to my question about ASDA, Morrison's and Tesco Pay At Pump charging £1 on my card. So how does it work?

The Answer

In short, you don't need to worry as you did nothing wrong. Those retailers introduced this service then added some security measures to make sure people who use the service actually have enough money in their accounts to pay for the petrol or diesel.

The machine will ask you for a card before you start fueling, then it will "hold" a temporary £99. They do not take it out of your account so it will not appear on your statement but they are on hold until they figure out the payment. The £99 are then released a few days later and can be used.

Now, the Tesco Pay At Pump problem that confuses some, is that you immediately find a £1 charged on your card and nothing else! I panicked when I first saw this and thought they might assume I did not pay or manipulated the machine. But this is just the machine testing your account and after a few days, it will calculate the actual amount you have used and eventually deduct it from your account.

So yo use this service you just need to follow these steps:

  • Choose pay at pump.
  • Insert your card and PIN (you will see £99).
  • Fuel your vehicle.

There can be some problems with this if you have a small amount of money in your account and you really need to use it. When the money is "on hold" you still cannot use it. I've found some people complaining online that it took at least a few days in some cases to process their transactions. So, if all you have got on your card is a couple of hundred pounds,, I would just suggest paying at the till.

Card not accepted?

Some people with basic accounts or people who do not have overdrafts might not be able to use this service. I do not have overdraft but I was able to use it!  I think it will depend on the bank and the type of account that you have. It is the bank that blocks this use to avoid you spending money that you don't have if you go overdrawn.

I hope that helps other people wondering about this one pound pay at pump charge.



  1. I have found with tesco that if I find I need to fill up end of the month couple days before pay day and I have less than a tenner in my account I can fill my car up completely around £60 and then not have the bill come out until I've been paid 2 or 3 days later. If they take it before you've been paid it will put you into your arranged or unarranged overdraft regardless this is to stop people stealing fuel


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