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Slovak man charged with using fake Hungarian licence plate to get cheaper fuel

Charges have been raised against a Slovak man who tried to use a fake Hungarian licence plate when refueling his vehicle in western Hungary so that he would be eligible for the capped fuel price, the Zala County Prosecutor's Office said on Monday.

Earlier this year, the government limited the fuel price cap of 480 forints (EUR 1.19) per litre to top-ups of vehicles with Hungarian number plates to put the squeeze on petrol tourism.

The 29-year-old man in question was passing through Hungary on his way back to Slovakia from a holiday in Croatia early last month, Csaba Pirger, the spokesman of the prosecutor’s office, told MTI. When he reached Nagykanizsa, he wanted to top up his car, but replaced his licence plate with a fake plastic Hungarian one he had obtained in Slovakia so that he would be eligible for the capped fuel price.

When he got to a petrol station, he asked the manager how much fuel he could buy, but got scared and drove off without refueling. He put his real licence plates back onto his vehicle barely 50 metres from the petrol station and put the fake ones in the car’s passenger compartment.

The station’s manager notified the police of the incident. Police then found the man at another petrol station and seized the fake licence plates.

The Nagykanizsa district prosecutor’s office has charged the man with abuse of a unique identifier.

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