Propane and butane bottles are relatively cheap in France. But since they need frequent replacement, it is important to compare prices of bottles and deposits beforehand, as bills will stack up overtime. Below are all the details about gas bottles prices, deposits and suppliers in France in 2019.
How much do propane and butane bottles cost in France?
Gas bottles are readily available nationwide, but before setting up propane or butane for your home and singing up to a certain provider you want to make sure you are striking a fair deal. Here is what to expect when it comes to the cost of propane and butane cylinders in France.
What affects the price of a propane or butane bottle?
There are significant variations in the prices of propane and butane bottles. Here are the factors that explain the differences in tariffs:
- The brand of the bottle - for instance, some low-cost companies manage to charge lower rates than major brands (however, they often struggle to extend their distribution network to the whole of France, which is why for some small providers their products are not available nationwide).
- The model of the bottle
- The size of the gas cylinder - larger bottles will often incur the highest delivery rates (around €50), whereas for smaller and medium bottles rates will range from €9 to €30, independently from size. Because of this, a small bottle won't always necessarily be cheaper than an average bottle.
- The place where the bottle is bought (in a gas station, a supermaket or online for instance)
Since it is not the supplier but the reseller who sets the prices of gas cylinders, a same gas bottle can be sold for 2 different prices in 2 different resellers. To find the best price, it is necessary to compare the prices of gas cylinders at several points of sale near you.
Comparison of the prices of propane bottles
Gas bottle prices vary a lot, and with so many factors and brands on the market it is difficult to exhibit them all.
Below is a summary of the typical price ranges for the different types of propane and butane bottles on the French market. Prices are given according to what the different butane or propane suppliers in France have chosen to disclose on their websites, and since some of them do not communicate their prices, information on their tariffs won't appear below.
|Type of bottle||Weight||Bottle price||Deposit price|
€9 to €37.90
|€18 to €29
€1 to €30
€29 to €50
|€17.50 to €21.50
€16.54 to €28.56
€29.90 to €37.20
|€1 to €29
€1 to €29
€1 to €18
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Prices of gas bottle refills
Everytime a bottle starts to empty out, you will have to refill your gas stocks. This is why, overtime, the cost of refills will end up being a very important factor to consider when it comes to your gas budget.
You can check out this detailed article on gas refills in France for more information.
Gas suppliers in France and where to find them
There are 5 main butane and propane suppliers in France, which account for nearly 90% of the French market in terms of sales for propane alone. These aside, some other smaller providers operate on partial parts of the country, as explained below.
Gas cylinder suppliers in France
Here is a rundown of the companies providing gas in France:
|Name of the provider||Parent company||Area covered|
|Antargaz||UGI (USA)||All of France|
|Butagaz||Shell (UK - Netherlands)||All of France|
|Primagaz||SHV Gas (Netherlands)||All of France|
|Vitogaz||Rubis (France)||Some parts of France|
|Distrigaz||Philippe & Fils||South-East of France|
|Gaz Liberté||Günter Cottin||Ile de France and North-East of France|
|Sogasud (ex Repsol)||UGI (USA)||South-West of France|
Where to find propane or butane cylinders in France
You will be able to find butane and propane bottles online, as well as in all your provider's stockists. These are most often gas stations and big or small French supermarkets.
All the main French providers have interactive maps on their websites to help you locate the stockist nearest to you. You can check them out for Antargaz, Butagaz, Primagaz and Vitogaz (all in French).
You will also find all the addresses, contact details, opening times and products available for their nationwide stores on their websites.
Deposits for propane bottles
You may want to look into the price of deposits for gas bottles, which will impact the total costs of your bottle purchase. Indeed, this is a one-time fee you will have to pay in addition to the price of the bottle itself.
What determines the deposit cost in France?
The price of a deposit for a gas bottle varies depending on certain factors, namely:
- From one propane brand to another
- From one bottle range to another
- From one weight of bottle to another
- Depending on promotions in stores or gas stations.
How propane bottle deposits work in France
The deposit you pay for a gas cylinder is a security payment that must be paid for borrowing for the first time a gas cylinder. Upon payment, you will receive a consignment certificate, which must be kept safely (unless you ordered the bottle on the internet, in which case, it will be available on your online customer account).
Then, when the bottle is empty and you want to replace it, you only have to pay for the gas inside the bottle. It is only the day when you want to bring back your empty bottle without replacing it (either when you decide to change the type of bottle you use, or when you change your gas provider) that it will be necessary to present the certificate of consignment to the store, in order to obtain the refund of the initial deposit.
We recommend comparing the prices of the consignments of the various gas bottles offered for sale. The price of the consignment is fixed by the gas supplier, and some break the price by proposing consignments to €1 only, such as Gazissimo.
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Other factors to consider when choosing a propane or butane bottle
You may obviously be influenced by the price of bottles and their deposits, but you should also factor the following, non-price-related criterias in.
The weight of gas bottles
The weight of the propane or butane bottle you choose will affect the price you pay initially, the price of refills and the frenquency at which you will need to recharge.
Here are the main weights you will find in French stores:
|Type of bottle||Empty weight||Gas weight||Total weight|
|6 kg||7 kg||6 kg||13 kg|
|Butane - 13kg
Propane - 13kg
|35 kg||35 kg||35 kg||70 kg|
Are you confused as to which bottle weight to go for? Here are a few tips:
- Small propane bottles (6 kg) are designed for occasional use. They can be stored on a balcony, in a garden or outside a house in general. Their main advantage is that they are very easily carriable and thus you can move it around and use for your different activities
- 13 kg bottles are the most popular in France. They are generally used by individuals or professionals needing gas for cooking, heating or DIY purposes. They are not meant to be moved around.
- As for very large propane bottles (35 kg), these are for businesses, catering professionals and large families who consume a lot of gas, and can connect their bottles from the outside.
The technology used in the cylinder
As with propane tanks, the price of gas is not the only criterion to consider when comparing gas cylinders. Indeed, you can also consider the ergonomics of the gas cylinder, which can greatly facilitate its transport. Some suppliers have innovated to make bottles easier to move around and store, like the Antargaz Shesha for example, which is mounted on wheels.
The propane suppliers available in your area
If you live in a remote area, or have a second home in a rural region of France, you want to make sure to check whether the supplier you wish to subscribe to is available for your address. As shown in the table above, some smaller providers such as Gaz Liberté and Sogasud don't deliver gas everywhere.