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Warning!!! Avoid N1 fuel stations.

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Warning!!! Avoid N1 fuel stations.

Whilst in Iceland i rented a car, on my way back to drop off the car and during my rental i had topped up the gas at two seperate N1 fuel stations.

I used my debit card to pay for the fuel and the first time i paid 14.88 GBP and second time 43.55 GBP, after returning home i noticed a few days later that my available balance was £200 short, after talking with my bank i discovered that this company charged me twice on the first top up but cancelled one transaction and the next they charged me the 43.55 GBP and a further £189 transaction that then was also cancelled. However that did not stop it being unavailable in my account and i now need to wait 5-7 working days for it to appear back in my account.

This seems very dodgy so i advise people to not use N1 when refuelling in Iceland.

14 replies to this topic
Sevenoaks District...
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1. Re: Warning!!! Avoid N1 fuel stations.

sounds a bit like the "fill tank up" option, where the fuel station reserves a maximum amount of money from the account, as they don't know how much fuel will be taken?

seems a lot of money, though?

Cologne, Germany
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2. Re: Warning!!! Avoid N1 fuel stations.

Read this thread for more information:


I assume you chose the "full tank" option and that the money was placed on hold in case you filled up the tank of a truck or motorhome ( in essence the maximum possible amount). Depending on your credit cards provider it may take a couple of days to be released again.

This happens anywhere you use that option, not just at Icelandic N1 stations.

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3. Re: Warning!!! Avoid N1 fuel stations.

This is true (I believe) of all stations in Iceland when using the "fill up" option. We used it all throughout or trip as we didn't want to have to guess how much fuel we needed. That money is returned to you so if you don't mind that, it is a good option to use to make sure your tank is full. We probably filled up every day or at most every other day and were not to worried as we knew the funds placed "on hold" would be returned. We were gone two weeks and a couple days after we returned home, there was nothing still on hold.

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4. Re: Warning!!! Avoid N1 fuel stations.

Worth to emphasize that it’s not N1 that is late in releasing the hold on the ringed amount. It’s released as soon as the card-issuer has confirmed the funds for the final amount will be issued. If it’s taking time then the most likely reason is that the card-issuer is slow in joining together fund-reservation and their relevant charge.

To simplify let’s create a small play where the pump and cc provider are the main stars:

N1 pump: Hey credit-card/debit card from UK! How are you? Is it OK that the holder takes petrol for up to ISK 25000? It might be less so this is only me asking you to confirm he has the money and that you will reserve it for me.

Credit card provider in UK: Hey N1! Long time no hear! Yes – this card holder has the equivalent of ISK 25000 that I will reserve as payment for his transactions. Here is a transaction reservation number. I see from your question that this is a reservation but not a final transaction.

N1: Hey CC! It’s over. The card-holder purchased petrol for ISK 12500. Here is the transaction number and it’s linked to your reservation number. You can convert that into whatever you call your cash using your conversion table and charge his account accordingly. BTW – once you confirm this transaction I will send you permission to release the hold for the ISK 25000.

This is where the storyline can take several twists.

The EFFECTIVE CC provider:

CC: Thanks, N1. I hereby confirm the transaction number you gave me has been charged.

N1: Great! Here is the release code for the reservation!

CC: Thanks a lot. Hear from you soon. Give my regards to Mrs. Pump and the little ones, I must go release the reserve!

[BTW – in Iceland we locals generally have effective CC providers so any reserve is released instantly]


CC: I hereby confirm the transaction number has been charged. Bye!

N1: Here is the release code for the reservation!

CC: Huh? What? OK – some code? I guess I will stick this number on a postit and process it a bit later.

Later – Where is that number?

Even later – It’s been 10 days since that nice pump at N1 made that reservation and the time they must claim it has passed. Maybe I better release the funds back to the card owner.


Reykjavik, Iceland
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5. Re: Warning!!! Avoid N1 fuel stations.

Gestur, you're a genius! This should be developed into a proper play for the theater 😀

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6. Re: Warning!!! Avoid N1 fuel stations.

Seems pretty clear to me now after watching that play.

Think he deserves a song for that!

Reykjavik, Iceland
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7. Re: Warning!!! Avoid N1 fuel stations.

You first :)))))

Southampton, United...
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8. Re: Warning!!! Avoid N1 fuel stations.

This is common through out Europe. Same thing in France last month. Only put £19 of fuel in but £100 on hold for a few days. We used a credit card so no big deal for us but useful for people to know

West Palm Beach...
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9. Re: Warning!!! Avoid N1 fuel stations.

It’s not sound advice to avoid N1 stations since there aren’t many different to choose from. To me, seeing an N1 while traveling in remote areas was like seeing an oasis. Not only were they great for gas and other refreshments but was a godsend when my rental was completely covered in dirt and mud. The free pressure hoses were greatly appreciated.

Los Alamos, New...
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10. Re: Warning!!! Avoid N1 fuel stations.

Is it fair to assume that this little song and dance will be a reality for US-based credit cards as well?

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