Bulgaria is a relatively small country, yet it has 3,200 filling stations. More than half of them belong to large networks, such as Shell, Petrol, OMV, Eko, etc. Their fuel quality complies with European standards.
Whenever you can, avoid filling up at smaller rural petrol stations. Their fuel quality can be lower than at the network stations.
Petrol stations are located every 30-50km on all highways in the country, save for Trakia Highway, also known as Thrace Motorway, where filling stations are few in number so far.
LPG dispensers are available at many filling stations because LPG-powered vehicles are somewhat popular in Bulgaria.
Cash and card payments are accepted.
The process is straightforward. When you drive up to a petrol station, an attendant comes to you almost immediately. You say the type and amount of fuel you need and go to the office to pay at the cash desk. Good news is you don’t need to hurry up. You can have a cup of coffee with a sandwich or buy something at the store while your car is being filled up. The staff might also wash your windows in the meantime.
If you return to your vehicle before the attendant finishes washing the windows, it is a common courtesy to give a tip. But that is up to you. If the attendant has gone to service another car, you don’t need to look for them.
There is often a Viva Cafe. You can also visit a small store where you can buy a road map, vignette (toll-road pass), and... even concert and museum tickets.
You can check the tyre pressures and pump up the tyres free of charge if needed. You can also clean your car with a pressure washer by yourself.
Some petrol stations have even a family room or play area.