Highland Council is looking to the French for a possible solution to the closure of rural filling stations.
Competition has led to the closure of rural filling stations
Competition from supermarket filling stations is being blamed for the increasing problem.
France has won a concession from the EU that allows a cut in fuel tax in economically poor rural areas.
Highland Council is now researching the French measure and hopes to ask for a similar concession. The Treasury said it would consider the measure.
However, Inverness-based economist Tony Mackay thinks the idea would encourage fuel smuggling.
He said Norway's example should be followed instead, where costs have been cut by replacing rural filling stations with automatic fuel pumps that work like a cash machine.