Breaking Down The Cost of Gasoline

In Vancouver the drivers have to pay more for gasoline than in any other parts of the country. According to gasbuddy, at the time of this post the average price for a liter of gas here is 137.8 cents. or ($5.22 per gallon) This is why so many of my friends are driving across the Canadian/US border to buy their petroleum from Blaine, WA, which currently sells gas for only $3.77 per gallon. You save $20 per tank!

Why is gasoline almost 40% more expensive in Vancouver than an adjacent US city less than 30 minutes away? For a country that exports oil, we sure have some weird economics that needs explaining. Below is a rough breakdown of what goes into the cost for 1 liter of gasoline in Vancouver BC.

74 cents – Actual Gasoline
15.87 cents – Marketing/Service
10 cents – Federal Tax
5.56 cents – Carbon Tax (Managed by the Provincial government)
17 cents – Translink Tax (For Vancouver’s public transportation system)
6.75 cents – BC Transportation Authority Tax
1.75 cents – Provincial Tax
6.87 cents – Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Total 137.8 cents/Liter

In other words, 52.93 cents or almost 40% of our money goes towards taxes, and 3 of those taxes are collected by the provincial government. Nice going Ms. Clark. And the carbon tax is planned to increase by another 1.39 cents/liter next year. If you drive but don’t live in the lower mainland, consider yourself lucky! If you do live here, consider taking advantage of our public transit. It’s good for the environment, and drivers are helping you pay for the skytrain service (^_^)


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Michelle P
10/11/2011 6:39 am

Wow gas is so expensive there! It's only $3.07 here.

Liquid Independence
10/11/2011 6:59 am

Yup, up here in the north, most things are quite expensive compared to you guys.

Financial Independence
10/13/2011 5:53 am

This is very precise and accurate breakdown. Thank you for the observation.

With two cars in a family and 4-5 fill ups a months, it will be easily $200 savings. Or over $ 2,000 a year, just to cross the border…

Liquid Independence
10/13/2011 9:51 pm

@ Financial Independence.
Yeah, good math there. And on an absolute bases Toronto is a more expensive city to live in than Vancouver. But once you factor in tax liabilities and that we make less money here per person, it kind of evens out.