Global Gasoline Prices

In North America there is no shortage of complaints about the cost to drive a car and gasoline prices. But relative to the rest of the world like England where they have loony petrol taxes, or most of Europe, our prices are quite affordable (゜∀゜) A recent Bloomberg article compares the relative cost of gasoline prices in 60 different countries from most expensive to least. The countries were ranked in 2 different ways.

Global gasoline prices

The first way is purely based on cost, so how much in US dollars to buy one gallon of gas (or 3.78 liters for those of us outside of the States :D) By this measurement Turkey has the most expensive gas in the study at $9.89 per gallon. Norway is number 2 at $9.63, still very expensive. Near the bottom of the rankings we have Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and in last place, the least expensive country, is Venezuela at just $0.06 haha :O)

The second way is based on affordability, so what portion of an average person’s daily income can pay for a gallon of unleaded gas, starting from most unaffordable. On top of the list is Pakistan where the average daily income is just $3.55. Since gas costs about $4 per gallon there, the average person would have to work more than a whole day to afford one gallon of gas! Affordability wise, that’s the equivalent of Canadians or Americans paying well over $100 per gallon at the pumps. Yeah.. no thank you t(°_°t) India which has a population of 1.24 billion came in close at number 2 on the list. Below I’ve just gone and grabbed the stats for 3 countries out of 60. The lower the ranking the more affordable gas is.

United Kingdom
Price per gallon of gasoline: UK $8.06
Rank by most expensive: 13
Rank by affordability: 39

Price per gallon of gasoline: $4.76
Rank by most expensive: 44
Rank by affordability: 53

United States
Price per gallon of gasoline: $3.29
Rank by most expensive: 51
Rank by affordability: 56

So when you think about it, we’re quite lucky in North America here. Canadians only spend 3.3% of what we earn in a day to buy a gallon of gas. Meanwhile you have countries like China, which requires 26%. Not to mention India and Pakistan, which is even worse at 110%. Next time I fill up my car I’m going to think wow so cheap! If you live in the US, even better for you 🙂



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Not Working
Not Working
02/15/2013 11:57 am

Voted for you 🙂

02/18/2013 9:33 am
Reply to  Not Working

Appreciate that :0)

My Financial Independence Journey

The one thing that these metrics (for the developed world, at least) leave out is how much gas is needed to carry out some regular life activity like commuting to work. Or maybe total cost of gas per year. If gas is expensive, but public transportation is cheap, on time, and functional, then it might not matter so much. But if gas is expensive and driving is necessary at all times, then the price of gas really hurts.

02/18/2013 9:38 am

Good point. The article only looked at how expensive gas would be for drivers. But in some countries like China there’s only 1 car for every 15 people, so most people don’t even drive. Unlike in Canada and the US where there’s more than 1 car for every 2 people lol.

02/15/2013 6:23 pm

I purchased a 100% electric car (EV) in October 2011. I bought gas only once since then for a weekend trip when I rented a car. In 2012 I drove a total of 17712km for $380 of hydro (all taxes included). That’s about $2.15 per 100km of driving. My car will never need an oil change, an emission test (ZERO emissions), etc. My insurance rates went down when I switched to an EV.

To pay for hydro for my EV, I spend less than 0.5% of my gross income. Buying gas is simply not necessary and is a waste of money (for most people). Note that it takes more electricity to refine oil into gas than if you simply used that electricity to charge the batteries and drive the same distance with an EV.

02/18/2013 9:42 am
Reply to  Darren

That’s good you can save money on insurance with an electric vehicle. I pay more for car insurance than gas right now :0( I would like to think that the market will work itself out eventually as more people will buy electric cars as more electric charging stations and support for greener vehicles is encouraged in the future.

02/16/2013 9:41 am

Thankfully, our car sharing means that we don’t have to worry about the cost any more. It’s included in the hourly rate!

02/18/2013 9:42 am

Car sharing is a great way to save on transportation costs :0)

02/18/2013 4:55 am

As a UK resident, I do find it funny when North American residents complain about gas/petrol prices. I mean, many of you still drive round in cars with big V8 motors. Over here anything with 5 or more cylinders is quite rare, and the vast majority of us don;t drive anything bigger than 2 litres (about 123 cu ins). Americans in particular don’t appear to be aware of the new “super fuel” (called diesel) either!! The way things are going, I don;t think I’ll ever go back to a petrol powered car for everyday use, I mean why would I when I get 60% more mileage with similar power from diesel? My current car is 12 years old, and does 55 mile to the UK gallon (4.544 litres) which equates to about 46 US mpg. I should also comment on why our prices are so high. Fuel over here is taxed twice. You pay duty on it and VAT on top of that too, which makes up almost exactly 2/3rds of the price at the pump. I believe we’re taxed on fuel more than anywhere else in Europe. It’s got to the point where the tax take has dropped recently,… Read more »

02/18/2013 9:54 am
Reply to  Matt

I like how gallons mean different measurements in different countries haha. As if imperial/metrics system wasn’t confusing enough. That’s too bad about the taxes. I can’t imagine the cost to drive a V8 in the Uk. I figure that’s why a larger proportion of you guys walk and ride bikes, which probably partly explains why you don’t hear about an obesity epidemic like they sometimes talk about in the US, which I guess is a good thing in the end. I don’t know why diesel isn’t used more either. From what I can see living in Canada, not every gas station has them here so I can understand the inconvenience for people who drive diesel cars. But then, I’m not sure why gas stations don’t just all sell diesel.

02/18/2013 2:26 pm

The market reponse to high prices is to find a way round it. Fuel prices in Europe are entirely due to taxation but is this a bad thing?

The massive European market and high fuel prices have driven the efficiency of cars up so that now it is possible to have a perfectly adequate car doing 50 miles per US gallon. This was forgotten in Detroit for many years with their muscle machines.

So yes the price of petrol is very low in the US but see where your cars come from now – Europe, Japan, Korea …

02/19/2013 3:17 am

It’s a very good thing for the US, sure. If you want to save money just buy a euro diesel and you’ll be laughing, but the tax and fuel economy thing is circular. Fuel gets taxed more so manufacturers make more fuel efficient vehicles, because we want to spend less on fuel. I think it’s about time we found some sort of balance, or had a serious think about our energy use.
A case in point: the toyota prius’ and honda insights are becoming ever more popular because they give very good fuel economy, but why, why, why do they use petrol???? Imagine how far one of those would travel if it used a diesel/electric combination instead. I just do not understand why they don’t do this. I mean it’s not as if, modern diesels already give mpg figures that are nearly as good as hybrids already.

Boris @cheapnfrugal
Boris @cheapnfrugal
02/19/2013 4:31 pm

Sigh. I think it’s time to look into electric vehicles. Gas costs are really a killer.

Financial Independence
02/20/2013 12:39 pm

I could not quite agree with it that gasoline (petrol) in the UK is more affordable than in the USA.

Average salary in the UK is lower than in the USA and income tax is much higher (basic rate 20% and than 40%) – almost no tax breaks.

02/22/2013 1:39 pm

Honestly, I think you’re on to a winner over there. When gas prices go up too far, you can simply switch to a european car and get double the mileage! Over here, we’ve got nowhere left to go, and it’s not as if a prius or insight is cheap enough to make any sense yet. I would have bought a smart car if it wasn’t for the fact I think they’d crumple up like a coke can in a crash…