Where Gas Prices Are Highest

Tyler Durden's picture

Think the US has it bad with its "soaring" gas price, which is now back to $3.75 per gallon? Think again. Here, courtesy of Bloomberg, is a list of the countries whose gasoline cost puts what Americans pay at the pump to shame. In order of descending gas prices, below are the 20 places in the world where one does not want to "fill 'er up."

1. Norway

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $10.12
Price change since last quarter: +4.4%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #1
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #52

Norway is the only major oil producer with expensive gas. In the last quarter, the world's most valued gas got even pricier.

A strike over pensions by Norwegian energy workers reduced oil output by 15 percent and threatened to shut down production altogether before the government intervened. The strike, which lasted from June 24 to July 9, cost the government and companies $508 million, according to the Norwegian Oil Industry Association.

Norwegians pay the most of any nationality to fill up their tanks. That's because instead of subsidizing fuel at the pump, the country uses its oil profits for services such as free college education and savings for infrastructure improvements.

Resource-rich Norwegians absorb the high prices with relative ease. The average daily income is $272. The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 3.7 percent.

 

2. Turkey

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $9.41
Price change since last quarter: N/A*
Most-expensive-gas rank: #2
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #7

Turkey is a fast-growing economy and the largest in Eastern Europe, but the high price of gas takes a bite out of family budgets. The average daily income for Turks is $30, and it takes 32 percent of an average day's wages to buy a gallon of gas.

The country has one of the world's highest gas taxes, which accounts for more than half of the cost to fuel up. Tax collection has long been a struggle for the government. They make up for it now through consumption taxes, like the fuel tax, which are relatively easy to enforce.

About 40 percent of the country's workers are part of an informal economy that pays no taxes. Only about 4 percent of the total population pays personal income tax.

 

3. Israel

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $9.28
Price change since last quarter: N/A*
Most-expensive-gas rank: #3
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #31

Surrounded by oil producers in the Middle East, Israel itself drills very little. Gasoline prices are controlled by the government, and taxes typically make up about half the cost of a gallon.

Gas prices have led to widespread discontent and political demonstrations over the cost of living. Prime Minister Netanyahu has intervened to prevent prices from rising with the global price of oil, most recently when he lowered price 2.9 percent on June 1, according to the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources.

While the country taxes gas, it simultaneously subsidizes oil. Israel paid about $565 million in subsidies in 2010, a relatively small contribution to the world's $409 billion in global fossil-fuel subsidies.

The average daily income in Israel is $87, and it takes 11 percent of an average day's wages to buy a gallon of gas.

 

4. Hong Kong

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $8.61
Price change since last quarter: -3.1
Most-expensive-gas rank: #4
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #35

Hong Kong is a part of China but has its own constitution, its own political structure and its own price of gas. Hong Kong residents pay 76 percent more for a gallon of gas than their neighbors in China, where the government caps the price at the pump.

Still, with their higher urban incomes, drivers in Hong Kong feel less pain at the pump than Chinese drivers do. The average daily income in Hong Kong is $99, and the share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 8.7 percent.

 

5. Netherlands

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $8.26
Price change since last quarter: -12%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #5
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #41

Netherlands has the most bicycles per capita in the world. Rows upon rows of them stand parked at train stations, museums and national parks. A vast infrastructure of bike paths and lanes, tunnels and traffic signals makes cycling easy to adopt.

The average daily income in the Netherlands is $131. The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 6.3 percent.

 

6. Denmark

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $8.20
Price change since last quarter: -13%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #6
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #47

Denmark's high gas prices haven't drastically reduced the country's consumption. Danes still rank among the top quarter of the world's gas gluttons.

They can afford the higher price, with a comfortable pain-at-the-pump ranking of 47 out of 60. The average daily income is $157. The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 5.2 percent.

 

7. Italy

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $8.15
Price change since last quarter: -13%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #7
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #34

Gas prices have been a shock to the home country of Ferrari and Lamborghini, where the rate of car ownership is among the world's highest. Demand for cars has fallen to its lowest level since 1979, according to Fiat SpA. The Turin-based company said on Aug. 2 that it's temporarily halting new investments in Italy.

Italy raised gas taxes about 25 percent over the past year as part of Prime Minister Mario Monti's austerity efforts to rein in the country's budget. The tax is now the highest in Europe.

Italy's gasoline consumption dropped 6.9 percent in June, compared with a year earlier, according to data from the Ministry of Economic Development. The average daily income is $93. The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 8.8 percent.

 

8. Sweden

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $8.14
Price change since last quarter: -9.3%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #8
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #48

Sweden paid about $2.71 billion to subsidize oil in 2010. Amid declines in daily wages, the amount of time Swedes had to work in order to afford a gallon of gas climbed by 4.3 percent in the last quarter.

The average daily income in Sweden is $158. The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 5.1 percent.

 

9. Greece

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $7.92
Price change since last quarter: -14%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #9
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #26

Wages in Greece declined amid the ongoing financial crisis. Falling gas prices helped ease the country's pain at the pump. Greece had the sixth-biggest price drop in the ranking.

The average Greek earns $66 a day. The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 12 percent, unchanged from last quarter.

The photo shows Saint George Bay, also known also as Shipwreck Beach. This ship was stranded in 1980 and is being slowly consumed by sand.

 

10. United Kingdom

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $7.87
Price change since last quarter: -11%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #10
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #37

High summer gas prices in the U.K. have pinched consumer spending and reduced fuel consumption. Gasoline sales fell 2.2 percent in June from a month earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The average daily income in the U.K. is $106. The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 7.4 percent.

 

11. France

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $7.79
Price change since last quarter: -11%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #11
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #39

The average retail price for gas among EU nations receded from record highs set earlier this summer, according to European Commission data. Price declines in France, Spain and Italy exceeded the 7.8 percent average decline of the Bloomberg Gas Price Ranking.

France has the 11th-most-expensive gas, despite generous government subsidies -- more than $3 billion in 2010. The average daily income in France is $117. The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 6.7 percent.

 

12. Belgium

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $7.77
Price change since last quarter: -12%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #12
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #42

The average daily income is $123. The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 6.3 percent.

European car sales have shrunk for nine consecutive months, and truck demand is down for the last five, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association. The group forecasts that passenger car sales in the EU will shrink 7 percent this year to 12.2 million vehicles, the weakest demand since 1995.

Pictured is the Notre Dame Church in Dinant, nestled between the Meuse River and the towering walls of the Citadel. The Citadel fortification was first constructed in 1051.

 

13. Germany

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $7.74
Price change since last quarter: -9.5%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #13
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #40

A German driver filling the 55-liter (14.5-gallon) tank of Europe's most popular car, Volkswagen's Golf hatchback, pays $112.23, compared with $54.38 for the same fill-up in the U.S. The average cost of gasoline at the pump in Europe is more than double the price in the U.S.

The average daily income in Germany is $116. The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 6.6 percent.

 

14. Portugal.

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $7.72
Price change since last quarter: -13%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #14
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #23

Portugal's 13 percent gas-price drop was one of the world's steepest. The amount of time a Portuguese had to work in order to afford a gallon of gas declined by 4.6 percent in the last quarter.

The price of gas in Portugal varies by region, and drivers can get discounts while buying groceries at several national supermarket chains. Portugal's Directorate General of Energy and Geology maintains a website showing the cheapest places to fill up across the country.

The average daily income in Portugal is $56. The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 14 percent.

 

15. Switzerland

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $7.66
Price change since last quarter: -3.6%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #15
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #53

Switzerland ranks among the world's top 10 percent of gasoline consumers per capita. The Swiss maintain some green credentials with a carbon dioxide emissions rate that is less than half the average of other high-income OECD countries.

The average daily income is $215. The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 3.6 percent.

 

16. Finland

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $7.59
Price change since last quarter: -12%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #16
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #45

The average daily income is $130. The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 5.9 percent.

 

17. Ireland

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $7.34
Price change since last quarter: -12%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #17
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #44

The average daily income is $125. The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 5.9 percent.

 

18. Japan

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $7.15
Price change since last quarter: -5.7%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #18
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #46

Japan's long-held national gasoline tax helped the country's carmakers take an early lead in developing fuel-efficient vehicles.

The aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami last year contributed to higher gas prices. Still, the average daily income is $128, and the share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is just 5.6 percent.

 

19. South Korea

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $7.12
Price change since last quarter: -5.9%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #19
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #30

South Korea paid about $1.62 billion to subsidize oil in 2010. The average daily income is $65. The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 11 percent.

 

20. Slovakia

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $6.93
Price change since last quarter: -13%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #20
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #21

The price drop in Slovakia was among the world's biggest. The amount of time the average Slovak needs to work in order to afford a gallon of gas declined 6.4 percent in the last quarter.

The average daily income in Slovakia is $47. The share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 15 percent.

 

*  *  *

So where is America? It is ranked 50th in the world in terms of gasoline price, just behind Russia, at $3.75 and just ahead of Pakistan at $3.55.

 

50. United States

Price per gallon of premium gasoline: $3.75
Price change since last quarter: -11%
Most-expensive-gas rank: #49
Pain-at-the-pump rank: #55

Attention to gas prices has dramatically waned as a presidential campaign theme after the price of gasoline declined for 14 straight weeks after peaking in April.

Americans have little to complain about. They pay less than half the European price for gasoline and $1.15 per gallon below the world average. The U.S. price is among the world's lowest, and Americans have high average incomes. Only five nations have less pain at the pump than the U.S. does, and four of them are members of OPEC.

The U.S. paid about $4.2 billion in 2010 to subsidize oil production and consumption. Gasoline taxes account for just 11 percent of the retail price of the fuel, compared with 60 percent in Britain.

The average daily income in the U.S. is $136, and the share of a day's wages needed to buy a gallon of gas is 2.8 percent.

Source: Bloomberg