Buying & Leasing a Car

Gas Prices Around the World

Find out how prices at the pump in the U.S. stack up against prices in 11 other countries.

The average U.S. gas price has skyrocketed to $3.61, according to AAA. But Americans cough up only about half of the amount drivers pay per gallon in Europe, where steep fuel taxes fund public transit systems, among other projects. On the other extreme, oil-rich countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela, keep fuel dirt-cheap with generous subsidies that cost their governments billions.

Keep in mind that, with our suburbs, strip malls and gas guzzlers, Americans feel the pain at the pump more acutely than others.

Here’s a look at the average gas prices in early March for 11 countries around the world, collected by the German Agency for International Cooperation.

SEE THIS IN A SLIDE SHOW

Canada$5.56 per gallon

Although Canada is a major producer of oil (it’s the U.S.’s main provider, accounting for 24% of our crude oil in January), heavy taxes hit Canadian drivers hard. Pricing methods vary among provinces, with some choosing to regulate and others opting out. In February, Ontario’s motorists paid about 38% in taxes at the pump, more than triple the U.S. rate.

France$8.29 per gallon

European countries are well-known for their sky-high gas prices. France is no exception, levying taxes of over $4.50 per gallon. One trade-off is Europe’s ubiquitous train system, with high-speed trains such as the Eurostar and Thalys linking the continent.

Turkey$9.96 per gallon

Turkey has the highest price on our list, soaring to almost $10 per gallon. Istanbul consistently ranks as one of the most expensive cities in which to buy gas.

Saudi Arabia$0.61 per gallon

Saudi Arabia boasts about one-fifth of the world’s oil reserves and is a significant supplier to the U.S. The price of gasoline is decided by royal decree, selling at a subsidized rate.

Iran$1.44 per gallon

Although Iranians enjoy a gas subsidy, the government recently reduced its assistance, causing prices to soar. Drivers used to purchase a rationed 60 liters (about 16 gallons) of gas at about 10 cents per liter, with taxi drivers allowed more. The price has since quadrupled for the same fixed amount, according to Armin Wagner, an analyst at the German Agency for International Cooperation, a German-based group that studies global development.

India$5.03 per gallon

In June 2010, the Indian government decided to deregulate gasoline prices, doing away with the subsidies that had long kept the cost low. The price has since increased by about $1.

China$4.54 per gallon

China’s economic regulatory agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, adjusts the retail price of gasoline when the cost of crude oil changes by more than 4% over 22 business days. “When oil prices rally, China sometimes keeps oil lower than international rates to keep the economy going, prevent protests and promote social stability,” says Antoine Halff, a senior oil market analyst for the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Japan$6.62 per gallon

The island nation taxes motorists almost $3 per gallon, according to Energy Détente. A state-of-the-art railway system, which includes lightning-fast shinkansen (bullet trains), offsets the pain at the pump.

Australia$5.41 per gallon

Australia’s gas prices are determined by a deregulated market where competition is the name of the game. A benefit to Australian consumers right now is their thriving currency, which recently traded at a record-breaking rate against the U.S. dollar.

Brazil$5.98 per gallon

In the Western hemisphere, only the U.S. and Canada outpace Brazil’s appetite for energy. The country is somewhat insulated from rising world oil prices because of its local supply of ethanol, harvested from sugarcane. Each of the country’s 33,000 gas stations offer pure hydrated ethanol, according to Brazil’s Surgarcane Association. And motorists can drive Flexfuel vehicles, designed to run on a mixture of gasoline and ethanol.

Venezuela$0.08 per gallon

Venezuela boasts the lowest cost of gasoline on our list. Citizens pay just pennies per gallon, enjoying generous subsidies from President Hugo Chavez.

Like Iran and Saudi Arabia, oil-rich Venezuela has stitched affordable gas into its national fabric. “Oil is seen as a national resource, effectively owned by all and to which all are entitled,” says Halff. “The idea of cheap gasoline tends to be firmly entrenched in the political culture of those countries.”

Sources: -- German Agency for International Cooperation March 2011 Survey -- Associates for International Research (AIRINC) -- Lundberg Survey/Energy Détente from March 2011-- U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) -- AAA -- Mercer

Most Popular

Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer
Coronavirus and Your Money

Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer

The IRS has an online tool that lets you track the status of your second stimulus check.
January 18, 2021
Don’t Have a Pension? The SECURE Act Could Help
retirement planning

Don’t Have a Pension? The SECURE Act Could Help

If you’re worried about retirement, the SECURE Act has a lot to offer. It has several provisions to allow people to save more, for more years — and it…
January 22, 2021
When Could We Get a Third Stimulus Check?
Coronavirus and Your Money

When Could We Get a Third Stimulus Check?

President Biden and others in Congress are pushing for a third-round of stimulus checks, but it might be a while before we get them.
January 20, 2021

Recommended

6 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Second Stimulus Check
Coronavirus and Your Money

6 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Second Stimulus Check

If you don't have to use your second stimulus check for basic necessities, consider putting the money to work for you. You'll thank yourself later.
December 28, 2020
Save Money With an Electric Car
Buying & Leasing a Car

Save Money With an Electric Car

Although some are still a pricey luxury, we found EVs that are fun, affordable and eligible for tax incentives.
December 26, 2020
11 Winter Car Maintenance Tips
Buying & Leasing a Car

11 Winter Car Maintenance Tips

There's more to getting your car ready for winter than figuring out where the scraper went.
December 9, 2020
11 Superfoods to Boost Productivity at Work
business

11 Superfoods to Boost Productivity at Work

When you’re faced with a hectic workday, it can be all too easy to make some not-so-healthy food choices in between attending meetings, checking email…
December 9, 2020