Motorists are everywhere. Driving a car is often the most convenient way to go where you gotta go, whether you’re in Bondi, Bamako, or Bangkok. So, while a select few countries monopolise the fuel extraction industry, the price of gasoline and diesel varies from country to country, depending on affordability, availability, and local taxes.
And these fuel prices have yo-yo’d dramatically since the pandemic hit, as Budget Direct reported in our guide to fuel prices all around Australia. So, now we’re taking the study globally. The cost of gas and diesel worldwide has been indexed for an up-to-date picture of prices and affordability in every country where data is available. We also show the price of fuel across key US, UK, and European cities. Vroom vroom!
- The country with the most expensive gasoline is the Central African Republic, at a cost of US$2.027 per litre.
- The most expensive diesel is in Sweden, where a litre costs US$1.809.
- The least affordable market for fuel is in Burundi, where it costs 576% (gas) or 563.9% (diesel) of the average monthly salary to fill an 80L tank.
- The most affordable fuel is in Qatar, where it takes 0.8% (gas) or 0.6% (diesel) of the monthly salary to fill an 80L tank.
Discover the Price of Fuel in Every Country
Our interactive map shows the price and affordability of gasoline and diesel around the world. Click the tabs at the top to switch between fuel types and price/affordability. You can change the currency using the tabs on the top-right of the map itself.
Tax on fuel is high in Europe, in many cases to fund environmental initiatives and discourage motoring. It is a big leap from the US, China, and Russia - fossil fuel subsidies across these three countries amount to around US$900 billion annually. These are countries where driving is a more necessary means of transport but also where the government wants to encourage local energy production to strengthen its isolationist positioning.
The least affordable fuel is mostly found across Africa. This is due to a low average income rather than the cost, which is moderate. The most affordable fuel is found in high-income, low-cost Middle East countries, including United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Qatar. The US is the fourth-most affordable market for gas and diesel, and Australia has the sixth (gasoline) and eighth (diesel) most affordable fuel.
Southampton Has the UK’s Most Expensive Fuel
There is significant variation in fuel costs across the UK, mostly due to supply and demand in each area. The UK gasoline (i.e. petrol) market is skewed by the dominance of supermarket fill-up stations. The big stores use low fuel prices to attract motorists making their weekly “big shop.” This means that the UK’s famous north-south divide doesn’t play a major part in the gasoline price disparity. The top 5 most expensive cities range from the south coast (Southampton) to Scotland (Edinburgh).
The most expensive UK cities for diesel are not much different from the gasoline top-hitters, for the reasons described above. Southampton is the most expensive for diesel as with gasoline. Historically, diesel and gasoline have been subject to similar levels of taxation in the UK, whereas much of Europe taxes gasoline higher than diesel.
California and Texas Home to Extremes of Fuel Prices
Everybody knows San Francisco is expensive. And SF comes out top for the most expensive gasoline and diesel, too. In fact, California dominates the charts for both fuel types, with America’s priciest fuel and gasoline found in SF, San Jose, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, and Fresno.
The cheapest cities in America are also consistent across diesel and fuel. Yes, they’re in Texas, America’s oil state. Fort Worth, Dallas, and San Antonio all boast gas at under 65¢ per litre and diesel under 60¢. However, the state’s tough winter is having a knock-on effect on prices within Texas and beyond.
Environmental Considerations Top-Up European Prices
Helsinki (Finland) and Paris (France) are in the top three for gasoline and diesel prices alike. But Europe’s priciest city for gasoline – Amsterdam (Holland) – is only the sixth most expensive diesel city. The Dutch emphasis on environmental initiatives is what keeps the cost of both fuel types high across Holland.
Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, takes top place for cost of diesel, at €1.45 (US$1.71) per litre. Stockholm has a city-wide environmental zone, which includes bans on vehicles with high emission levels. Diesel is subject to high taxation, which, coupled with a weak krone, has seen prices rise and emissions fall.
The cost of gasoline and diesel is not just economic but also the toll these fossil fuels take on the world. Bargain gas is always a happy find for the eager driver – but why not try putting those savings towards less environmentally destructive modes of transport?
Methodology & Sources
Neomam Studios, on behalf of Budget Direct collected this data about gasoline and diesel prices in February 2021.
Then the affordability of gasoline and diesel was calculated as a percentage of the costs of 80L of fuel to the average monthly salary. Income per capita data was taken from the World Bank.
The cost to fill one of the most popular cars in every region (Ford F-150 for the United States; Ford Fiesta for the United Kingdom and Volkswagen Golf for Europe) was also calculated for your interest.
This information is general in nature only and does not constitute legal advice. While Budget Direct has endeavoured to ensure the information provided is accurate and current, we do not guarantee it. Budget Direct accepts no liability for this information.