The most expensive petrol in the world

Robert Powell takes a look at the countries where petrol will cost you the most at the pump.

Fuel in the UK is certainly not a bargain. But it’s not the most expensive across the globe either, if new research is to be believed.

Yes, according to stats from commercial car insurer Staveley Head, Britain is quite low on the top ten rundown of the countries with the highest average price for a litre of unleaded petrol.

The research also looked at average monthly petrol expenditure, compared to average monthly disposable income to calculate what percentage of earnings drivers in each country spend on fuel.

#10 Belgium – 140p per litre

Belgium comes in at number ten with an average price of 140p per litre of unleaded. Disposable income levels in the country are £1,936 per month – 8.7% of which is, on average, spent on petrol.

And fuel prices aren’t the only thing giving Belgian drivers a headache. One stretch of road in the country was dubbed the ‘road of shame’ last year after 300,000 Euros of public money was spent on 250 separate signs lining a single 5km stretch.

#9 Eritrea – 141p per litre

The small country of Eritrea in the Horn of Africa is the only non-European state to enter the top ten with an average price of 141p per litre of unleaded.

The percentage level of spending on petrol is also far higher in Eritrea than any other entry on the list. The country’s population has an average monthly disposable income of just £279. Of this, £170 is spent on petrol – that’s a massive 61%.

#9 Sweden – 141p per litre

Sweden comes in joint ninth with the same average price per litre as Eritrea – 141p - as well as the same average monthly spend of £170. However residents in the Scandinavian country have an average disposable income around 12 times the size of those in Eritrea, making the percentage figure just 7.7%.

#7 UK – 142p per litre

Britain emerges as the seventh most expensive country for petrol with the average price for a litre of unleaded sat at 142p per litre. But this will rise again come August, when a 3p per litre hike in fuel duty (confirmed in last month’s Budget) is pushed through.

Brits also spend a relatively large amount of their income on petrol. The Staveley Head stats place average disposable income in the UK at £1,661 and the average petrol spend at £171, giving a percentage figure just over 10%.

#6 Denmark – 143p per litre

Average prices in Denmark are pegged just above UK costs at 143p per litre of unleaded. However the Dane’s average monthly disposable income is higher than the average Brit at £2,124, bringing the population’s percentage petrol spend down to 8.1%.

#5 Greece – 145p per litre

Greece’s economy has had a rough time of it lately, and the petrol sector is no exception. An average litre of unleaded will set you back 145p. Disposable income in the country is also one of the lowest across the top ten chart, at £680. So with average petrol expenditure at £175, Greeks on average spend a quarter of their income on fuel.

#4 Italy – 146p per litre

Italy comes in at four on the list. It will cost you 146.5p on average for a litre of unleaded. The percentage spend on petrol in the country is also relatively high at just over 15%.

#3 Netherlands – 148p per litre

Another Northern European country creeps onto the list. The Netherlands is at number three with an average per litre price for unleaded of 148p. However the Dutch have a fairly high level of disposable income, at £1,784 – so with an average monthly petrol spend of £179, the percentage figure works out at just over 10%.

#2 Turkey – 162p per litre

Petrol prices take a sharp upwards turn when we reach Turkey. Average per litre prices for unleaded are a huge 162p – a full 20p per litre higher than British costs, on average. And that’s despite the country being close to oil rich nations such as Saudi Arabia, the second cheapest country for petrol globally, according to another Staveley Head study.

But Turkey actually has the second lowest level of disposable income of the ten countries, at an average of £572. So with an average monthly petrol spend of £196, the percentage figure works out a huge 34%.

#1 Norway – 164p per litre

At the top of the charts: Norway. Prices for unleaded in the Scandinavian nation are set at a huge 164p per litre on average. That’s 80 times higher than the average petrol prices found in the cheapest country for fuel globally, Venezuela.

But this should be put in context. Norway also has, by some stretch, the highest level of disposable income at a £2,681. That puts average percentage spending on fuel at just over 7%.

High levels of taxation keep fuel expensive in Norway. On the flipside, fuel costs are kept low in Venezuela by the left-wing government, at an estimated cost to the economy of £13 billion – more than double the education and health budgets.

To read more about the countries with the cheapest petrol prices globally take a look at this article. Or for some tips on how to shave some cash off your fuel spend, head over to How to find the cheapest diesel and petrol prices.

More on cars:

Car finance: a terrible way to pay for your new car 

Car vs public transport: An old banger is cheaper than the bus!


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