#26: Gassin’ up in the Old Country

The Question

mike d. Says:

March 22nd, 2005 at 2:58 pm

Dear Shaun,

Why is it that Europeans pay so much more than us Americans for gasoline? Is the high paying isolated to Europe? does Asia pay high prices too? I would think in today’s well traveled high tech world that prices would be similar across the globe.

mike d.

The Answer

Interestingly enough, it’s not the price of gasoline itself that raises the prices in Europe – it’s the taxes! Remember that in Europe, they believe in paying for what you get – and they get a lot of government services up there. Thus, high taxes in general, and especially on gasoline.

In the U.S.A., taxes account for about 31% of the price of gasoline at the pump.

In Britain, taxes account for about 80% of the price of gasoline at the pump.

The European average hovers around 65% of the price of gasoline at the pump being the result of government taxes.

Asian prices vary greatly from country to country, so I’m not prepared to generalize on that continent. But if it is different, I would wager that the difference is the result of taxes.

This was a very interesting question with a very surprising answer (at least for me). Cheers!

2 thoughts on “#26: Gassin’ up in the Old Country

  • 7/18/2005 at 7:39 am


    I was expecting something wildly different.

    I’m a big supporter of gas tax, so this proves to me that once again, those europeans have got their act together.

  • 7/18/2005 at 9:36 am

    Taxes are also the reasons why prices in CA, WA, and NV are so much higher compared to places like TX. It’s all about the tax.

    Here in WA, there’s a big vote coming up for a $.09 gas tax, which everyone was for back when gas was cheap. The state was about to implement, but because of higher gas prices, the people made a petition or something, and it’s coming to a revote.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *