Wednesday, October 28, 2009

7 Dollars a Gallon!

Last week we took a 2 day tour to the Loire valley and then early this week we visited England. Both trips required renting a car, first for two days and then for 3.

Gas prices in France were 1.33 EUROS per litre.

At current exchange rates (1.4762 dollars to the Euro) and at 3.785 liters to a gallon, that works out to 1.33 x 1.4762 x 3.785 = $7.43/gallon.

In England, the price was 1.099 POUNDS per litre. The current exchange rate is 1.6374 dollars to a pound. This converts to $6.81/gallon.

Last year, gas prices in the US reached $4/gallon and Americans moaned (and finally started changing their transportation decisions). The price has dropped back to the mid $2 range now so it is about 1/3 the price in Europe which is about what it has always been it seems.

According to AAA Fuel Gauge Report (which lists the average price of gas every day), we are at $2.68/gallon.

You can compare prices for different countries here.

The reason for the difference in prices is almost entirely due to government policy; that is, gas taxes. The average gas tax (state plus federal) is about $.47 in the US. About 75% of the price of gas in France is tax.

No wonder they drive such little cars here!

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