Whilst we were over in Canada, one of the big grumbles was about the price of fuel, much the same as the rest of the world. From our point of view, despite the price rises, the cost to fill up our gas-guzzling rental was still less than the cost to fill up our 50mpg VW Golf, so it was still pretty cheap.
Scot Hacker posted a blog entry making the same point, and linking to a CNN list of fuel prices around the world quoting figures from March 2005, and putting the UK in seventh place behind a number of our European neighbours, and all significantly more than North American prices.
Anyway, I know our UK prices have been climbing too, so I thought I’d see if there were some newer UK figures. The AA have a monthly report on UK and International fuel prices, the most recent being July 2005.
It makes interesting reading. In the UK, the average price for petrol was 88.66 pence per litre for petrol, and 92.73 pence per litre for diesel. That puts us in fifth place for petrol prices, but most expensive for diesel. As a comparison, petrol is 35.63 pence per litre for petrol and 37.97 pence per litre for diesel in the USA, less than half the price of the majority of Europe.
Of course, as Scot is right to point out in his article the price of fuel is not really a free market, with most countries in Europe taxing fuel heavily, whilst others in the world subsidise the cost. The UK of course comes into the former category, where our fuel tax has always been regarded as high, leading in particular to the Fuel Protests in 2000. The Wikipedia has an article comparing the rates of fuel tax in the UK, Canada, the USA and China, and looking at who pays what, and where it goes.