Report: A Look at the Average Fuel Prices in Europe and the USA in February 2011

Without doubt, American drivers are feeling the pinch at the gas pump again as fuel prices have recently surged well past the $3 per gallon mark, recording a 20 per cent increase in the past year. According to the U.S. Energy information Administration, the nationwide average in America on February 21, 2011 was $3.19 for a gallon of regular gasoline (€compared to $2.66 the same day a year ago.

Nevertheless, that’s nothing compared to Europe where motorists paid between $6.21 and $9.08 per gallon in mid-February, 2011, according to data from the European Road Information Centre. The countries with the cheapest unleaded gasoline were Latvia at $6.21 per gallon or €1.19 per liter, and Bulgaria and Estonia, both at $6.28 per gallon or €1.20 per liter.

On the other side of the spectrum, we find Norway where motorists paid a whopping $9.08 per gallon or €1.75 per liter, and the Netherlands at $8.59 per gallon or €1.65 per liter.

One of the main reasons for the huge difference in fuel prices is that European governments put a much higher tax on gas compared to the USA. Whereas taxes in many European countries account for more than 60% of the total price, in the U.S., the Federal and average State tax made up for just 13% of the price of a gallon of regular gasoline in January 2011, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Unfortunately for motorists, the recent troubles across the Middle East can only have a negative effect on oil prices in the foreseeable future.

_____________________FUEL PRICES: USA vs EUROPE____________________

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Notes:

*Figures are converted to US dollars based on the currency exchange rates on February 23, 2011

*European fuel prices were sourced from the European Road Information Centre (ERIC) and are for February 18, 2011.

*USA prices were sourced from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and are for February 14, 2011.

Sources: The AA, EIA and ERIC

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