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Petrol prices

I am used to seeing my USian LJFriends bemoaning $4 / gallon petrol prices and had not bought petrol myself for a while but was surprised to find that petrol is MUCH more expensive over this side of the pond! We are spending up to £1.40 per LITRE! Now, using very rough approximations, there are about $2 per £1 and four litres to a gallon. I know, very rough. Please do let me know if these rough conversions are wildly off. Anyway, using these rough conversions, we are paying £1.40 x 4 x 2 = more than $10 per gallon!!!

ETA: TBH our living and traveling needs are not relevant to the price we are charged for petrol. My reason for this post was not to whine that we are charged more but merely to state the fact that, for whatever reason, we are - whether we have further to drive than you guys or less far to drive.

Just my opinion mind.

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Comments

krasota
Oct. 5th, 2008 02:55 am (UTC)
Yes. You also have public transit. All those taxes go into the transit infrastructure, do they not?

krasota
Oct. 5th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
Also, for frame of reference, I grew up over a 1000km from where I currently live. And while it's too far for a weekend trip (10 hour drive), I've done it on a long weekend and used to do it several times a year.

Every other month, we drive over 400km (one way) to visit my in-laws. The cost of gas is still cheaper than the cost of train tickets. And the train would take considerably longer.

The US is most certainly a car culture. Blame geography and suburbs. ;)
natf
Oct. 5th, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC)
I have public transport now I live in the town. When I used to live in the village there were no busses (well, one a day each way) and the trains are pretty expensive, only going to the major towns (so not where I ever needed to go). Not all of that price is taxes TBH but I don't know the details.
krasota
Oct. 5th, 2008 02:32 pm (UTC)
The town I grew up in had a population of 250 people. The nearest bus station was probably 60-100km away. The nearest passenger train was about the same. Dozens of cargo trains passed nearby each day and we were near a few major highways. The midwest is very much a transport hub. We just don't have public transit outside of major urban areas.

Our prices are subsidized, yes. Yours are not so much, I think.

natf
Oct. 6th, 2008 12:40 am (UTC)
Yeah, well, TBH our living and traveling needs are not relevant to the price we are charged for petrol. My reason for this post was not to whine that we are charged more but merely to point out that, for whatever reason, we are - whether we have further to drive than you guys or less far to drive.

Just my opinion mind.
krasota
Oct. 6th, 2008 01:29 am (UTC)
My point was that our government heavily subsidizes American oil/gas companies. This keeps our costs artificially low compared to countries that don't let the companies off so easily. Our gov't also puts very little into the public transit infrastructure. Part of the reason is that the US is so vast, with population centers scattered.

When prices start rising, folks here tend to complain mightily, in part because that's what people do and in part because we often have no choice but to drive great distances. Also, because we've had low prices for so long, people have set down roots in areas where they could live comfortably while working elsewhere. Or, they live where there were historically jobs, but those jobs have now disappeared.

I listed the distances simply to give perspective. The US is vast. Folks who live overseas often don't realize just how big it is.

Our comparatively lower fuel prices aren't necessarily a good thing.
marypcb
Oct. 6th, 2008 09:46 am (UTC)
bring back Amtrack, eh... I couldn't find a train route from Orlando to San Diego and when we travelled on up to SF we never even though to look into the train, despite our ambition to take the train from San Diego to Seattle one day. If I wanted to go the same distances in Europe, I have access to a pretty good train network; you can do Berlin/Brussels/London overnight and that's over 900km (although less than 600km as a great circle, so the flights are far faster, assuming they didn't close Heathrow while you were trying to get home).

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