People in many developed countries outside the US pay more for gasoline due to higher fuel taxes. European countries tend to have the highest gas taxes.
Gas prices in the United States continue to climb to record highs, driven by rising oil prices and demand for gasoline that exceeds global supply, AAA says.
Although the high cost at home is a priority for many people, some social media posts claim that prices are much higher in other countries.
A VERIFY viewer sent the team a graphic shared online, asking if gas prices in the US are really lower than these eight other places around the world.
VERIFY reader Devin also asked if it’s true that gas prices in some European countries are higher than in the US
Are US Gas Prices Lower Than These 8 Other Places Around the World?
Yes, US gas prices are lower than these eight other places around the world.
WHAT WE FOUND
The graph sent to VERIFY lists gas prices in eight different locations around the world: Hong Kong, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Israel, Germany and France. Global Petrol Prices compiles the average price of gasoline per gallon in US dollars for most countries around the world and its data is current as of June 6th.
Here is the average gasoline price per gallon for the eight areas listed in the June 6 social media post, according to global gasoline prices:
- Hong Kong: $11.21
- Norway: $10.82
- Denmark: $10.32
- Sweden: $9.33
- Netherlands: $9.11
- Israel: $8.30
- Germany: $7.89
- France: $8.57
For comparison, the average gas price in the US is about $4.96 a gallon as of June 8, according to the AAA.
So it is true that many developed countries, including those highlighted in the online post, have higher gas prices than the US. But why is it like that?
Global gasoline prices explain that typically “richer countries have higher prices [for gasoline] while poorer countries and those countries that produce and export oil have significantly lower prices.” However, the US is an exception to this rule as it is economically advanced but has low gas prices compared to similar developed countries. This is due in large part to lower fuel taxes.
Many countries — particularly in Europe — have higher taxes on fuel than the US, Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy and University of Houston Energy Fellow Ed Hirs told VERIFY. According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), European countries tend to tax petroleum fuels at the highest levels in the world.
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the US federal fuel tax is 18.3 cents per gallon and the total state gasoline taxes average about 31 cents. That means the average American pays about 49 cents in total gas taxes, although some people may pay more if their state taxes are higher.
But for countries in the European Union, the minimum tax on gasoline is significantly higher at $1.55 per gallon – and the gas tax in some countries is almost double that.
The latest available data from the DOE shows that gas taxes are over $3 per gallon in the Netherlands and Israel and over $2 per gallon in Germany, France, Belgium and Denmark.
The Netherlands has the highest gas tax in the European Union, followed by Italy, Finland and Greece, the Tax Foundation reports.
In Hong Kong, which is technically not a country but a city SAR of China, almost 40% of what drivers pay at the pump goes to the government in the form of a fuel tax, Eric Ng reported for the South China Morning feature in April 2020.
Countries in the European Union have lost a key source of oil and gasoline since they banned imports from Russia amid the country’s ongoing war with Ukraine, Hirs explained. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), about 60% of Russian oil exports go to countries within Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Europe. The loss of Russian oil has prompted European countries to import more of it from other territories, including the US
RELATED: No, the US hasn’t halted oil production
Inflation in the 19 countries using the euro hit a record high in May 2022, and energy prices rose by more than 39%, reports the Associated Press.
UK inflation also rose to a 40-year high in April 2022 as the war in Ukraine fueled further increases in fuel prices. Gas in the UK costs around $8.33 per gallon.
Although the US has cheaper gas prices than many other countries, it is by no means the cheapest. Gas costs less than $1 a gallon in Venezuela, Libya and Iran, and dozens of other countries are offering gas for less than $4 a gallon, according to global gasoline prices data.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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