# Why is fuel expensive in Europe?

1. Mar 1, 2004

### ShawnD

The US has a lot of oil but much of the oil used is shipped in from the middle east. Gasoline and diesel are cheap in the US.

Europe doesn't really have much oil; most of the oil is piped from the middle east. Gasoline and diesel are insanely expensive.

If Europe is so much closer to the middle east and all of the oil can be brought in through pipes instead of boats; why is fuel so expensive there?

2. Mar 1, 2004

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
taxes..

3. Mar 1, 2004

### Njorl

Then, the natural question, why does Europe tax fuel at such a high rate?

I have my opinions, but I don't live there.

Njorl

4. Mar 1, 2004

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
So that the money can be spent protecting the environment, building good roads, etc. I'll take a look this evening what a liter costs in Euro's.. if I am not mistaken it's about the same price for a gallon in the US I'll need to have an American reference though..

5. Mar 1, 2004

### ShawnD

It's not the same at all. I live in Canada where gasoline is slightly more expensive than it is in the US (considiering exchange rate and crossing between gallons and litres). Foreign exchange students from Europe are just blown away by how much people around here drive. The concept of just going driving for the hell of it blows their minds; especially when you're driving a truck with a 5L engine.

As for a referance. Last I heard (few months ago), the cost of gasoline in Washington (the state, not the city) was about $2.30 per gallon. Last edited: Mar 1, 2004 6. Mar 1, 2004 ### Monique Staff Emeritus I said the price for a liter and a gallon should be in the same range.. and since a gallon are about 3.8 liters.. I don't drive (taking the train is free for students :P) so hold on for my price :) 7. Mar 1, 2004 ### ShawnD Sorry, I thought you meant$/L ~ $/L. You seriously don't drive? How do you get around? 8. Mar 1, 2004 ### Monique Staff Emeritus Ok, I couldn't wait so looked it up on the web The prizes in 2001 in NL were: €1.275/l for gasoline €0.885/l for diesel converted that would be:$6.034/gallon for gasoline
$4.189/gallon for diesel and according to Shawn gasoline in the US is$2.30/gallon

That sure makes your hair rise, doesn't it? But I think there is a really really big difference in the kind of cars Europeans drive, compared with nothern Americans.. our mileage is much better.

9. Mar 1, 2004

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
Bicycle, train, subway.. works perfectly (well, the car is not much better, let's say that :P) and it doesn't cost me a cent.. government sponsers students :D

10. Mar 1, 2004

No seriously, how do you get stuff? When I buy groceries, I buy over $150 worth of it, it barely fits in the trunk of a small car. The place where I buy my shoes and jackets is about 5km away and no bus or train goes anywhere near that area. Several of my friends are a 20 minute drive away; that's about 1 hour in bus time. I wouldn't be able to live without having access to a car. 11. Mar 1, 2004 ### Njorl In Washington DC, the price of gas is$1.70-\$2.00 per gallon.

Europe has much better mass transit systems than the US. The governments there spent a lot of money to build them, and they want people to use them. High gas taxes discourage private automobile driving.

The US has terrible mass transit. It spent enormous amounts of money building a superhighway system. We do not want to discourage people from using the highways, so we keep gas taxes low.

OT, I'm always amazed at the people who think Amtrak should be eliminated because it doesn't make a profit. They complain that it is subsidized by the federal government. The subsidies to Amtrak are actually insignificant compared to the subsidies paid to keep people driving their cars. The highway system is essentially a huge subsidy to the automotive industries.

Njorl

12. Mar 1, 2004

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
The groceries I do on the bicycle, the store is 5 min away. Clothes I buy downtown of my city, which is a 15 min bicycle ride (about 3-4 km), I could also take the bus, since it stops infront of my door, but that would also take 15 min so I always take the bike. If I want to be crazy I can go shopping in Amsterdam, about 25 miles away, which takes 35 min in a fast train, the Central train station is right in front of the shopping streets. Some friends live in other cities, it takes 30 min to reach by car, 30 min by train. The other week I visited a collegue, she went by bike, I by bus, we arrived at the same time. What else :P

The only trouble is rush hour, but that is just as bad or even worse by car (roads are REALLY crowded, no parking spots). Getting to work is a pain, since I have to travel all the way through Amsterdam, entering north-west, going north-east, and finally to the most southernly point. That takes me 1.5 hours to travel 30 mi but again, car won't be much better either.

So basically I don't miss it at all oh, and prices are astronomical to obtain a license.. and oh.. they are really strict so most people have to take the exam 2-3 times.

13. Mar 1, 2004

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
Oh, lol, I just notice so why don't you go by bicycle??? I know.. I've been to the US, you are in the US right? Over there bicycles are not considered a mode of transportation :P

14. Mar 1, 2004

### ShawnD

There are no sidewalks near that shopping centre. There is maybe 1km worth of sidewalks the entire way. The rest of the trip would mean biking on grass (or thick snow) which takes forever. I did bike there before with some friends and it takes roughly 50 minutes by bike in summer time. In winter, it would take well over 2 hours. Snow really slows down how fast you can walk. Biking in 2 feet of snow is not an option.

15. Mar 1, 2004

### Zero

5km is 3 miles...do they not have roads where you live? I know it is possible, I used to live directly on the highway, which made bike-riding a pain.

16. Mar 1, 2004

### ShawnD

If you bike on the road, that means you WANT to die. If you want to try keeping up with cars going 70k, best of luck to you. I prefer not to put my life in extreme danger like that.

17. Mar 1, 2004

### Zero

Well, legally a bicycle is a vehicle, and you are supposed to be able to ride on certain roads.

18. Mar 1, 2004

### ShawnD

That's what the book says, it's not reality. There are many things the book says that you should absolutely never try. For example, you are allowed to ride your bicycle on a 2 lane highway (1 lane in each direction). Another example, if you are coming to a T intersection where you are forced to turn and you see a car coming from your left, that car is required to stop for you even though there is no light and no stop sign. Would you ever at any time trust that the person coming will stop for you? I wouldn't; I would just let him go by then make the turn after.

19. Mar 1, 2004

### Gara

isnt it something like, for every £1 of fuel you buy, cos of the high tax, you're only acually buying £0.15 of fuel.

or something.

20. Mar 1, 2004

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
*ughm* today I passed the tankstation, I forgot to look though (was going too fast :P) the only glimpse I got was a price of €1.99.. which would be a LOT more than the €1.275.. I'll have to check again in the morning :P