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As fuel costs rise across the nation, it’s easy to think that Americans probably pay the most for gasoline globally. After all, when gas is well above $4 per gallon in certain parts of the country – mainly California – it feels like we all pay the price just to fill up our tanks to live day-to-day. Believe it or not, the U.S. doesn’t have the highest fuel prices in the world. In fact, that country might surprise you.

The country with the most expensive fuel prices

Budget Direct, an Australian insurance company, recently put together a study of the “Global Fuel Index,” or the fuel prices that countries are paying worldwide. Since the price of gas fluctuated greatly during the pandemic, it’s interesting to see where pricing stands globally now that they seem to be a little more stable.

And while you might think that the country with the highest fuel prices would probably be somewhere in Europe – if it isn’t the U.S. – you would, unfortunately, be wrong. In fact, the country that takes that top honor is the Central African Republic, aptly named for being right in the center of Africa. If you’re planning to visit any time soon, then you can look forward to paying $2.02 per liter of gas, or around $7.64 per gallon.

What about the U.S. fuel prices?

gas shortage threatens to rack USA this summer as someone puts gas into their car
A gasoline station pumps fuel | Illustration by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

If you’re still wondering how the U.S. fared, then you’ll be happy to know that we came in at 72 cents per liter or around $2.72 per gallon on average. Taking a closer look at the fuel pricing around the U.S., Budget Direct listed San Francisco as having the highest fuel prices in the country, followed by San Jose, LA, Sacramento, and San Diego.

Apparently, if you live anywhere other than California, consider yourself lucky. Especially if you currently reside in Texas or Oklahoma, as many cities in those two states are found at the bottom of the list. If you think that you might catch a break because you drive a diesel-powered car in California, think again.

The study showed that the most expensive diesel prices can be found in San Francisco, followed by San Jose, LA, and then Sacramento. We shouldn’t be too surprised, though, as diesel pricing isn’t typically too far off from the price of gas. Also, if you want the most affordable diesel fuel in the country, then you’ll have to go to Texas or Oklahoma.

A customer inserts a credit card into the gas pump. | Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Customer Betty Fox prepares to scan her credit card while getting fuel at a Road Ranger gas station. | Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Is Europe’s fuel pricing expensive?

Since you might have thought that a country in Europe would have the highest fuel prices worldwide, here is how those countries stacked up in the study. Budget Direct reports that the highest fuel prices in Europe can be found in Amsterdam, followed by Helsinki, and then Paris.

Gasoline in Amsterdam will set you back around $1.97 per liter, or $7.44 per gallon. While Helsinki and Paris pricing falls at around $1.83 per liter or $6.87 per gallon. After discovering the different pricing around the world, it’s easy to see that the gas prices in the U.S. aren’t so bad after all. Maybe it’s a good thing we’re heading toward EVs and hybrid cars.


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