UK Markets closed

Think our petrol costs a lot? Well it could be worse, you could be in Norway

James Andrews

Buying petrol or diesel in Britain is an expensive business. The latest figures show families are now spending more on fuel than on food - and it’s not going to get any better with the Government about to add another 3p a litre to fuel duty.

But it could be worse. You could live in Norway.

[Related feature: Why petrol in the UK really costs so much]

The place with the most expensive fuel

Insurance specialist Staveley Head has just compiled a report on the countries with the costliest petrol, with a litre of unleaded most expensive in Norway at 164p – despite the country being the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter.

Just like in the UK, it’s tax that’s driving up petrol prices in the Scandinavian country. Motor fuel in Norway gets both a road use tax and a CO2 tax added to it.

But while Norway tops the list of the most expensive places to fill up, high wages in the country mean car owners spend no more than 7.4% of their cash on fuel on average – where the comparable figure in the UK is far higher at 10.3%, Staveley Head found.

When the average cost of filling up a tank was compared with average earnings it was Eritrea – the only country outside Europe to make it into the top 10 most expensive places to buy fuel – that fared worst. At 141p a litre it takes an astonishing 20% of the average monthly take home pay for residents to just fill up a car in the East African country.

[Related feature: The country where petrol costs just 2p a litre]

Where does the UK rank then?

No one can claim fuel is cheap in the UK, with an average price of 142.48p a litre for petrol and 147.88p a litre for diesel according to the latest figures, but there are six countries where it costs more.

Along with Norway, Turkey (162p a litre), the Netherlands (148p), Italy (146.5p), Greece (145p) and Denmark (143p) all have more expensive petrol than us.

Of course, the planned increase in fuel duty in August will mean we leap from seventh in the world to fourth at current prices.
The full table

Price per litre (£)
Percentage of monthly income spent on petrol*
1. Norway 1.64


2. Turkey



3. Netherlands



4. Italy



5. Greece



6. Denmark



7. UK



8. Sweden



9. Eritrea



10. Belgium



*Monthly petrol costs are based on an individual owning a car that does 37.8 MPG, driving 12,000 miles a year.