Prices at the Pump: Why Americans Have It Good

gas price comparison
Getty ImagesIn Norway a gallon of gasoline averages $9.97 in U.S. dollars, compared to the current $3.55 a gallon average in the United States.
There's little U.S. residents enjoy more than complaining about gas prices, but paying $3.55 a gallon -- the current average price at the pump, according to -- is chump change compared to the prices consumers in other countries pay.

The average U.S. resident actually pays 90 cents to $2 less than the actual market value of gasoline because of government subsidies.

Gas prices around the world range anywhere from 4 cents in Venezuela to $9.98 in Turkey. Check out the interactive map below.

In Turkey, where the government finds the fuel tax relatively easy to enforce compared to other taxes, gasoline costs $9.98 at the pump. About 40 percent of the country's workforce have under-the-table jobs and don't pay taxes, which is why the fuel tax is an important source of revenue that Turkey can't easily afford to alter.
Sponsored Links

Norway is a major oil producing country, but the average Norwegian has to shell out $9.97 for a gallon of gas, more than twice the U.S. average. Norway doesn't subsidize fuel at the pump; instead, it uses oil profits to fund free college education and infrastructure development.

Most Europeans pay a much higher price for gasoline than Americans do, anywhere between $6 and $10 more a gallon.

In oil producing countries in the Middle East like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, gas is dirt cheap. Saudi Arabians pay only 45 cents a gallon at the pump, while those in Kuwait pay just 80 cents.

But nowhere in the world is gas quite as cheap as it is in Venezuela. At 4 cents a gallon, it's practically free. In Venezuela, it costs about $1.56 to fill up the 39-gallon tank of a Chevrolet Suburban, according to calculations from Bloomberg, compared to $137.28 in the U.S. and $389.22 in Turkey.

For example, in India, gas costs about $4.36 a gallon, which may seem comparable to U.S. gas prices but really isn't. This is because per capita income is much lower in India than in the U.S. -- the cost of a single gallon of gas in India is about 16 percent more than the average Indian worker earns in one day; in the U.S., the average price of a gallon of gas is less than half of the federal minimum wage for one hour of work.

More from International Business Times

Summer Savers: Great Ideas for Cutting Your Gas Costs
See Gallery
Prices at the Pump: Why Americans Have It Good
According to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the average car's fuel economy is 17.1 percent lower at 70 mph than at 55 mph. Our readers have experienced similar results: one noted that slowing down from 75 to 55 mph translates into a 20 percent cut in gas expenditure -- that can make a big difference when gas is over $4 a gallon in some states! So ease up on the accelerator if you want to keep more money in your pocket.

Apps like and AAA's TripTIk Mobile can help you find the cheapest gas near you, while mapping software and traffic alerts can help you steer clear of slow or stopped traffic. 

Some outlets offer their own apps to help you save money. Last year, for example, Cumberland Farms introduced SmartPay. Customers activate the pump from the app, which is linked to the user's checking or PayPal account, and receive a discount of up to 10 cents per gallon. 

High gas prices can be a great excuse for exploring alternate routes for your daily driving. Be aware that the shortest route isn't always the most fuel-efficient -- one with lots of stops can burn through more gas, particularly if you brake hard and accelerate quickly at traffic lights.

One DailyFinance reader goes so far as to plan a route with only right-hand turns to avoid idling at left turn signals. Another practices what he calls "terrain driving": taking his foot of the gas and letting gravity propel the car whenever he comes to a downward incline. "You'd be surprised how far it takes the car," he observes. 

Try filling up your tank early in the week. The Department of Energy releases a weekly report on Wednesday, and the news can negatively impact gas prices on Thursday and Friday. Also, prices tend to be higher as the weekend approaches.

Where you fill up matters too. Contrary to popular belief, independent, local stations are often cheaper than than the big name-brand outlets.    

Why pay a penny more for gas than you have to? Unless your car requires high-octane fuel, there's no reason to buy premium, particularly when it can cost as much as 40 cents more per gallon. Ditto for mid-grade: Today's cars are designed to run safely and perform well on regular-octane fuel.

Consumers who own so-called  "flex-fuel" cars have the option of using E85, a gas blend that contains 85 percent ethanol, which is usually cheaper -- particularly in the Midwest, where much of the country's ethanol is produced. On the downside, though, a gallon of ethanol contains less energy than a gallon of gas, so unless it's a lot cheaper, the reduced cost may be offset by lower gas mileage. That said, many car owners aren't aware that their vehicles can burn E85, so its worth checking whether yours does. 

Read Full Story
  • DJI21636.78-915.39-4.06%
  • NIKKEI 22519389.43724.833.88%
    Hang Seng23484.28131.940.56%
  • USD (PER EUR)1.110.01161.05%
    USD (PER CHF)1.050.01321.27%
    JPY (PER USD)107.88-1.5600-1.43%
    GBP (PER USD)1.250.02932.41%