Main menu: Home Tube Challenge Underground : USA Living in America 50p iPod Music


My dad emails me this morning. “Petrol here has come down slightly to £1.23 a litre, a ***** joke to what you pay”.

Now whilst I won’t (just yet) be working the price of gas[1] into my one man comedy show of what it’s like being a Brit on this side of the pond, it did get me wondering exactly how much more expensive it was in England, and how much cheaper is gas[1] here compared to back home.

Trouble is, I’m quite sure my maths is screwed somewhere, so if you think you’re smarter than me (likely), then please feel free to point out where I’ve gone wrong my calculations along the way here.

The first thing to note is that the US use Gallons – not the same an an Imperial Gallon that is used in England, not that England use their Gallons anyway, as gas[1] is measured in litres.

But according to Google …

1 UK Litre = 0.26 US Gallons, and 1 US Gallon = 3.78 UK Litres

The Gas[1] price in the UK right now (according to my dad) is £1.23 a litre.

So if we convert that to US Gallons first of all by multiplying the price by 3.78, then £1.23 per litre comes to £4.64 per US Gallon. Using XE’s exchange rate of 1.85 Dollars to the Pound, multiply that against the 4.64, it gives us a total of $8.58 per US Gallon. More than double than the average price across the USA right now.

Let’s do that the other way round …

The Gas[1] price in the USA right (for me, in Charleston, that picture is from the Shell station just round the corner from where I live) is $3.64 a US Gallon.

So if we convert that to UK litres, we multiple the price by 0.26, to give us $0.94 per litre. Using that same exchange rate again (1.85 Dollars to the Pound is 0.53 Pounds to the Dollar) that gives us £0.49 per UK litre – less than half of what people in England are paying right now. Right?

Or I have I got that completely wrong?

[1] By which, I mean ‘Petrol’

23 responses to “Gas”

  1. Chucker says:

    Your math seems right.

    During my recent trip to London, I was paying about 3 pounds ($6 USD) for a pint of cask ale and I calculated 2 pints = 1 quart, 4 quarts in a gallon so 8×3 pounds meant beer was about 24 pounds a gallon ($48 USD a gallon).

    But I rode the tube so I did not have to buy any petrol.

  2. Kirk says:

    Are the US prices before Tax?

  3. geofftech says:

    I’m pretty sure those prices include tax –one of the few times when paying for things in this damn country where I don’t get caught out by that!

  4. fimb says:

    Luckily not seen it that expensive for quite some time.. I’m paying 113.9 as a rule at the moment.

    Is it sad I have a google spreadsheet set up just for the purpose of working out how much I pay in US dollars/gallons? So, at todays exchange rate, thats $8.02 (cost in £ x 3.7854118 (litres in US gallon) x exchange rate SO, 1.139 x 3.7854118 x 1.85985 = 8.01889957716597)

  5. Phil says:

    Your dad must live in a swanky neighbourhood! According to our local average price for unleaded is currently 112.6p – not far off the recent top price. Apparently it’s going to come down a few pence in the next few days.

    Notwithstanding is still extortionate. A high percentage is the tax,

    What % of the price is tax in the US? I suspect that’s where the major differential comes from.

  6. Richard says:

    The sign in the photo has a nine-tenths at the end of it. Do they really charge in fractions of a cent over there?

  7. Adam says:

    Alas unfortunately you have that correct. I have to keep pointing this out to my girlfriend when she complains about how gas in Los Angeles is $5 a gallon. I merely point out… “In England I have to pay quite a lot more than that”

  8. Leigh says:

    One man comedy show?

  9. Ben French says:

    But if we multiply the tank size in a mini metro by that of a hummer, surely you are paying the same?

  10. Geoff's Mum says:

    Here in England you can access a map of your local area, with petrol staions marked, and when you hover your mouse over them, you get the price of fuel. In Geoff’s Dad’s area it seems to be about £1.20 a a litre now, but if you go 1 mile down the road it drops to £1.13.

    It pays to shop around, or you can subscribe to a weekly email service where they send you the lowest prices in your area. In my area of surrey, it varies from 112 to 121, but I use Diesel anyway, so that’s even more!

    Your maths was so dazzling Geoff, I couldn’t bring myself to check it, I am sure it is correct. Please send fuel for Xmas present, is it allowed?

    Are you serious about the one-man show? You would have plenty to say looking at your blog over the last 2 years.

  11. geofftech says:

    Fimb, is it sad that i want to see a copy of your excel spreadsheet? (No, seriously, I do…)

    I have no idea how much of a gallon here is tax. There must be a website out there somewhere. Hmmm. And yes Richard, they really do charge in fractions…

    Meanwhile, in others news (and sticking with the US vs UK topic as per usual….)

  12. ckd says:

    I can’t believe Geoff has unknowingly stumbled upon one of the greatest covert operations going on in this country! We Americans have actually been secretly working on a solution to the energy crisis that involves using solar power reflected off our dazzling white teeth to power our cars. The teeth must be perfectly straight for the sun to refract at the correct angle. Thus our government has been creating the proper cultural change over three decades to put this secret plan into place. World domination was ours!!! Damn you brainy Brits, you found us out!

  13. Kwad says:

    From your piece you use GAS a lot for an Englishman in Charleston.

  14. geofftech says:

    Kwaddy, err… hence, the [1], superscript! it’s irony. oh, never mind …

    ckd – Give us a smile then! Oww! it hurts! it hurts! the bright light!!!

  15. David - Lightwater says:

    Actually “gas” at my local gas station in the uk is 111.9p a litre, so it’s a little less than what your dad said. Also if you have a look closely at the gas pump next time you are at a gas station, the Americans used I think 87 to 93 ron, where as in Europe we used 95-99 ron. So the gas in Europe is of a higher quality than across the pond. It’s something I noticed when I filled up in Irvine, CA last year. It’s actually partly why you get more milege and power from cars in the uk than ones in the US (that extends to all makes of car not just american ones).

  16. geofftech says:

    oooh.. more mileage eh? if you think logging my weight (previous post) is a sad thing to do, wait ’til you see my NEXT post..>!!

    but yes. i filled up with 87 Octane tonight on the way home. 87/89/91 are three grades that you get here.

  17. Chz says:

    [pedant mode=on]
    (Hey, it’s the only time I comment here!)

    US (and Canada) octane ratings aren’t RON. They’re (RON+MON)/2. Which is close to, but not the same as, the RON rating. 95 in Europe is equivalent to 90-91 in North America. Premium gas in .eu goes higher (99-100 RON) than American premium, but not by very much – it’s the availability of much lower octane gas (US 87 is about 91-92) in the US that skews it.

    So the EU does still have higher octane ratings, but not by as much as people think.
    (not switching pedant mode off, it never goes off)

  18. Antony says:

    After going metric in the 1800’s (yeah right), the yanks decided to make their measurements fit the metric system by rounding (as well as changing the spelling of some terms). Why then does the US Gallon to Litre have so many decimal places? I guess they forgot about it.

    You can’t forget about the Dry Gallon, Corn Gallon and more importantly and Ale and Wine Gallons (we actualy the Ale Gallon was the base of the Imperial Gallon).

  19. Kona, Hawaii, routinely has the dubious distinction of almost always having the highest gasoline prices in the nation–as well as the highest electricity costs. (Our electricity is generated through diesel-powered generators.) But gasoline is nowhere near as high as Europe.

  20. Geoff's Mum says:

    How do you get those cute smileys to come up? Help someone please.

  21. Chris says:

    When you work out miles-per-gallon for your next piece remember that an Imperial Gallon (as, until recently, used in the UK) is around 4.2 litres, where the US Gallon is around 3.8, as you said. Another reason why our cars do more MPG than yank tanks. Also, I think Litres are kinda universal, rather than a particularly UK-centric measure?

  22. Yorkie says:

    I was talking to some drivers from a Coach operator near Sevenoaks, Kent at the weekend. It’s still cheaper for them to nip to Calais to fill up with diesel, at about £1.03/l. Perfectly legal too.

  23. Yorkie says:

    If their 13 tonne coach is empty it has a range (tank capacity) of 1200 miles! Don’t know how many litres it takes though. My car spreadsheet tells me that I normally exceed 50mpg, so I’m pretty happy with that.

Powered by WordPress