With an average price of $2.87 per gallon, Hawaii is the most expensive place in the U.S. to buy gas. That’s nothing compared to what drivers pay in Hong Kong: $7.04 per gallon.
On a global scale, it’s not terribly expensive to fuel up in the U.S. The average American’s gallon of gas cost $2.46 as of the most recent report from globalpetrolprices.com, putting it as the country 20th-lowest average gas price out of 183 nations. (Note: Hong Kong isn’t a country — it’s a special administrative region of China — but is listed independently on globalpetrolprices.com.)
One of the biggest differences between countries with high gas prices and those with low gas prices is oil production (you can see the full list of countries with the lowest gas prices here). Generally, those that produce a lot of oil also have relatively low gas prices, but that’s not always the case. Norway, for example, is the world’s 15th-largest oil producer but also has one of the highest average gas prices: $6.44 a gallon. European countries tend to heavily tax fuel, and as a result, a handful of European countries are among those with the highest fuel prices.
“Common threads among most of those countries will be that they have extensive bus/rail transport options, and in most cases they are oil-importing nations,” said Robert Rapier, an energy analyst, in an email. “In that case, higher taxes that drive up the cost of gasoline (which is the common thread as well — the prices are almost always high because of high taxes) will back out oil imports because citizens will look for more cost-effective transport.”
Here are the countries with gas prices that will make American drivers cringe.
9. Israel & Somalia (tie)
Average price of gas: $5.94 per gallon
Somalia is one of two African nations among the 10 most expensive places to buy gas. Car ownership isn’t common in many African nations, and Somalia produces no oil, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy. It’s also one of the poorest countries in the world.
Israel barely makes the top 100 of oil-producing countries. At 96th, it produces about 5,800 barrels of oil a day.
Average price of gas: $6.02 per gallon
Monaco is the second-smallest and most densely populated country in the world, so there’s not a lot of space for vehicles, making the high gas prices seem logical. Also, the people who live there tend to be very wealthy, so they may be able to afford to pay far more than Americans do to fuel their cars.
Average price of gas: $6.13 per gallon
As far as cars and fuel go, Italy and the U.S. aren’t that different. They both produce and import oil (though the U.S. does both on a much larger scale), and car ownership is common. Still, to fill a 16-gallon tank in Italy (an average size), it would cost nearly $100, compared to about $40 in the U.S.
5. United Kingdom & Denmark (tie)
Average price of gas: $6.17 per gallon
The U.K. and Denmark produce a decent amount of oil (they’re ranked 23rd and 39th, respectively), but again, European countries tend to have high taxes on fuel.
Average price of gas: $6.21 per gallon
Djibouti, a small country in the horn of Africa, is neither densely populated nor very populated overall. Like Somalia, it has very poor transportation infrastructure, which may contribute to the high gas prices.
Average price of gas: $6.44 per gallon
To an American, gas may seem expensive in Norway, but that’s just how things are in that country. By many standards, Norway is one of the most expensive countries to live in and visit, so the high gas prices are on par with other costs there.
2. The Netherlands
Average price of gas: $6.55 per gallon
The Netherlands is known for its cycling culture, so if you’re not into paying $6.55 per gallon to fuel up a car, the bicycle is a popular alternative.
1. Hong Kong
Average price of gasoline: $7.04 per gallon
Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world — one with a lot of pollution problems — so it makes sense that car travel would be discouraged by high gas prices. The cost of a gallon of gas is about how much someone could pay for a gallon of organic milk in some parts of the U.S. (and a lot of people aren’t willing to pay that, either).