As anyone with a car knows, gas prices have been rising for a while now. In some U.S. states, the cost of filling up has climbed past $5 a gallon.
That sounds expensive, and it is. But how you perceive the cost of gas depends on where you live.
For example, in many parts of the world, $5 a gallon would be considered a bargain. In other countries, however, that price is laughably high.
Each week, GlobalPetrolPrices.com surveys gas prices in nations around the world. While the average price across the globe is currently $5.06 per gallon, it is much lower — or much higher — in many places.
Following are the five countries where gas is the least and most expensive as of the time of this writing. All prices have been converted to U.S. dollars and are based on U.S. gallons. The prices also are based on octane 95, which is equivalent to midgrade unleaded gas in the United States.
Countries with the lowest gas prices
National average gas price: $1.21 per gallon
Countries that produce and export oil typically have lower gas prices, GlobalPetrolPrices.com notes. Algeria fits the bill, with oil and gas making up 85% of the country’s exports, according to OPEC.
National average gas price: $1.20 per gallon
By U.S. standards, gas prices are low in Syria, thanks in part to government subsidies. But they have climbed dramatically in recent years. That trend is largely a result of the Syrian government’s decision to repeatedly raise gas prices in hopes of easing an economic crisis brought on by a civil war that has lasted more than a decade.
National average gas price: $0.19 per gallon
Like Syria, Iran keeps gas prices artificially low through subsidies. However, in recent years, government officials have begun to rethink this policy and the drag it creates on the national economy.
National average gas price: $0.12 per gallon
Libya is another nation that has fuel subsidies that rank among the world’s most generous. That has meant dramatically lower prices at the pump for the nation’s drivers.
National average gas price: $0.10 per gallon
How can gas prices be so unfathomably low in Venezuela? The answer is simple: The government subsidizes fuel costs.
So, if you want cheap fuel, move to Venezuela. Just be aware that you will be relocating to a country that appears to be coming apart at the seams.
Countries with the highest gas prices
National average gas price: $8.91 per gallon
Zimbabwe is an African country caught in the fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In explaining the rising cost of fuel in the country, Zhemu Soda, Zimbabwe Minister of Energy and Power Development, said:
“Zimbabwe imports almost all of its fuel requirements. Any increase in the price of oil on the international market therefore translates into an increase in fuel prices in the country.”
National average gas price: $9.16 per gallon
Among European nations, Norway is a major exporter of oil. Most countries in that position have low fuel prices, but not Norway.
What gives? European countries are notorious for placing high taxes on gasoline sales, and Norway is among the worst offenders. The country has increased gas taxes in an effort to make the economy less dependent on fossil fuels.
National average gas price: $9.24 per gallon
Like many countries in Europe, Monaco is feeling the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia is the largest supplier of gas to Europe, and the war has sent prices much higher.
2. Central African Republic
National average gas price: $9.35 per gallon
Growing global demand for oil surged as the COVID-19 pandemic subsided, creating fuel shortages in many African nations, including the Central African Republic. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made the situation worse, and rising gas prices are the result.
1. Hong Kong
National average gas price: $10.88 per gallon
Why do residents of Hong Kong pay sky-high fuel prices? One theory is that the high cost of land on the island makes it too expensive to build gas stations there. As a result, a lack of competition sends prices at the pump ever higher.