The cost of petrol in the UK compared with the rest of the world

The price of petrol in the UK went through the roof last year, but has since settled. We look at how UK petrol price compares with the rest of the world.

Taxi driver filling up with fuel
The average price of petrol in the UK is around £1.85
(Image credit: © Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Petrol and diesel prices have fallen in recent weeks and months, but still remain a major drain on household finances amid the cost of living crisis.

According to the RAC, the average UK cost for a litre of petrol is 143p, down from a peak of 191.4 in July 2022.

Diesel too has fallen over the past six months, down to 146p per litre from a high of 199p.

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But how does the cost of filling up in the UK compare to the rest of the world?

Why is the price of petrol high in the UK?

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the price of petrol has risen globally on the back of volatile oil prices and the rising cost of energy. Petrol prices are closely related to the wholesale cost of oil - a general rule of thumb is pump prices will rise by 1p for each $2 rise in the oil price.

But the price you pay at the pump in the UK takes into account a number of factors beyond the cost of oil.

Fuel duty represents roughly 35% of the cost of a litre of petrol, with the cost of wholesale petrol to the supplier being only the second largest component – accounting for roughly 29% according to an analysis by the RAC. This includes refining costs.

VAT, retailer profits, delivery and distribution and biofuel content all contribute to the overall cost.

The cheapest places in the world to buy petrol

According to, the cheapest place on Earth to fill up your car is Venezuela, at $0.02 per litre. Venezuela is home to some of the world’s largest oil reserves, and oil accounts for 99% of export earnings, says oil cartel Opec.

Next comes Libya, where a litre of petrol costs $0.40. Then comes Iran, with petrol at $0.50 a litre.

Filling up the UK’s best-selling car, the Vauxhall Corsa, would cost 80p in Venezuela but £65.20 in the UK/

The most expensive places to buy petrol

Hong Kong is widely recognised to have the most expensive petrol in the world at around $2.96 per litre. The country primarily relies on a small number of companies in Singapore to import petrol and transportation costs are high, with the costs reflected in what drivers are expected to pay at the pump.

Iceland shares some geographic limitations with Hong Kong and it too suffers from high fuel costs. A litre of petrol costs around $2.24, only a fraction more than the third most expensive country, Monaco ($2.22).


What makes up the price of a litre of petrol?

Why petrol prices are higher than in 2008, despite lower oil prices now

How to cut your car’s fuel bill as the price of petrol hits a record high

Tom Higgins

Tom is a journalist and writer with an interest in sustainability, economic policy and pensions, looking into how personal finances can be used to make a positive impact. He graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a BA in journalism before moving to a financial content agency. 

His work has appeared in titles Investment Week and Money Marketing, as well as social media copy for Reuters and Bloomberg in addition to corporate content for financial giants including Mercer, State Street Global Advisors and the PLSA. He has also written for the  Financial Times Group.

When not working out of the Future’s Cardiff office, Tom can be found exploring the hills and coasts of South Wales but is sometimes east of the border supporting Bristol Rovers.