Stop Whining About Higher Gas Prices

By any comparative measure, gas is still cheap.

It costs me $80 to fill my tank and I need to do that every two weeks.

I get about ten miles to the gallon.

Gasoline is not my major car expense. It’s repairs. I just spent $3000 to put a 25-year old engine into my vehicle.

Slate has a great article:

Gasoline is also a fairly minor expense when you consider the overall cost of car ownership. In 1975, gasoline made up 33.4 percent of the total cost of owning and operating a car. By 2006, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, gasoline costs had declined to just 17.1 percent of the total cost of car ownership. Of course, fuel costs have risen by about $1 per gallon since 2006, but even with those increases, fuel continues to be a relatively small part of the cost of car ownership. By contrast, the fixed costs of ownership—insurance, licensing, taxes, and financing—have increased nearly fivefold since 1975. Maintenance costs have also quintupled over the same time period.

…American gasoline is also dirt-cheap compared with gas in other countries. British motorists are currently paying about $8.38 per gallon for gasoline. In Norway, a major oil exporter, drivers are paying $8.73. In 2007, out of the 32 industrialized countries surveyed by the International Energy Agency, only one (Mexico) had cheaper gasoline than the United States. Last year, drivers in Turkey were paying three times as much for their gasoline as Americans were. The IEA data also show that in India—where the per capita gross domestic product is about $2,700 (about 6 percent of the per capita GDP in the United States)—drivers have been paying more for their diesel fuel and gasoline than their American counterparts.

(Gasoline is also cheap compared with other essential fuels. A Starbucks venti latte costs the equivalent of $23 per gallon while Budweiser beer runs $11 per gallon.)

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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