EU gasoline prices are on the rise, and almost all economic areas on the continent are affected. The price of gasoline has such a far-reaching effect on the economy in part because the transportation of goods relies heavily on fuel. The more it costs to transport goods, the more those goods will end up costing the consumer.
It’s a delicate time for European economies during the post-pandemic recovery, and current inflation and increasing petrol prices in Europe are causing some additional stress.
Gas Prices in Europe (EU, September 2023) – Interactive Map:
The price of petrol is significantly higher in almost every European country than it was one year ago. Malta, whose petrol prices are the same as they were at this time last year, is the only country whose price per liter has not increased.
Consumer prices for petroleum products in EU countries
Below is a table describing the petrol price per liter in each EU country:
|Country||Liter (EUR)||Gallon (USD)|
As you can see in this table, no country currently offers Euro-super 95 at a price of less than €1.40/liter (Bulgaria), and gas is most expensive in Denmark (€2.10).
Why Gasoline prices increased so much?
There are several reasons the gas price in Europe is rising. Changing politics as well as supply and demand fluctuations all have an impact on the cost of fuel.
It’s helpful to know that high gas prices are caused by high crude oil prices. This is because oil costs account for 72 percent of the price of gasoline. The remaining 28 percent comes from distribution, refining, and taxation. This is why you can expect to see a similar increase at the gas pump about six weeks after oil prices rise.
As with all other commodities, gas and oil prices are affected by supply and demand. There is a great demand for fuel in Europe, which means that any changes in the supply can mean significant changes in price.
Another element that impacts oil and natural gas prices is seasonal demand. Heating requirements during colder months make for a much higher demand for gas during winter in Europe, which usually causes prices to rise every fall.
During the time period from March to June 2022, oil prices have been the highest since 2008. This is largely due to supply shortages caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Many countries are also refusing to use Russian-supplied oil, which impacts the price of crude oil from other sources.
These elevated oil prices directly translate to higher consumer prices of petrol products.
Year-on-Year Changes in EU-Average Petrol Prices as of September 2023
Based on the most current data as of September 4, 2023, the EU-average petrol price has seen a slight increase of approximately 0.83% year-over-year, from 1.72 Euro in September 2022 to 1.73 Euro. The prices dipped to a low of 1.58 Euro in January 2023, before recovering and stabilizing around 1.73 Euro in September 2023.
The petrol price trends within the EU countries have been quite varied. For instance, Hungary witnessed a significant increase of 30.24% in petrol prices over the past year, while Romania saw a decline of 11.58%. Belgium and France also experienced notable increases of 7.19% and 19.24% respectively, whereas Finland and Bulgaria saw decreases of 7.43% and 9.27%, respectively.
Overall, the EU-average petrol prices have shown a slight uptick after the dip in the early months of 2023, signaling a period of stabilization at around 1.73 Euro as of the latest data.
What can we do to prevent price increases?
Believe it or not, there are some actionable steps we can take to make higher gas prices easier to deal with. They mostly involve finding ways to reduce the consumption of petrol products. As well as easing the impact of rising prices on your wallet, these methods enjoy the additional benefit of having a positive impact on the environment.
Perhaps the most obvious way to reduce gas consumption is to simply drive less, especially when traveling alone. Using public transportation options like trains, buses, trams, and subways are ways to decrease the amount of gas you rely on. These modes of transport are much more sustainable because the cost of fuel per person is dramatically reduced when compared to personal vehicles. Carpooling is another option for decreasing the amount of fuel required to transport each person.
Of course, an even more fuel-efficient way to travel is by walking or bicycle when weather permits.
For various reasons, using public transport every day isn’t always possible. Fortunately, there are ways to improve the fuel efficiency of your vehicle that can save you money and reduce the amount of emissions it releases into the atmosphere. One of the best ways to improve fuel efficiency is free: check your vehicle’s tire pressure frequently to keep it at the recommended PSI. This keeps your car moving efficiently and requires less fuel.
Other driving-related tips are to maintain steady driving speeds, reduce time spent idling, and to take unnecessary items out of your vehicle. Moving extra weight in your vehicle means using extra fuel.
You might also consider switching to an electric vehicle if driving is a necessary part of your life. These vehicles have been proven to be about 66% cheaper to operate.
These tips do more than ease the financial impact of increased petrol prices. By reducing the amount of fuel we consume, we can directly reduce the amount of emissions released into the atmosphere, making for cleaner air in our communities. Driving less also means less traffic on the roads and less noise pollution.
Below is a map of fuel prices in Europe from 5 years back (2017):
Below is a map of fuel prices in Europe from 2021:
Will Petrol Prices in Europe Continue to Rise?
In 2021, 45% of the oil used in the EU was imported from Russia. Since several EU countries have significantly reduced Russian gas imports during 2022, prices rose in the face of reduced supply. The uncertainty surrounding the war in Ukraine is also likely to continue to contribute to the volatility of gas prices during 2023.
Fortunately, reducing fuel consumption is something that we can all do to make the financial burden easier to deal with and to reduce the global demand of petrol products.