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Regular Columns

Bad gas?

When we first arrived in America, some nine or so years ago now, petrol (‘gas’) cost a little over a dollar an American-size gallon. This summer gas registers at over $4 a gallon. That (for the mathematically challenged among you) means a price hike by a factor of four times. What’s more, much of that increase has happened within the last year. For a while beforehand gas prices had hovered more normally around the mid $2 range.

Letter from America Josh Moody

Of course, in England petrol remains far more expensive. But what matters for the impact on the culture is the differential. Petrol is still, when you calculate it all in terms of dollars to pound and gallons to litres, about twice as expensive in the UK as in the USA. But when we arrived the difference was far greater than that. Petrol in the UK was at least four times as expensive back in the late 1990s, if not rather more.