South Africa is one of the most expensive places in the world to fill your tank

Motorists around the world are suffering from the effects of a high oil price and the resurgent dollar – but South Africa is still worse off than most other countries.

This is according to Bloomberg’s latest Gasoline Index, which notes that petrol prices have increased globally by about 6.1%, on average, in the past three months.

The index is based on the average fuel price as well as the percentage of a day’s wages needed to buy a unit of gas. Also considered is the percentage of personal income spent each year filling up.

It found that South Africa ranks relatively fairly at 20th when it comes to the actual price of petrol in the country – at an average of  R14.19 for a litre of 95-octane petrol in the first quarter of 2018.

This puts it behind countries such as Iran (R3.13/litre) and the USA (R9.53), but ahead of countries such as New Zealand (R19.35) and the Netherlands (R23.81).

However Bloomberg notes that the country’s low-income level means that high petrol prices hit local commuters particularly hard.

“South Africans face a lot of pain at the pump, exacerbated by how little income they earn,” Bloomberg said. “Only in Mexico do people spend more of their paychecks fueling up.”

Most expensive petrol in the world 

# Country Price per Litre
61 Hong Kong R25.01
60 Norway R24.91
59 Netherlands R23.81
58 Greece R23.47
57 Italy R23.22
56 Denmark R22.97
55 Israel R22.83
54 Portugal R22.37
53 France R22.26
52 Sweden R21.94

Petrol prices as a % of daily wage

This category refers to the portion of daily wages that would be needed to buy a litre of petrol.

Bloomberg found that South Africa is one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to the affordability of petrol when it comes to daily wages (56th) – behind only Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Pakistan and India.

With an average daily income of R237.13, it takes 5.98% of a day’s wages to afford a litre of petrol in South Africa – compared to just 1.11% in the Netherlands and 0.90% % in Norway – which would explain their perceived high prices.

# Country % of average daily wage
61  India 20.11%
60  Pakistan 17.84%
59  Philippines 11.39%
58  Nigeria 8.71%
57  Indonesia 6.06%
56  South Africa 5.98%
55  Thailand 5.55%
54  Egypt 5.29%
53  Turkey 5.06%
52  Bulgaria 5.01%

Petrol prices as a % of annual income

This refers to the portion of annual income spent on fuel purchases.

According to Bloomberg the average South African driver uses 202.07 liters a year, which eats up 3.31% of the typical South African’s annual salary.

In contrast Mexicans (61st) use 3.82% of their annual income on fuel costs, while 59th place Canada use 2.99% of their salaries.

On the other end of the scale, Hong Kong residents (2nd) use just 0.49% of their annual income on petrol.

# Country % of average annual income
61  Mexico 3.82%
60  South Africa 3.31%
59  Canada 2.99%
58  Saudi Arabia 2.87%
57  Greece 2.82%
56  Brazil 2.58%
55  Malaysia 2.56%
54  New Zealand 2.41%
53  Cyprus 2.15%
52  United States 2.07%

Read: More petrol price pain on the horizon

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South Africa is one of the most expensive places in the world to fill your tank