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Getting Around

Gas prices in France reach $5.67/gallon

I don’t drive that often, my car usually sits in a parking garage on the outskirts of town. But last week I needed to take two separate trips to the Loire Valley for interviews, and of course I needed gas.

It’s cheapest to buy it in the gas pumps at the big suburban hypermarkets, slightly more to buy it on the highways. I get the cheapie unleaded, which was €1.30 – €1.40 per litre, while the super unleaded was up to €1.50 per litre.

That’s $5.67 per gallon! 

(for those of you who don’t understand metrics, 1 gallon = 3.78 litres) 

So how do the French deal with this? After all, that’s a LOT! Check out their thrifty Euro-saving tactics:

  • They buy smaller cars.
  • They buy deisel cars (deisel gas is about €1.10 per litre).
  • They drive slower (I actually noticed this immediately on the highways, like being back in Minnesota!) 
  • They use their cars less (by combining errands, using public transport more often, and just not driving around as much)
  • And they steal gas out of big trucks (okay, not all French do this; apparently there’s been a rash of gas tank drainings out in some of the provinces like Lille and Marseilles in supply truck lots).

So there you go. Revolutionary?

Just logical.

Bonus Fact: In France, 74% of the price goes to the government (like with cigarettes and alcohol). In the US only 25% goes to the government).

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  • They drive slower? The only time I’ve seen a Parisian drive slowly is when they find a parking space. They love to accelerate, especially when they see a pedestrian!