In the UK, motorists may feel that it is quite expensive to keep their vehicle on the road. In this article, used cars dealership Motorparks queries whether it would really be cheaper to top up a car overseas, before investigating the true cost behind fuel prices…

A key to elements used for the research

In order to record consistent results for this research, we selected the Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline with a 55-litre fuel tank which runs on petrol fuel as our car of choice.

We were then able to use Numbeo, which is a database of user contributed data about countries across the globe, to establish the expected price of a litre of petrol for each country.

Other than the UK, the nations selected were chosen based on those which were available on the BBC’s interactive fuel price calculator at the time the research was carried out, this date being February 27th 2019, and then filtered to log only the ten nations with the largest populations according to Worldometers’ statistics.

Finally, where currency conversions were required for the research, currency authority XE’s interactive tool was used.

The results

Country Cost to fill the car’s fuel tank
UK £68.20
USA £30.65
Brazil £48.40
Nigeria £16.54
Russia £27.44
Japan £52.84
Germany £65.33
France £67.21
Italy £72.37
South Africa £45.80
Kenya £44.31


Countries with the highest cost to fill the VW Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline’s 55-litre fuel tank

  1. Italy — £72.37
  2. UK — £68.20
  3. France — £67.21

Countries with the lowest cost to fill the VW Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline’s 55-litre fuel tank

  1. Nigeria — £16.54
  2. Russia — £27.44
  3. USA — £30.65[AH1] 
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Additional sources:

 [AH1]As discussed, this is interesting data and I think I would be a waste not to use it.

Potential positives:

  • Looking at why the price is so different.
  • The cost of transporting fuel to the UK is soaked up in the price we pay as a small island. The USA/Russia might not have this problem!
  • Russia as its own oil source. Just as British-made stuff is cheaper here than it is abroad, if you’re a source of something, it’s cheaper on home turf.
  • Economy crashes like Italy, Spain, and Greece.
  • We don’t need to travel as long distances as in America/Russia/Africa. Physically, we’ve less land to travel!
  • The UK self-imposed green targets for 2020. High fuel prices are to encourage change. Do Italy and France have similar targets?
  • What does the government spend the money on? Is it useful for us in the long run?