Bargain reports and analytics

Petrol Index 2021: who can fill up the most amount of petrol for the average wage?

PicodiJuly 15, 2021

This is an archived report. The latest ranking is available here. analysis team examined the change in petrol prices in the first half of 2021 compared to the previous year and counted how many litres of petrol New Zealanders can buy for the average wage.

Increase of prices on petrol stations

The first half of 2021 was characterised by the gradual defrosting of the economy and increase of petrol prices compared to the first half of 2020. In APAC countries, the highest price spikes were noted in India (+24%), Taiwan (+22.9%), and Malaysia (+20.9%).

New Zealand noted a 2.9% increase in prices, ranking 16th among APAC countries. Petrol prices also increased in countries like Australia (+8.5%), Japan (+6.7%), and South Korea (+6%).

Petrol Index 2021

In APAC countries, Malaysians fill up petrol the cheapest – in this country, 1 litre of petrol costs $0.49. Hong Kong has the highest prices with $2.44 per 1 litre. In New Zealand, the average petrol price in the first half of 2021 was NZ$2.24 or $1.60, which means it placed 15th out of 17 considered countries.

This year, we checked again how many litres of petrol can be bought for the average wage in various APAC countries.

For the third year in a row, the undefeated leader of the ranking is Australia with 4,128 litres of petrol. Singapore took second place with 2,037 litres.

In New Zealand, according to the Stats NZ latest data, the average gross salary amounts to NZ$1,328.43 a week (NZ$4,531 net a month). It means that an average New Zealander can buy 2,026 litres of petrol for the average monthly wage (3rd place). In the previous year, New Zealanders could buy 2,082 litres of petrol for the average wage.

Lower in the ranking were countries such as Japan (1,758 litres and 5th place), Taiwan (1,514 litres and 7th place), or China (955 litres and 8th place).

The Philippines, Indonesia, and Cambodia took the last three places with 297, 287 and 216 litres respectively.

The world leaders

Among 104 researched countries, the lowest petrol price was noted in Algeria ($0.34 per litre), and the highest price – in Hong Kong ($2.44 per litre).

In the global purchasing power ranking, the Gulf countries are consistently on the podium:

  1. Qatar – 6,532 litres;
  2. Saudi Arabia – 5,170 litres;
  3. Kuwait – 5,158 litres.

Americans can buy 4,723 litres of petrol for the average wage, Australians – 4,128 litres, Canadians – 2,616 litres, and Russians – 938 litres.

The worst situation was noted in Cuba. In this country, 26 litres of petrol can be bought for the average wage (2 litres less than in the previous year). Only a little better were Tajikistan and Zambia, with 188 and 214 litres.

It is also worth looking at Venezuela. This country struggles with an unstable economic situation, yet maintained last year’s limits on petrol purchases. Each citizen can buy 120 litres of petrol for about $0.002 per litre. Once the limit is exceeded, the price of petrol increases to $0.50 per litre. According to our calculations, the average wage in this country allows you to buy 230 litres of petrol (120 litres of subsidised and 110 litres in full price) which is 82 litres more than last year.

With increasing petrol prices, leaving your car in the garage might be a good idea. Picodi allows you to travel with Europcar, Evo Cycles and Uber, and get 5% of your spendings through cashback.


Petrol Index is an annual ranking of petrol prices to wages ratio, conducted by Picodi since 2019.

This report uses the average net monthly wages according to the latest available data provided by offices for national statistics or relevant ministries. In some countries, where official wage statistics are not available, we used information from Numbeo.

The average prices for the first half of 2021 in 104 countries are based on data from and other local sources. In order to obtain the number of litres, we divided the average wage by the average price of 1 litre of petrol. For currency conversion, we used the Google Finance average exchange rate for the last 90 days.

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