Bargain reports and analytics

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

PicodiJuly 15, 2021 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 Brits 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 Europe, the highest price spikes were noted in Hungary (+20.2%), Turkey (+19.4%), and Luxembourg (+16.9%).

The UK noted a 7.8% increase in prices, ranking 25th among European countries. Petrol prices also increased in countries like Germany (+10.6%), Spain (+9.3%), and Ireland (+5.2%).

The opposite trend was noted only in Malta and Albania, where the average year to year petrol prices slightly decreased.

Petrol Index 2021

In Europe, Russians fill up petrol the cheapest – in this country, 1 litre of petrol costs €0.54. The Netherlands has the highest prices with €1.72 per 1 litre. In the UK, the average petrol price in the first half of 2021 was £1.25 or €1.45, which means it placed 32nd out of 42 considered countries.

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

(click the arrows to see data from the remaining 41 countries)

For the third year in a row, the undefeated leader of the ranking is Switzerland with 3,582 litres of petrol. Luxembourg and Denmark complete the podium with 2,955 and 2,328 litres respectively.

In the UK, according to the ONS latest data, the average gross salary amounts to £539 a week (£1,893.43 net a month). It means that an average British person can buy 1,512 litres of petrol for the average monthly wage (15th place). In the previous year, British people could buy 1,537 litres of petrol for the average wage.

Lower in the ranking were countries such as Spain (1,026 litres and 18th place), Italy (858 litres and 23rd place), or Poland (808 litres and 25th place). The situation looks better in Sweden (1,771 litres and 9th place), Germany (1,786 litres and 8th place), and Ireland (2,029 litres and 5th place).

Albania, Moldova, and Ukraine took the last three places with 289, 358 and 389 litres respectively.

The world leaders

(hover over the country to see the information)

Among 104 researched countries, the lowest petrol price was noted in Algeria (€0.29 per litre), and the highest price – in Hong Kong (€2.03 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 Chinese – 955 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 €0.0015 per litre. Once the limit is exceeded, the price of petrol increases to €0.42 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.


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

This report uses the average net 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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