Price of diesel in europe?

I had a discussion with my 14 year old this morning about the price of diesel and why would people use it . . . and it came down to something like . . . well if my Accord gets 30 mpg hwy and 87 octane is $3.85 . . . and a VW Gold Diesel gets 60 mpg hwy for $4.75 a gallon, diesel is still a better deal. But the question . . why is it more expensive? Isn’t most of the price (here in the USA) a tax for pollution? What is the price of diesel in Europe? Rocketman

The math is a little confusing since most Euro prices are quoted per liter.

But UK diesel is about 2.5 times the US price per liter. Other countries average double the US price :

But they do have a lot of good small diesel cars and have excelled at producing oil burners you can live with, the BMW 3 series TDI gives better mileage and is faster (both acceleration and top speed) than the equivalent BMW gas 3 series.

As here, taxes are high but nothing to do with pollution, Europe produces high grade ‘green’ low sulpher diesel fuels. The politicians just tax it because they can. Diesel used to be very cheap in Europe, no longer the case though.

Here you go:

Traditionally, most European countries didn’t tax diesel as heavilly because it was primarilly used for commercial vehicles. Nowadays, though, diesel cars are so common there that most countries treat it the same, you can see in the link I posted above, at least in the UK diesel is a little bit more expensive by a margin comparable to what it is here. Also, many European countries are trying to discourage their trucking industries due to concerns over climate change and motorway congestion, so that’s another reason that they’ve abandoned their cheap diesel policies.

This table shows the taxes for both gasoline and diesel by state, there isn’t much difference in the tax in most states:

Much of the higher fuel prices in europe are due to taxes.

Although diesel is cheaper to produce than regular gasoline,it is more expensive only because the demand for it has gone up world-wide. As the price of gasoline went up,so did the demand for diesel.

Diesel should not be more expensive that gasoline.

When I bought my first diesel pickup in 2000 diesel was between 10 cents and 20 cents cheaper than gasoline. It’s cheaper to make and actually a by product of gasoline. Then Hurricane Katrina hit and the excuse came to raise it to whatever because we had to have it. When that happened, trucking companies figured out how to collect a fuel surcharge to charge the shipper/receiver for the fuel, and at that point it didn’t matter what it cost, we’d be paying it.

Basically, the price you see at the station is what I’m paying, many of the owner operators of tractor trailers are paying, and all the other independent users of diesel are paying. It is not the price that CSX railroad is paying or Swift trucking or most of the other large national trucking companies. I’d venture a guess that CSX is paying somewhere around $3.25 to $3.50 per gallon for their fuel. I’d also venture a guess that you can lop about 50 cents a gallon off for the larger trucking companies.

The price is being uses as a political tool to squeeze the owner operators out of business transferring the freight to the companies and railroads. In the mean time, the guys with backhoes, dozers, or diesel pickups to operate are getting hosed as well. The oil companies have used every excuse under the sun. It’s not a shortage, or anything of the sort, it’s pure and simple, charge it because they can.

How did this mess get created?

In part because environmental idiots have regulated this country to death. To the point that we’ve moved nearly all manufacturing to China and Mexico in order to avoid problems here getting permits and being sued by every Tom Dick and Harry who’s trying to save the world. As a result everything we use has 1000’s of miles on it. It’s trucked, shipped, trained, and trucked again before it gets to us. We were talking the other day about Chickens. It used to be we had a local slaughterhouse that cut meat for the local grocery stores. They slaughtered local cattle, chickens, hogs, and lambs and supplied the stores with meat. Today a chicken is raised far away on a farm, trucked to a processing plant, trucked to a store distribution warehouse, trucked again to the Kroger/Wal Mart of choice where we get it. Your chicken diner probably has 2000 miles on the chicken by the time you get it.

All of this transportation uses fuel and costs money. Instead of putting our own people to work manufacturing the couch I’m sitting on, the couch is made in China using a wood frame that was timbered in the US, processed in a mill floating on the ocean as it traveled to China where the couch was made, hauled to a port, put on a container ship, floated to a US port, placed on a train to be hauled to a warehouse that sent it on a truck to the store I bought it from.

We have put trillions of dollars in the hands of the Chineese. They are taking our money and buying up raw materials in such a manner that it’s bleeding the life out of us to buy them back. Things like Fertilizer. They Chineese are responsible to a large extent for it’s drastic rise in price because they are buying up the supplies to make it. The same with copper for wire and pipes, and obviously oil.


Diesel varies in Europe by country. In general its on par if not sometimes cheaper than regular(both Italy & France) in my renting experience.

It would be nice if it was brought more on par with gasoline in the US for passenger and light truck only at least. There are some great diesel engines out there like the Honda Accord and MB ones I have rented in Europe. I really like Subaru with their world’s first horizontally opposed diesel motor. It achieves at least 32city/42 highway with AWD! >>

In Europe the tax is the biggest part of the fuel price. Italy for years had had a much lower tax on diesel to get more drivers to use it. Now that European drivers have seen the light and are driving clean, frugal diesel cars, nearly half of new car sales in some countries are diesel. Prices tend to move to the same level as gasoline prices.

As US refineries gear up for more low sulfur diesel, the price will tend to approach the same level as gasoline price here as well.

As stated on other posts, diesel costs no more to produce that gasoline, in fact the old style (dirty) diesel was a lot cheaper to produce than gasoline.