Best places to be a driver

(published March 9, 2015)

Have you ever wondered what it would be to drive endlessly without worrying about your pocket?
There are several countries where people enjoy relatively cheap fuel (and thus high consumption), extensive vehicle fleet and high safety on the road. A look at the prices we publish and data from shows which 5 countries are most friendly to ordinary drivers for each of these indicators.

Fuel as a public good. Seen almost as a public good, gasoline is cheapest in Venezuela (USD 0.02 per liter in March 2015), Syria (0.04), Libya (0.11), Saudi Arabia (0.16) and Turkmenistan (0.22). Consumers in nearly the same set of countries (Venezuela, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Iran) enjoy the lowest price of diesel in the world. In general, those countries subsidize retail prices using revenue from oil and gas exports. Their coffers, however, suffer the most when international prices of crude oil significantly decrease.

The gasoline-guzzlers. Here we look at the total gasoline consumption in a given country. We use the indicator as a proxy for the affordability of gasoline for households and businesses. The higher the consumption, the more miles on the road. The US is the most gasoline-guzzling nation in the world (8992. 66 thousand barrels per day in 2010) followed by China (1615.86), Japan(1003.81), Mexico (784.23) and Russia (779.57).

The rich car owners. The availability of cars tells us not only how affluent a nation is but also to what extent cars are part of the local life-style. In 2010 there were 317 cars, buses or other motor-vehicles per every 1000 people in the world. There are, however, some notable outliers. The country with the most vehicles per 1000 people is San Marino (1263.4) followed by Monaco (843.03), Liechtenstein (830.84), the US (782.48) and Iceland (745.47).

Safest roads with minimum deaths. Safety on the road is not less important than affordability of driving. Here we list the 5 countries with the lowest number of traffic-related fatalities per 100 000 people according to the World Health Organization's Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013: Supporting a Decade of Action. Based on the report in 2010 there were zero road deaths in San Marino. The list continues with the Federal States of Micronesia (1.8 estimated road fatalities per 100 000 inhabitants), Maldives (1.9), Iceland (2.8), and Sweden (3.0).

Image by Pixabay

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