Gas Prices in Canada versus the USA

The average gas price in Canada has dropped from about $1.40/Litre to just around $1.00/Litre. In fact, it is predicted that gas prices in Toronto will be around 85 cents by the time you read this (assuming you read it on November 4th!). Below is a chart which shows the gas price history for the last five years – note that it also includes the average price of gas in the United States adjusted to our more familiar cost per litre, and further adjusted for currency. (In other words, you can see what the average American is paying for fuel in Canadian dollars per litre.)

What you’ll see is that Americans (on average) are paying about 63 cents per litre right now, which is about 25% less than what we are currently paying. One major factor is the amount of tax collected at the pump level. Canadians pay about 33% in combined taxes on average on the price of fuel, and Americans pay about 11%.

Breakdown of Fuel Taxes in Canada

Breakdown of Fuel Taxes in United States

(You can click on the graph below to enlarge it)

Preet Banerjee
Preet Banerjee
...is an independent consultant to the financial services industry and a personal finance commentator. You can learn more about Preet at his personal website and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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Showing 6 comments
  • Jordan Clark

    I wish our prices in Vancouver would drop that low, we seem to behind. Check out this handy gas price map for the country:

    http://www.vancouvergasprices.com/Price_By_County.aspx?state=BC&c=can

  • Michael James

    It is somehow comforting to see gas prices in Canada and the US moving in lock step. If there were any differences other than the fairly constant higher taxes in Canada, I might have to invent some conspiracy theories to explain those differences.

  • gene

    Informative graph. An interesting corollary is that the percentage change is lower in high-tax countries. Apparently Europeans were relatively insulated from “petrol” increases, since their prices are largely determined by taxes, not the price of the underlying oil.

    Reminds me that a company with high costs can have better percentage increases in earnings when the underlying commodity price increases. However, those same companies are more likely to go bankrupt in a downturn. The example I have in my head is the now defunct Royal Oak Mines.

  • ron jones

    Interesting site Preet,
    However,despite the cited reason (higher taxes in Canada)why is it that taking to-days average gas price in the US of $1.87 US Gal. and converting it to litres (3.785 L/US gal) x 122% (cdn. dollar) x 22% (higher cdn tax) = .735 Litre, whereas today in Toronto area is .792???
    That calculation is based on the average US price of which there is a wide fluctuation (some outlets are currently at $1.53), whereas Cdn name brand and no-names are closely linked or better expressed as FIXED!

  • Preet

    @Ron Jones: I’m sure that’s not the first assertion of such! :)

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