Influences on gasoline pricesThe price of gasoline is a frequently discussed issue, and is a part of almost everybody’s life in developed countries. Gasoline prices worldwide are dependent of a number of factors: crude oil prices, costs for processing and distribution, demand, strength of currencies, taxation, and availability. The most influential factor is the crude oil price. This price includes the costs for exploration, extraction, and transport.
What the consumer pays in the end is also an issue of national oil pricing policy. Typical regions with high taxes on gasoline are European countries and Japan. Other countries keep consumer prices low by subsidizing the costs for gasoline. Among latter countries are the United States, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, Egypt, Malaysia, Bolivia, and others.
There are many other factors, however, which directly influence the price of gasoline. Wars, crises, and natural disasters in oil producing regions, for example, can obstruct the production and transportation, and thus cause higher crude oil prices. Last but not least, the end-consumer defines the price through his or her demand. A higher number of people driving cars means higher prices for gasoline, which is often the case in the summer months or holiday seasons.