Unexpected culture shock
Our intern Brittany got a bit of a shock when we talked about fuel prices as it relates to running a car in the UK. We didn’t even bother telling her about insurance premiums, here is her thoughts:
This week I had an interesting lesson in gas prices. Back home I drive a 2009 Ford Focus (pictured below). As far as American cars go this is pretty small. A huge benefit of having a car this size is that I do not have to empty out my wallet just to fill the gas tank (or petrol as you say in London).
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that gas prices have gone down a bit since I came to the UK in June. In Boston, gas is at about $3.28 per gallon. Hearing about the cost of fuel back home got me thinking about the gas prices in London. According to the AA fuel price index the cost of petrol is about 133.8 p per litre. After converting litres to gallons and GBP to USD this evens out to $7.86 per gallon.
Wow. I was shocked when those numbers appeared on the calculator. People in America would riot if gas prices went that high. Personally, I would have to give up driving because I could not afford to fill my 11 gallon tank every week. Now I can understand the draw to the teeny, tiny European smart cars. I had always noticed that motor vehicles in London generally seemed smaller. Ged pointed out the comparison of a Mustang on the road in the UK to one on the road in the US. Apparently, a Mustang looks like a big car when driving on the streets of London. I found that really interesting because in America a Mustang fits comfortably on the road with the other cars. If anything I find them to be on the smaller side.
Just goes to show you can find subtle cultural differences anywhere – and if I move to London I am selling my car!