USA Gas Price Comparison For Canadians

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For Canadians crossing into the USA who are used to seeing our gas price in liters, using this simple formula will let you easily compare what you are paying for gas.

Multiply the US price by .264 to get the per liter cost. (In US dollars).

The formula was calculated by dividing the number of US ounces in a liter (33.8) by the number of ounces in a US gallon. 33.8 รท 128 = .264

If you're a Canadian old enough to still think in gallons you may be a bit confused. That's because a US gallon is smaller (128 oz) than a Canadian gallon (160 oz) and a US ounce is slightly larger than an imperial ounce.

Here is an example using the formula:

$3.00 per gallon at the pumps in the USA X .264 = .79 cents per liter.

Converting to Canadian equivalent:

Remember the figure you come up with is in US dollars so if you want a true comparison, multiply the number you come up with by the current exchange rate.

A tip when crossing the border:

When we go into The States for a trip, we note the average gas price we are paying per liter here in Canada.
Then we do the following calculation (just once is enough).

  • Divide the average Canadian price per liter by 33.8 = price per US ounce.
  • Multiply that by 128 = cost in Canadian dollars per US gallon.
  • Convert that to US dollars by multiplying by the going exchange rate.

Write that number down and post it on your dashboard to remember throughout your trip.

It is the price that you would have to see at the pumps in the States to be paying the equivalent to Canadian prices. Anytime you buy gas for less than that price, you can be smiling, knowing you're saving money.

E.g.: Currently we're paying an average of $1.10 Canadian per liter here in our part of Ontario. And the exchange rate on our dollar today is .9940

If we were crossing the border today we would do this calculation:

  • Divide $1.10 by 33.8 = .0325
  • Multiply by 128 = $4.17
  • Multiply by .9940 =$4.14

Whenever you pay less than that amount (in this example, US $4.19) per gallon, which will be almost always, you're saving money. Of course if there's a huge increase or drop in the average gas price in Canada, you'll want to redo your calculation and revise your number.

How much will you save?

I just checked gas prices on gasbuddy.com and today the average price in the USA appears to be US $3.22 per gallon, while the average price in Canada is Can $1.22 per liter.

Using the formula (above in red) I can easily calculate that the same liter amount at today's average price in the US costs ($3.22 X .264=)US .85 cents. And converted to Canadian, at today's exchange rate, that's the equivilent of Can .86 cents per liter.

So, in effect, the same litre of gas costs me an additional .36 cents ($1.22 - $0.86) because I'm buying gas in Canada!

In other words, on average, today, the cost of gas in Canada is roughly 30% higher than in the USA.

Any surprise then that, American tourism to Canada is down?




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