Monday, January 28, 2008

Petrol Prices

I was watching the old goggle box this morning, thinking that if the BBC spent as much on the programmes as they did on the bits between programmes, we'd all be a lot happier I imagine, when the topic of petrol came to mind.
And bubblejet printer ink. And saffron. And heating oil. I've had to buy all of these things recently, and they're all madly expensive, suddenly. Well, maybe not the saffron, that's always been a bit daft.

Yesterday I order a 2 gigabyte SD memory card for my new Canon S5 IS bridge camera, of which more another day. From it cost 15 quid. 15 quid! It's amazing. I also ordered 4 ink cartridges for two printers. 68 quid. That's amazing too, but not in the same way. And when they arrive they will be weeny little boxes, massively over packaged, containing the odd drip of ink which may or may not come spurting out satisfactorily. Hmmm.
On the one hand, a marvel of modern technology, 2,000,000,000 bytes of information held on a thing the size of a stamp. £15. Some coloured liquid, £68. "Are they having a laugh?"

Anyway. Petrol.

So, oddly enough for a chap with a passion for cars, with a website about cars, and a section of his blog about cars - actually I don't own a car. I won't bore you with why not... though in truth it's just one word - impecuniousness (if I had a pound for every letter in "impecuniousness"...) - but at present I am fated to be using my partner's Peugeot 206. Which I hate. Again, another story.

But for reasons best known to my psychologist, I have been recording the petrol consumption of this car since it was new, back in May 2001. Since you ask... it's averaged 47.28 mpg over this period, which I consider to be fairly rubbish. Because in that time the thing has just pootled around, never going far, never going fast, (it's a 1.1 - it doesn't do fast) just a nice journey of 10 to 15 miles per trip - ideal conditions for good consumption. So 47 mpg I think is a bit weedy. But never mind, maybe I'm being harsh.

The point... back in 2001, I note from my rather sadly comprehensive notes on this topic, petrol was 68.9p a litre, or in terms my brain can more easily deal with, £3.13 a gallon.

My last fill up, buying as cheaply as I could from good old Tesco's, was 105.9p per litre, or £4.81 a gallon. I'm not good at maths, but I'd say that was an increase of over 50%.

Now, 2001 is not that long ago, is it? We've recently crashed through that pound-a-litre psychological barrier, and I suspect it will never go back. In terms of pounds per gallon (which let's be honest - a lot better way to judge, I mean we talk in terms of miles-per-gallon, don't we?) - the five pound gallon looms.

And at ever rise, Gordon's huge percentage tax take gets bigger and bigger. We had a strike for a lot less than this a few years ago. Is there nothing we can do? Are we just waving a white flag and giving up on this one?

If you're interested in mpg, then you might appreciate a bit Freeware what I wrote, it takes your readings of mileage and fuel price and amount bought between top-ups and gives the answer, it's downloadable from here:
Zip Version
Exe Version

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