Diesel costs - UK vs Europe

7. August 2013 15:31 by Chris in ForTheRecod, Holidays  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

We went for a diesel car recently, in part because of the better fuel economy but what's the deal with diesel in Europe being cheaper than petrol while here it is more expensive?

We were running late for the Ferry in France so didn't have the opportunity to save some hard earned 'pennies' in France but let's do the sums: 

  • On arrival in the UK we filled up in Tesco Dover - £40 @ £1.46 (just checking price online at http://www.whatgas.com/fuel/tesco.html) meaning we stuck 27.4 litres into the car.
  • In France/ Germany/ Belgium/ Holland the prices seemed similar (I wasn't avidly checking every 5 mins!) around the 1.35-1.45 euro/L mark.
  • Taking the lower figure the same fuel would have cost 37 euros
  • Which equates to almost £32 - 20% cheaper if I've got my sums right, and it would be embarrassing if I hadn't!
  • So, the message is to fill up in Europe for the short term at least!


Cultural Learnings of Germany for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Cymru

30. July 2013 07:02 by Chris in Holidays  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Not really.

So, the rest of the family and I are in Germany, visiting the rellies, just the four hours from Calais in Duisburg, a university city and the eleventh largest city in Germany with some 513,550 residents (don't you know) and therefore getting on for twice the size of our hometown of Cardiff. Doesn't feel like it though - less busy, but that'll no doubt be largely due to lower population density that the the size of Germany affords. Quick google:

  • Germany population 82 million, 357 square km
  • UK population 63 million, 244 square km

Handy site if you want more comparisons.

I'm not sure how much one should trust wiki answers but:

Germany is about 137,000 sq miles. France is about 212,000 sq miles. The UK is about 94,000 sq miles.

Hmmm, a) France is a big old place and b) Germany is not so much bigger than the UK than was my perception. Ignorant? Moi?

Enough of the stats; some observations to conclude for now: 

  • German's drive v.fast on dual carriageways/ motorways and there don't seem to be many cameras to stop them. Compare this a) with the towns where the speed limits often seem down to the 20mph mark and b) the UK which, based on the Cardiff-Dover run, is overly obsessed with speed cameras.
  • It is excellent to see bikes in more general use in this area of Germany, albeit we are at the height of summer, and particularly the demographic of cyclists with many more 'elderly' cyclists on the roads, or rather cycle lanes which are much more common. Puts Cardiff/ the UK to shame. Far fewer of the portly middle aged men spending oodles on their carbon road bike frames and lycra getup for 30 min weekend rides as well. Or bmxs, or mountain bikes or hybrids, for that matter. Lots of sensible tourer type bikes being driven relatively sedately around purely for the purpose of getting from a to b. Hoorah.
  • When you park your car it is the convention to do so in the direction of the prevailing traffic!

 May be back later. 



About the author

I am Dr Christopher Sully (MCPD, MCSD) and I am a Cardiff, UK based IT Consultant/ Developer and have been involved in the industry since 1996 though I started programming considerably earlier than that. During the intervening period I've worked mainly on web application projects utilising Microsoft products and technologies: principally ASP.NET and SQL Server and working on all phases of the project lifecycle. If you might like to utilise some of the aforementioned experience I would strongly recommend that you contact me. I am also trying to improve my Welsh so am likely to blog about this as well as IT matters.

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