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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

US vs Them...

One of the things I'm doing this week is trying to understand the reason that doing a thing in the UK is so much more expensive than doing the (almost) same thing in the US. 

Now, being a Brit and a fan of all things tech, I'm consistently jealous of the ultra low prices our US friends get to pay for their consumer electronics. Ive moaned about this fact here in the past, but just to go over old ground for clarity here's an example again:

Let's assume today's exchange rate of £1.00 = $1.60 or $1.00 = £0.62 if you prefer. 

A 32Gb WiFi Apple iPad2
US Price = $599 (£373)
UK Price = $768 (£479)

So that's an additional $169 (£105) or 22%. I can speak from experience when I say "it's worth the air fare". But it's not just the iPad, and it's not just Apple. 

Just to prove that here's a Canon Powershot G12
US Price = $499 (£310) - http://goo.gl/PHRxo
UK Price = $866 (£539) - http://goo.gl/aJqhV

A 42% increase!!

We're at a point where it's just about everything - and some things even more so. 

One thing in particular that really riles me is to hear Americans complain about the price of gas - and when I say gas, I don't mean gas, I mean petrol - Gas, as any fool knows is not a liquid; moving on. 

So choosing the nearest part of the US to the UK, the current price of regular petrol on the east coast (including taxes) is $3.45 per US gallon, just to make things that little bit more complicated (As listed here: http://38.96.246.204/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/wrgp/mogas_home_page... )

In the UK, we've been switched to Litres (so we think it's cheaper in some oil executives marketing brain) and we currently pay in the region of £1.40 per Litre of unleaded (including taxes). (As listed here: http://www.petrolprices.com/ )

Don't worry, I've worked it out for you:
1 US Gallon = 3.7854 Litres
So 1 US Gallon of petrol in the UK costs £5.29 and here comes the kicker - that's $8.49 or an extra $5.04 over the US price. That's an increase of 146%

I know huge chunks of this are down to import duty and VAT (Value Added Tax, which is currently 20%), but I'm certain there's also a level of greed going on because the increase is effectively hidden. Explaining this differential to our US cousins isn't fun, because it just reminds me of how expensive life in the UK really is.
Regular visitors will know who much I hate to say it, but IIWII.
Not fun times :-(

 



This post originally appeared here: Posterous
 

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