Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf published on 7 January an article in which it stated that Euro 95 petrol in Europe is most expensive in the Netherlands. This news was written using research from consumer collective United Consumers.
Is Telegraaf correct by claiming that in the Netherlands you pay the highest amount of money for Euro 95 petrol in Europe?
Who wrote what?
The news was written in De Telegraaf, which is one of the biggest newspapers in the Netherlands. They represent the voice of the ordinary Dutch men, who is so often mentioned but rarely heard. Mariëtte Wolf, who was awarded her doctoral degree with a thesis on the history of De Telegraaf, states that the newspaper is always in search for noise and makes as much news as possible. The journalistic style is according to her very progressive in terms of choice, subject and layout.
However, De Telegraaf used United Consumers research as their primary source. This is a Dutch consumer collective for individuals. With the collective they can offer their consumers benefits on e.g. health insurance, car insurance, energy and petrol. Every day United Consumers calculates the average national recommended price for one litre of different kinds of petrol. They calculate this on the basis of the suggested retail prices from the five biggest oil concerns in the Netherlands; Shell, BP, Total, Texaco and Esso.
What about the price? Recommended & average
In the article from De Telegraaf it’s written that the national recommended price for one litre of Euro 95 was €1,83 at that moment. Although, the national recommended price is not the same as the average price for petrol. The national recommended price is an indication of the petrol price in a country, petrol stations are free to adjust the price. The Statistics Bureau of the Netherlands (CBS) provides current and reliable statistical information of the average petrol prices in the Netherlands.
On January 7 the average petrol price for a litre of Euro 95 was, according to, CBS €1,717. In the weekly oil bulletin from the European Commission the average price for one litre of Euro 95 in the Netherlands was €1,716.
But is that the highest price in Europe? In the weekly oil bulletin, all the average prices for one litre of Euro 95 in EU member states are available. And yes, the Netherlands is the most expensive country for petrol in the European Union. Second up is Denmark with an average of €1,67 and on the bottom of the list is Romania with €1,09.
However, De Telegraaf is talking about Europe. When researching the petrol prices all over Europe, the best way to compare prices is to use the national recommended price from each country. This is the price that United Consumers used as well. The Royal Dutch Touring Club (ANWB) has made a list of the national recommended prices in Europe for one litre of Euro 95. In their list the price is €1,82 – one cent less than United Consumers, but even so the Netherlands has the highest price on the list.
The claim is true: in the Netherlands you pay the highest price for petrol in Europe.
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RESEARCH | ARTICLE ©Puck Wagemaker, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, NL