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Why Is Diesel So Expensive?  
User currently offlineDouglas DC-9 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 304 posts, RR: 1
Posted (11 years 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 4326 times:

Why is DIESEL so expensive? I'm an owner/operator trucker and these fuel bills are killing me! Here in Wisconsin it's currently $2.07 for diesel and $1.98 for regular! And that 2.07 REALLY adds up when you've got 350 gallons of diesel in your two fuel tanks and get 2-4 miles to a gallon (on a good day)! Why is it so expensive? It is cheaper to make, and the demand for it is less then gasoline, so why the high prices?

Thanks Much,

39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineSpringbok747 From Australia, joined Nov 2004, 4387 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (11 years 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4281 times:

It is cheaper to make, and the demand for it is less then gasoline.

Uh...I thought diesel is in more demand than petrol. I'm assuming this because most of the trucks and other heavy equipment are diesel vehicles, and they have huge tanks...so diesel is being used up faster than petrol.

אני תומך בישראל
User currently offlineDash8king From Canada, joined Nov 2001, 2744 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (11 years 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4273 times:

Not sure but in Canada it is cheaper.

User currently offlineDogfighter2111 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 1968 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (11 years 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4269 times:

Across here, depending on where you go, you can get it a lot cheaper than Petrol although a car doesn't use as much Diesel as it would Petrol.


User currently offlineUTA_flyinghigh From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 47
Reply 4, posted (11 years 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4254 times:

It is actually more expensive to refine diesel than regular unleaded.
It pollutes more too, so IMHO it should even be more expensive !


Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
User currently offlineKay From France, joined Mar 2002, 1887 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (11 years 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4247 times:

Didn't know Diesel was more expensive in the US??

It sure is the opposite in Europe. Kind of discourages you of liking cars and wanting to buy one. Unless they find a way to make Diesel engines rev happily to 8000, and not sound like a Beetle on idle (the first beetle).

Fuel is sooooooooooooo expensive in Europe!!!! :'(((


User currently offlineRindt From Germany, joined May 2000, 930 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (11 years 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4241 times:

And here I was thinking he was gonna talk about Diesel Jeans. LOL.

But yeah, Diesel is creeping upwards here too - sometimes more expensive than regular!


What other people think of you is none of your business!
User currently offlineLBA From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4233 times:

Try buying 350 gallons of UK diesel at 83p ($1.60) per LITRE, then complain about the cost!

User currently offlinePacificjourney From New Zealand, joined Jul 2001, 2740 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (11 years 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4215 times:

Upon importing or pumping up crude oil the refining process produces many grades of petroliums and oils. These range from high end such as Jet A1 fuel and the like down through petrol, diesel, kerosene and at the bottom the stuff they use for bituman and vulcanising rubber and the like.

So, having refined crude oil to get petrol you have certain by-products such as diesel wether you want them or not. The price these then sell at is of course determined by demand. Demand in the US for diesel is high while in Europe, Japan and New Zealand for example it is lower.

Freight is mainly transported by truck in the US and trains still run on diesel so it is a higher demand product than say NZ or Japan where most railways are electrifed and more use is made of coastal shipping thus diesel sells for about 60% the price of petrol in Japan and about the same in NZ i.e. they sell it cheap to ensure they get rid of it.

" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
User currently offlineFastair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (11 years 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4208 times:


It pollutes more too,

I disagree. Once upon a time, yes they were dirty, but a modern common-rail Diesel (or even the generation before that) is just as clean as a petrol equivalent.

It produces more particulates but new diesels have particulate filters which put the diesel at exactly the same level as the petrol engine for emissions. Diesels also burn less to start with, they are simply more efficient.

Of course oil companies are trying to supress alternative fuels such as biodiesel, but when it eventually becomes more easily available, diesel will be the true 'green' fuel.

User currently offlineCaptoveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4193 times:

Diesel costing so much is a major problem in the trucking industry right now.

It is winter, and in Wisconsin the demand for home heating oil (non-tax diesel) is up and that may be some of the reason. However, it is high everywhere else and it has been higher than gas for a long time. I know the fuel prices have driven several smaller companies that I know of out of business.

Part of the problem is demand. Demand for all fuels is at an all time high and we haven't built a new refinery in the US in at least 20 years (it may be closer to 30). The reason for that is the tree huggers and the dimwits in Washington that listen to them have made it cost prohibitive for companies build new refineries.

The dimwits in Washington could fix some of the problem by cutting the federal taxes on fuel, the states could do the same thing. That would assume they were concerned with the well being of small businesses in their state instead of just their budget.

User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7879 posts, RR: 14
Reply 11, posted (11 years 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4180 times:

I've also heard the home heating oil explanation too. Which is pretty similar to diesel fuel. With limited refining capacity and high constant demand for diesel fuel and seasonal demand for home heating oil, diesel fuel normally jumps in price in the winter months. Whereas gasoline spikes in the summer months.

When it comes down to it, it is really simple microeconomics.

Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5889 posts, RR: 18
Reply 12, posted (11 years 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4175 times:

Over here, diesel always used to be considerably cheaper than gasoline. After the recent price surge couple months ago, the prices of gas dropped, but the retailers somehow "forgot" to do the same with diesel so now it's more expensive.
I guess they (along with the governement) take advantage of the fact that trucks and buses all use diesel and are less likely to quit or reduce operations once the fuel gets expensive.

User currently offlineCaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (11 years 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4167 times:

"Which is pretty similar to diesel fuel."

Home heating oil IS diesel fuel, the people selling it just have to drop a dye tab in (either green or red, I forget) so that someone doesn't use it in a vehicle. The color tells anyone who may check the color of your fuel that you didn't pay the highway use tax.

There is also a lot of new enviromental crap going on with diesel. a few years ago there was a switch from what refiners call high sulfur diesel to low sulfur diesel, which destroyed some older engines. Now there is talk of a switch to an ultra-low sulfur diesel, so look for prices to go up even higher when that happens (costs more to refine). Prices are even going up on the trucks themselves with the new emissions standards being put out for trucks.

Reformulated gasoline is also a reason for higher gas prices... supply issues are still an overriding factor though. Ethanol was supposed to save us all this money when we started burning it, instead fuel prices are steadily rising because of it.

MTBE is going to be the next gas component to go and there is still no better alternative (except tetra-ethyl lead) so that should cause gas prices to rise even more.

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31851 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (11 years 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4159 times:

Out here its cheaper than Deisel.Although the gap is reducing.

Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineTSV From Australia, joined Nov 1999, 1641 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (11 years 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4146 times:

*******AMAZING STORIES*******

A Yank who knows what Diesel is! After watching a couple of series of "The Amazing Race" where racing Yank couples invariably fill Diesels with Unleaded I was beginning to wonder if any of you guys knew what it was ...

"I told you I was ill ..." Spike Milligan
User currently offlineCaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (11 years 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4117 times:

"Yank couples invariably fill Diesels with Unleaded I was beginning to wonder if any of you guys knew what it was"

People on reality TV are usually pretty stupid, that is why they are on Reality TV.

The smell usually gives away what kind of fuel a vehicle uses.

Would a diesel engine even run on unleaded? I always thought that was one of the worst things you could do.

User currently offlineJUANR From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (11 years 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4100 times:

Here in Colombia Diesel is cheaper than gasoline about 50%.


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (11 years 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4093 times:

I know my employer is probably wishing all of our delivery vehicles weren't diesels. The last time I filled up my truck, it was right around $90, I remember when it costing around $60. I could care less about the price since we just use a fleet gas card. If I had to pay for my fuel, I'd be complaining too. The seasonal demands affect the price of diesel. When the winter is milder, the demand for heating oil falls, so the price of diesel falls as a result of extra supplies. This is also why diesel fuel is cheaper during the warmer months.

User currently offlineKalakaua From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1516 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (11 years 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4086 times:

I remember the days when diesel used to be cheaper than unleaded... That was a couple of years ago.
Now it costs as much as super unleaded.

Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion.
User currently offlinePilotaydin From Turkey, joined Sep 2004, 2539 posts, RR: 48
Reply 20, posted (11 years 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4080 times:

damn, the cheapest thing out here in my town is Diesel, which is why many people have sold their vehicles and have switched

The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (11 years 2 days ago) and read 4067 times:

I noticed yesterday the cost of diesel in ANC is about $1.98US a gallon. Unleaded is now around $1.68US a gallon.

I can remember, a year ago, the opposite being true. I was always smiling when I pulled my BAFDT up to the Shell station and got away cheaper with 40 gal of diesel than the guy next to me with the Toyota "Speck" . . .

Not any more. SO . . . why does diesel remain higher than gasoline?

User currently offlineCommander Data From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (11 years 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4049 times:


I forgot, but I believe taxed diesel is green, and non-taxed diesel (off road diesel) is red. Not 100% sure on that though. Off road diesel is basically for things that don't use roads, ect. Like farm tractors and mining trucks for example. Those miners need it, most of those HUGE dump trucks get less then 800 ft. to a gallon, with an 850 gallon tank. I'd sure hate to foot the bill for a fleet of those beasts!


Despite what most people think, diesel is very clean not to mention VERY efficent! Imagine that big Caterpillar 797 truck running on a gasoline engine, it'd get inches to a gallon. Theres a good reason SUV makers are starting to offer diesels in their larger vehicles-- for the higher MPG's and for torque!


User currently offlineDC10Tim From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1406 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (11 years 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4036 times:

Generally over here diesel works out at about $8 a gallon, so you haven't got it that bad. I must admit though 3-4 miles to the gallon does kinda cancel that out. Just drive smaller cars  Smile


Obviously missing something....
User currently offlineKYIPpilot From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1383 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (11 years 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4021 times:

Around SE Michigan this past summer, diesel was alsways cheaper than unleaded. It remained about $1.80, even when regualr was about $2.00-$2.10. That sucks that it jumped up in price.

"It starts when you're always afraid; You step out of line, the man come and take you away" -Buffalo Springfield
25 Doug_Or : Just drive smaller cars kind of useless advise for a trucker.
26 CaptOveur : "I forgot, but I believe taxed diesel is green" I know the stuff that comes out of the pump for vehicles is clear. Not sure about the other colors tho
27 America West A : I understand where you are coming from DC-9! I used to be an owner/operator too, however I couldn't make it on my own and now drive for Schneider Nati
28 JpetekYXMD80 : ...And you're 13-15?
29 OB1504 : America West A, are you related to another A.net member, Airlinerfreak?
30 USAIRWAYS321 : Interesting that a 13-15 year old is a truck driver...
31 Post contains images N670UW : I wish I could've driven a truck when I was 13. N670UW
32 57AZ : How much diesel costs is reflected on the buying power of the purchaser. The average citizen or trucker pays more for it than unleaded motor fuel than
33 Post contains images Springbok747 : I wish I could've driven a truck when I was 13. Hell, I'm 22 and I still can't drive a truck
34 Post contains images RayChuang : Actually, with the EPA mandating that all motor fuels (petrol (neé gasoline) and diesel) must reduce sulfur levels to no more than 15 parts per milli
35 Post contains links USAFHummer : "I understand where you are coming from DC-9! I used to be an owner/operator too, however I couldn't make it on my own and now drive for Schneider Nat
36 Leskova : CaptOveur, a diesel can run on unleaded, but it should be mixed with diesel, and you certainly shouldn't overdo it... usually, people notice their mis
37 Post contains images JpetekYXMD80 : I used to be an owner/operator too
38 BRAVO7E7 : ROFLMAO, you must have been in tight competition with American West.
39 N1120A : Actually, with the 2007 EPA mandate for all diesel in the US to be low sulpher, like it has been in Europe for a while, it will open the door to diese
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