Experiences of an American woman who was married to a Serb.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Hidden Cost of Serbian Gasoline

I knew that the cost of gasoline (petrol) in Serbia, like the rest of Europe, would be far higher than it is in the US. We built that extra cost into our budget, and planned to drive less than we normally would at home in the US. What we didn't count on was the hidden cost of crappy Serbian petrol quality. In the US, we got about 25 miles per gallon. The same vehicle with a tankful of Serbian petrol got fewer than 18 miles per gallon, even with similar driving speeds and conditions (ie. steady highway at ~70 miles per hour.)

In the US, 87-89 octane worked great. In Serbia, we had to switch to 95 octane. Actually I think I should put that in quotes as in "95 octane" because looking at the car's performance, the number "95" was used for marketing purposes only and bore no relation to reality. If there's such a thing as an octane inspector in the Balkans, he's clearly getting paid off.

After experimentation, my husband found a petrol station in Novi Sad with a "95 octane" Euro brand petrol that worked about as well as 89 octane US. In fact, he's planning on gassing up from there from now on. It's a long drive from our house in Sombor, which has plenty of petrol stations of its own, but you get so much more mileage from the Novi Sad petrol that it's worth it.

For what it's worth, my husband says he had the same problems with Croatian petrol as well. There goes my budget.


Lisa Petrarca said...

That's the worst when you watch your money drizzle away on GAS!!

Well good to know that we are not the only ones here in the US suffering from the high costs of gas.

I hope you post some pictures! I would love to see the country my family came from, since I have never been out of the US.

Enjoy your trip!

RNSANE said...

It is hard to budget when there are hidden expenses like that.

My handsome Serbian ( 2nd generation ) son got married this past weekend...photos on my blog today -

Igor said...

Pleeeease answer which one petrol station in novi sad???

Anonymous said...

Octane rating in North America is 4~5 points lower than elsewhere in the world.

Anonymous said...

Yes it might be a problem with petrol quality in Serbia. I have no idea if somebody is controlling that but I have Diesel engine 2.0 and I'm making 36 miles per US gallon. Same I'm making with diesel fuel I bought in Austria, Hungary or in Serbia.

Rosemary Bailey Brown said...

The petrol station we use in Novi Sad is a newer-looking one on Rumenacki Put on the way to Sombor. However, my husband notes that there may be other good petrol stations besides this one, he has not made a completely scientific examination of the subject. If you know of another good station, please post a note on this blog! Thanks

Ivan said...

You should convert your car to LPG. It is cheaper, better for environment and better for engine, then Serbian crappy petrol. I live in San Diego and I know that quality of gas in US is much better than same on back home in Belgrade.

marjan said...

Octane rating is different in America to EU.
(EU) RON Octane Rating x 0.95 = AKI Octane Rating (Usa)

Get it?
By the way, get a Diesel powered car, there is no difference in that at least. Just make sure that engine is not bigger than 1.9 Liters and you'll be fine.
Example: Audi A4 1.9Tdi 8 Liter per 100km or if it's easier for you
29.4mpg city driving and I think that's not bad comparing to my Ford F350 10-11mpg (of diesel) in States ...