Rising gasoline prices are changing the lives of many people – Photo: Nikkei Asia
At a gas station near Cologne airport, Germany, Bernd Mueller watched the numbers on the machine move rapidly: 22 euros, 23 euros, 24 euros. The numbers show that gas prices are on the rise.
Mr. Mueller, 80 years old, told AP: “I plan to leave the car around this October or November. There are times when I have to accept to withdraw.”
Globally, drivers like Mueller are rethinking their car habits amid skyrocketing gasoline prices. A motorbike taxi driver in Vietnam often turns off the ride-hailing app because he doesn’t want to “waste money”. A French family reconsiders vacation plans in August. A graphic designer in California, USA, includes gas prices in the cost of a night out.
The motorbike taxi also increases the “break time”, does not accept calls at peak hours to avoid traffic jams and unnecessary fuel consumption – Photo: Nothing Familiar
And many other solutions are also offered: Walk more, pull out the dusty bike, take public transport, or simply drive slowly to use as little gas as possible. Many people also reconsider their daily mileage, even thinking about giving up their own car.
For those who don’t have access to public transport or can’t help but ride their own, the solution is to bite your teeth as usual while cutting back on other expenses.
Nguyen Trong Tuyen, a Grab driver in Hanoi, Vietnam, said that he often turns off the ride-hailing app during rush hour: “The call fee does not include extra money for wasted gas when stuck in traffic.” Many other drivers also have similar solutions, making it difficult for many customers to book a car.
In Manila, Ronald Sibeyee used to spend 900 pesos ($16.83) per day on diesel fuel to drive a jeepney (a popular public transport in the Philippines, developed from the US military jeep left behind after World War I). two). Now, this cost has increased to 2,200 pesos ($41.40)/day.
“This was supposed to be in our income. But it’s not anymore,” he said, adding that his income has fallen by about 40% since the price of gasoline soars.
Driver’s income decreased significantly when gasoline prices increased – Photo: Inquirer
People living in developed countries like Europe and the US are not much better. Americans rarely use public cars. Europe’s public transport network is not always convenient for people to use on a daily basis, especially in the countryside.
Charles Dupont, manager of a clothing store in the Essonne region, south of Paris, France, is forced to use a car to go to work: “I choose ‘Eco mode’, which means driving slowly and avoiding sudden braking.”
Driving slowly is also a way to save gas – Photo: Drivin’ & Vibin’
Others are also doing what they can to cut spending. Letizia Cecinelli, of Rome, Italy, said she is now trying to reduce car trips as much as possible, increasing the use of bicycles instead. “But I have kids and what if I have to take them camping? I’ll do it by swapping food for pizza,” she said.
The “austerity” lifestyle as above may follow people for a while. Many countries have come up with solutions to stabilize gasoline prices, but they have not been effective. Hungary introduced a petrol price limit, but did not apply to foreign number plates. Germany reduced taxes, reduced public transport fares, but gas prices still went up. In Vietnam, solutions such as tax reduction are only being discussed, it is not clear when they will be approved and applied.