Fuel your knowledge: take our petrol quiz

We know how expensive it is but how much else (Picture iStock/DeepBlue4You)

We regularly fill our cars with petrol but how much do we actually know about the golden liquid that keeps them going? If you’re anything like us (when we compiled this quiz), probably not very much! Even so, petrol is a truly global phenomenon with plenty of history. Take our quiz to find out how much you know about it.


You’re certainly a high-octane quizzer. Well done!

Bad luck! You’re not quite the full tank when it comes to knowing about petrol. We hope you’ve learnt something!

#1. What is the octane rating of E10 petrol?

The octane rating of regular E10 petrol that can be used by all cars built after 2011, is 95 RON. Most so-called super unleaded is 99 RON. The octane rating is how much a fuel can be compressed in an engine before it explodes in the cylinder. Engines that are designed with higher compression ratios can give better performance and use fuel with a higher octane rating.

#2. How much was a gallon of petrol in 1922?

Read it and weep: petrol cost around 10p a gallon in 1922. That’s the equivalent of 2.2p per litre. The price then actually fell during the rest of the 1920s and 1930s to less than 7p per gallon at points, only rising to 10p a gallon again after World War Two.

#3. How many barrels of petrol are consumed worldwide every day?

It is estimated that the world consumes around 100m barrels of petroleum every day, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

#4. Which country produces the most oil every day?

Russia produces 10,551,497 barrels per day, very slightly ahead of Saudi Arabia. The USA is third on 8.875 million barrels a day. (Figures from 2016)

#5. A litre of petrol in the cheapest country in the world costs...

The world’s cheapest petrol costs just 2p per litre. Out of interest, Hong Hong has the world’s most costly petrol – 150 times more expensive.

#6. The cheapest country in the world for petrol is…

#7. Which country consumes the most oil in the world?

Despite only having around 4% of the world’s population, the USA drinks around a quarter of its petrol. In real terms, that’s nearly 19m barrels per day, ahead of China and Japan. Russia is the fifth highest consumer. The UK is 14th.

#8. Which of these products isn’t petroleum used in?

Thousands of different items use petrol as a component. Make up, life jackets, paint thinners and even anaesthetics to name a handful. It’s used in deodorant and paint (as well as paint stripper) too. However, it isn’t used in anti-freeze.

#9. What percentage of the price of petrol at the pump goes in tax?

Let’s assume a litre of petrol is currently £1.90. Of that, 52.95p is duty and there’s 20% VAT. So on that litre, 48 per cent goes to the treasury.

#10. When was the petrol pump invented?

The first commercially available fuel pump was invented by Sylvanus Freelove Bowser in 1885. As the popularity of the car grew, Bowser’s company became hugely successful but the pumps were generally just installed by the kerb. The filling station as we know them today didn’t come along until 1913.


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