Americans lose their minds as petrol prices climb to about half what New Zealanders pay

Americans are facing higher prices at the pump - but it's still only half of what New Zealanders are paying for petrol.

A recent survey by AAA found that across 5000 petrol stations in the US, the average price for a gallon (3.78 litres) has crept up to US$2.75 (NZ$4.08) - up 11 percent in the last month.

That means the average American motorist is paying the equivalent of roughly NZ$1.08 per litre for their petrol, a price most Kiwis would be happy with.

As of April 10, 2019, the average fuel price in New Zealand is NZ$2.28 per litre, according to the AA.

CNN reports that in some areas of California, the average petrol price is as high as US$4 (NZ$5.93) per gallon - that's still only about NZ$1.55 per litre.

The reason behind the spike in US fuel prices is unplanned maintenance at oil refineries, which has hit western states particularly hard.

Increasing crude oil prices have also played a part, which have risen 51 percent since December thanks to the Trump administration's sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

New Zealand petrol prices have risen 7 cents since the start of April. The AA says that's down to "rising refined fuel commodity prices on the back of higher oil prices".

The country hit a 30-year high in September 2018 thanks to a costly combination of global market sources, a weakening New Zealand dollar and the Government's increased fuel taxes.

However Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern laid the blame solely at the feet of petrol companies, rushing through legislation to allow the Commerce Commission to investigate pricing.