Why ‘miles/gallon’?

I just need to get this off my chest so that I don’t think about it any more …

People keep asking me, about my car – ‘How many miles do you get to the gallon?’ – and I just look at them blankly and mumble … ”Not sure.’

What I really mean is that I have absolutely no idea at all. I cannot remember when I last bought petrol by the gallon and so I have no way of relating the two measures.

As a teacher I can’t remember ever teaching children how to work in imperial measures either. So how does the present cohort of yourng motorists cope with sales people who explain things to them in terminology that they have never learned? And … why does my car show me my petrol in gallons and what should we do about it?

Attribution: Original image: ‘14.3 mpg
14.3 mpg
by: Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial License

2 thoughts on “Why ‘miles/gallon’?

  1. I think it’s now become a relative term used just for comparison, where the actual units are irrelevant. I know that 30 mpg is about average, 50 mpg is good, and 14.3 mpg means you have a heavy right foot or a Range Rover, Doug!! Interesting as we all now think of the price of fuel in pence per litres, but still think in terms of gallons when it comes to fuel consumption. Probably because it’s too painful to think of fuel prices per gallon. Errrrrrmmm!?!?!

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