«Transportation in Natal
Update 2006. Prices of gasoline are now around R$ 2.60 - R$ 2.80. The prices in Reais didn't increase much, but, as the dollar became much weaker against the Real (approximate course in Oct. 2006 is US$ 1 = R$ 2.20), the prices of fuel in dollar are considerably higher.
Also, notice that most Brazilian cars now have a Flex engine; this kind of engine works with both gasoline and alcohol; the driver can mix both fuels in any proportion, and a microchip adjusts the correct regulation of the combustion chamber.
Original text, early 2005.
Gas stations are free to determine prices.
Gasoline is sold by the liter. In early 2005, a liter of gasoline was at around US$ 0.90 (or RS$ 2.40). Most stations charge a different price for payments in cash or in cheque/credit card; the expression "A vista" means payment in cash, and price is usually a few cents lower; each pump is pre-configured with an specific price, so make sure you stopped at the correct pump.
Brazilian gasoline is of low octanage (= low quality). If you drive the very same car in Brazil and Europe, you will feel the difference in power.
Brazil was the country where the alcohol fueled engine was developed. In the 1980s, most cars were alcohol fueled; today, there are fewer cars fueled by alcohol, but every gas stations sells alcohol. Alcohol is cheaper than gas, but itīs less efficient (it takes more liters of alcohol to get the same distance); in the end, the difference is small.
All gas stations have pump operators; stop the car, hand out the key and tell the operator how much fuel you want; when he brings back the key, pay directly to him.
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