In German there's the word Spritgeld which is a compound of petrol/fuel and money. So, the verbatim translation is petrolmoney or fuelmoney, respectively.

This is an informal word which is commonly used when talking about the money that one owes someone else for a drive that they took together. Example sentence:

Wieviel Spritgeld schulde ich dir?
≈ How much money do I owe you for the drive?

I'm looking for a translation for Spritgeld. I couldn't find anything on the Internet. I found some words like

  • gas/fuel/petrol allowance/reimbursement
  • mileage reimbursement/allowance
  • travel expenses reimbursement

but I feel that all those terms are of a pretty formal register. I consider them to be the counterparts to the German (more or less) formal terms Fahrtkostenerstattung and Kilometergeld/-pauschale.

Is there an informal term that you would use when you ask or tell someone how much money your/their share for the drive is?

  • 2
    Have you considered petrol money? Aug 28, 2015 at 10:11
  • Is it a real reimbursement of the costs or just a symbolic tip for the ride?
    – user66974
    Aug 28, 2015 at 10:13
  • @TimLymington Ouch, no I didn't. I really didn't think that this is a valid translation. Many word-for-word translations are simply wrong, so I didn't even spend a minute to google this. — So, if this is really a common way to talk about it, go ahead and post an answer.
    – Em1
    Aug 28, 2015 at 10:18
  • @Josh61 It's about dividing the actual expenses equally among all fellow passengers.
    – Em1
    Aug 28, 2015 at 10:20
  • 1
    In the UK "mileage allowance" is the formal term for an employer paying an employee who uses his/her own car, etc. "Travel expenses" is used in the same formal situation, meaning all expenses including food, hotels, etc, not just fuel. "Petrol money" is the informal term for the situation you describe, even if the car uses diesel not petrol.
    – alephzero
    Aug 28, 2015 at 20:11

3 Answers 3


It's almost a direct translation: "gas money." Here's an example of the usage from the novel WWW.MATE by Tamaya:

She wanted to pay me for [the gifts], but I declined. After all, she was a friend, always driving me around when I needed a lift somewhere without taking or asking for gas money.

  • Pity that Kilometergeld isn’t miles money instead of the more mundane mileage allowance.
    – tchrist
    Aug 28, 2015 at 12:25

In British English, "petrol money" would be universally understood and used by native speakers for exactly this situation.

An example would be the title of this thread.


I agree that "gas money" would be how English-speakers would identify the concept. However, in my experience, it wouldn't be referenced directly in your context. I think American English-speakers would generally phrase it something like "How much do I owe you for gas?" It's quite a bit less-awkward than phrasing it, "How much gas money do I owe you?"

They might go on later to refer to the incident like, "I gave John twenty bucks gas money"; but even then, "I gave John twenty bucks for gas" would be more likely.

  • Actually I'd be much more likely (as an American) to say something in the context of "Bill gave me a ride to the supermarket for gas money" instead of "Bill gave me a ride to the supermarket in exchange for money for gas" or "Bill gave me a ride to the supermarked for gas" (which sounds like I went there to refuel or something.) Aug 28, 2015 at 16:25
  • 2
    @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas "Bill gave me a ride to the supermarket, so I paid for his gas" sounds more natural than "Bill gave me a ride to the supermarket for gas money", which could mean the trip to the supermarket was taken to procure gas money.
    – talrnu
    Aug 28, 2015 at 17:59
  • @Talmu And yet I'd ask a group, "Anyone willing to give me a ride to the airport for gas money?" Some things are implied -- clearly I'm not going to the airport to get money; I'm going to meet someone or fly somewhere. Alternatively I might offer: "I'll give you a ride to the airport for gas money." Perhaps there are regional differences in terms of which phrase is more common, but I feel as both would be understood by a native speaker and in some cases are completely interchangeable. Aug 28, 2015 at 18:03
  • 1
    "...would be how English-speakers would identify the concept..." Well, in the U.S. :-) Here in the UK we'd say "petrol money" (even if the car were actually a diesel; oddly, though, we'd probably say "money for diesel" if it were a van or lorry). But absolutely agreed, "for gas/petrol/diesel" would be the more natural way to say it in many if not most contexts. "How much do I owe you for petrol?", "Let me at least chip in for petrol." Aug 29, 2015 at 17:17

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