If you drive any sort of vehicle, you are aware of the incredibly high price of gas. Especially if you drive a high performance vehicle, the amount you spend on gas a month can end up taking out a large percentage of your monthly budget. While the ideal solution to this problem would be to give up driving, that isn’t realistic. Instead, you should consider researching gas prices before you even leave the house. Here is a list of gas comparison sites that can save you a lot of money.
Gas Comparison Websites
Upon entering this site, the interface is a little overwhelming and not very aesthetically appealing. Once you get past this, Gas Buddy can be a great tool. You put in your city and it shows you the cheapest and most expensive gas prices around. Gas Buddy lists prices in both the US and Canada, which can be great if you are going on a road trip.
- Free mobile app for Android phones, iPhones, and Blackberrys
- Points rewards program for updating the website with prices
- Gas Price heat map
- Fuel Logbook
- Trip cost calculator
- And many more!
Gas Price Watch
This site is similar to Gas Buddy, though I feel it isn’t quite as comprehensive. On this site you can also be a “price spotter” and be entered to win cash prizes. This site seems to not be updated as often as Gas Buddy.
This site is updated even less frequently than Gas Price Watch. On MSN Auto it shows a map of all the gas stations with corresponding numbers. They conveniently make the label green if it is the cheapest price, and red if it is the most expensive in the area. MSN also seems to cover only the major cities in the US.
Mapquest Gas Watch
If you are planning a trip, or just looking up how to get somewhere, many of us use mapquest. Mapquest now also has a feature to show you gas prices. On this site they offer many different options for gas types, regular, premium, alternative, etc. One downside is the site doesn’t say how recent the gas prices are. In addition, you have to put in your location; you can’t just scroll around the screen like you can with the other gas tools
Gas Buying Tips
- Buy gas when the weather is the coolest, usually the early morning or late evening. When the air is cooler, gasoline is denser, meaning you get more for your money at the gas pump
- Wednesday mornings tend to be the best time to buy gas
- Many gas stations adjust their prices in the morning, around 10 AM. Usually there will be a rise on Thursday morning
- Check out prices during different times. Some gas stations will raise prices immediately when oil prices are increasing, while others will be slower to raise prices. By figuring out who the slower price changers are, you can save a lot of money.
- Don’t overfill your tank. Never fill it past the first click when you are at the pump.
- Unless it is an emergency, try to avoid buying gas from stations right off the freeway. Since the gas stations are so visible, especially to unfamiliar travelers, they can charge a higher price.
- If you are traveling between states, try to buy gas at the border stations because they tend to be very aggressive in their price competition
- Fill your gas tank up when it is half full (or half empty). The more air in the tank, the more the gas will evaporate.
Whether you are driving around town or going on a roadtrip, by doing a little research before you head to the pump, you can save a lot of money.