Gas Prices Online

Category: Auto

The price of gasoline is of major concern these days. Drivers will go out of their way to save a few cents per gallon. You can burn a lot of gas going from one service station to another looking for deals. But fortunately, you can check gas prices online before you get in the car. Here's how...

Find the Lowest Gasoline Prices

GasBuddy is one of the oldest gas-prices Web sites, founded in 2004. Today, GasBuddy operates nearly 250 location-specific Web sites. When you enter your location (city, state, or Zip code) at GasBuddy you'll be redirected to the site that's right for you. You can use GasBuddy free of charge; the site is supported by ads. Gas Buddy is one of the Web's earliest examples of "user generated content." Registered users can upload gas price reports, which are date-stamped, and thereby earn points that can be redeemed for prizes. Contributors of data are also entered in drawings for gas cards worth up to $250. Gas Buddy price reports include a field for special offers, such as discounts for paying in cash instead of with a credit card. On the downside, reliance on user reports means coverage is uneven and prices may be out of date.

GasPriceWatch is similar, but they claim they're the oldest gasoline price website, having started in 1999. GPW gives a variety of search options, including the ability to search by brand, at intersections, latitude & longitude or a radius around a zipcode. You also can eliminate "stale" listings from the results, and search for prices on regular, premium, diesel or propane fuels. I like the advanced interactive mapping features of GPW, and the ability to search across state lines.
Lowest Gas Prices

MSN Autos gets its gas price data from OPIS, the Oil Price Information Service. Each day, OPIS receives pricing reports from over 90,000 retail gas stations in the United States. But that doesn't make it better than Gas Buddy, necessarily. OPIS gets its data from credit card transactions of fleet vehicle gas purchases, and that data can take seven days to reach OPIS. So there is a very good chance the pump price you read on MSN Autos is not posted at the same gas station today.

Mobile Apps and Other Tips

So what if you're out in the car already, with no access to a computer? If you have an iPhone, Android phone, or other smartphone, it's apps to the rescue! GasBuddy offers a mobile app that uses your phone's GPS to help you locate nearby gas stations and see their current prices. If you can't find an app for your phone, you can always visit m.GasBuddy.com from your mobile device's web browser.

In general, the lowest gas prices are found at gas stations run by supermarket chains and other large retailers who give discounts to their loyalty-card customers. Independent gas retailers may offer discounts for payment in cash, saving three cents per gallon typically. The highest gas prices are charged by Conoco, Exxon, and other petroleum corporation brands.

One more thing to consider is that gasoline taxes and surcharges vary quite a bit from state to state. I live in New York, but gas prices a mile away in neighboring New Jersey are often 50 to 70 cents LESS per gallon! So when doing your gas price research, keep that factor in mind.

These Web sites, and similar ones, are probably not going to save you big bucks. With gas prices in the $4.00 a gallon range, even a dime's difference between two stations amounts to only a 3 per cent difference in you total bill. That may not be worth the time spent finding the lowest price online and driving out of your way. But it does make you feel a bit better if you can do SOMETHING, no matter how small, about the price of gas.

Do you have something to say about gas prices online? Post your comment or question below...

 
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Posted by on 15 Apr 2011


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Most recent comments on "Gas Prices Online"

Posted by:

the_kcar
15 Apr 2011

If you can walk it, walk. If you can't walk it, bike it. If you can neither walk or bike it,don't drive an empty vehicle, or make a single trip.

Between gas price finders online, never driving an empty vehicle ["S'long as you're going to _____, can you take me to ________..."], and planning all errands on a single loop drive [farthest destination first, then one straight run back home] you can stretch the bottom line a little better.

Be sure your fuel lines, filter, and such are up to specs, and check tires for good inflation. Also be certain you have plenty of transmission fluid and that the lines are clear. If your vehicle is "the one" that gets the group going, you want to ensure it's in top condition.


Posted by:

Dee
15 Apr 2011

I'm pretty sure these sites are only good in the US. We Canadians have to fend for ourselves.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Did you look at GasBuddy.com? There's a prominent link on the home page to all Canadian provinces.


Posted by:

Bill
15 Apr 2011

I've been using GasBuddy.com for awhile now.

One thing to be aware of, is that these prices are sometimes manipulated by unscrupulous dealers who price inaccurate "low" numbers for their own gas station, hoping you'll buy the gas anyway when you get there. There is one station in this area that consistently has the lowest price showing online, but when you get there, it's actually 10 cents higher. I've begun boycotting that particular guy, and I hope others do as well.

So, GasBuddy.com is great. Just beware of the fraudsters!


Posted by:

Bob Greene
16 Apr 2011

BUY YOUR GAS ON THE WEB

This article is an outstanding public service. The internet is popular enough to make web-based public scrutiny of oil prices a strong force for rapid downward movement of oil prices.

Readers, please link this article to all your friends and family-- they will thank you for it. The stations which honor their customers with lower prices are very likely to see more business volume, which, as every young tycoon learns, is another word for more profit.

And for those corporate PR chiefs who pretend to sing the hymn about capitalist competition in the "free market", we can offer only the wry observation all gas companies post the same general prices, with no real effort at downward price movement. Instead of price competition, their prices have been the signature upward, ratcheting pattern of a market in purest cartel monopoly.


Posted by:

Dallas
16 Apr 2011

How petty of us to endanger the environment even more, just to save a few cents. Think of the gas you burned and time wasted just going to that other gas station! And, most importantly than the few measly cents, if all of us used common sense in planning our day and anticipating spending more, and adjusting our lifestyles accordingly it would make your dollar go a lot faster. Do the math, is it really worth it? NO!!! How about instead of b------g at the pump, why don't you b----- to your politicians for affordable electric cars for all. DUH! Oh, I forgot, oil is limitless and we could care less if we kill everything on the planet except us, and we will be last.


Posted by:

Hecate Moon
16 Apr 2011

And for those that live in England, there's : http://www.petrolprices.com/


Posted by:

Bob Greene
16 Apr 2011

BUY YOUR GAS ON THE WEB

Web-based price aggregators let consumers buy at the best price. As gasoline soars in cost, consumers suffer price increases as direct economic injury. Price aggregators not only help consumers find relief at the best local price, but keep the industry competitive-- gas vendors know consumers will seek out low-price vendors.

Price aggregator web sites already help us find good prices on everything from building supplies to air fare. Finding a good price on any product adds up to benefits for consumers and business, alike-- as prices rise, merchants which honor their customers with consistently lower prices will see more profit.

As reader "Bill" notes, there are a few gas vendors who try to game the system and report false low prices. The best remedy is drivers should visit only well-maintained and honest price aggregator sites which respond immediately to your concern about price misrepresentation. In many cases, price aggregator web sites, themselves, face competition, and understand consumer trust is their principal source of income.

When prices rise, but incomes stay the same, this defines a budget crisis. At that moment, everyone becomes an economist. In rebuttal of corporate oil chiefs who pretend to sing the hymn about capitalist competition in the "free market", there is a simple observation-- all gas stations post the same general prices, with no significant downward price movement. Instead of reflecting vigorous price competition, all gas prices-- vendor by vendor-- show the signature upward, ratcheting pattern of a market in purest cartel monopoly.


Posted by:

fran
02 Jul 2011

Be aware that a lot of stations are doing the pump jump. My station (Circle K) is using it. They have it fixed so you get cheated out of 3 or 4 cents worth of gas (it goes right back in the tank on starting up the pump.


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