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4 Habits Costing You at the Pump


Here are the 4 things drivers are doing that’s costing them extra at the pump. But don’t worry! We’ll steer you in the right direction and help you save.

1. Being Creatures of Habit

About 76% of respondents to our poll said they have a station they regularly go to, either because its location is convenient (25%) or because they believe it tends to have the cheapest price (62%). However, that station you think is the most affordable doesn’t always have the lowest price.

Don’t be a creature of habit because GasBuddy shows there is an average spread of 60c/gallon and prices change often. Check the Price Spread in the GasBuddy app before you pull up to the pump.

2. Running on Empty

Another money drain is waiting too long to get gas. Only 21.7% of people decide to fill up when they see a station with a good price, with most (38.1%) waiting until they only have a quarter tank left of gas, while 19% wait until the gas light comes on! (Fess up! Which one are you?)

The longer you wait the fewer options you have. Be sure you are not running on fumes and forced to pull into the closest station where you have no control over how much you pay.

3. Choosing the Easy Route

Consumers are paying for convenience and not planning ahead. Of the 40% of respondents, they choose a gas station based on location and 14% choose a station depending on ease of entrance. Sometimes paying for convenience is worth it but if this is how you operate on a regular basis, consider pre-planning your gas purchases. It could save you some dough!

4. Mistaking Your Grades

The cost difference between regular and premium gas has increased over the past year. According to the survey, 12% of the respondents said they use the more expensive mid-grade or premium fuel instead of regular. You only have to use premium if your car manual says it’s REQUIRED, otherwise you can fill up with regular gasoline.

If you are guilty of any or all these habits — don’t worry! Sign up for the Pay with GasBuddy card and you save 5 cents/gallon wherever and whenever you buy gas. Never pay full price again!

*Responses based on an August 2016 GasBuddy survey on American motorists’ fuel-purchasing habits

My goal is to make the lives of our GasBuddies easier with tips, information and advice related to traveling and saving money. I spend many hours driving around in my Toyota 4Runner with my two young kids and big yellow dog. I write for GasBuddy but I carry these other titles as well: wife, mom, marketing maniac, dog owner, commuter, carpool driver, soccer and basketball coach, family CFO, chef, runner, yogi, skier, lover of books, sports fan, semi-retired golfer, knitting beginner, want-to-be painter and vacation planner. Thanks for letting me help you perfect your pit stop!