A friend asked me if it was worth it to drive to a lower priced gas station even thought it was 3 miles out of his way.
Here is the data we need for this story problem:
• $3.599 price at nearby gas station
• $3.549 price at distant gas station
• 26 miles per gallon mileage
• 15 gallon maximum fill up
• 6 miles extra driving (3 miles to & 3 miles from low price station)
After crunching the numbers, I came up with 75 cents saved on the lower priced fill up but 82 cents spent in the extra driving.
That results in a net loss of 7 cents, plus the extra time it takes.
Not a good deal
If the price difference is bigger, the extra distance is shorter, or the number of gallons for a fill up is more you would get a slight savings.
Buy gas at a gas station that is:
- Along your normal driving route
- That has a competitive price
- On a day the price is at its lowest
- Is located on the right side of the road
Here are the details
If there are gas stations along your normal commuting or shopping route buy your motor fuel from one of them to avoid extra driving.
Pick a gas station that has competitive prices. Avoid gas stations that always have a high price unless they provide you with maintenance or repair service. The gas stations that have consistently lower prices tend to sell larger volumes of gas so they don’t have wet or dirty fuel.
Learn the ups and downs of the weekly price cycle in your area and always fill up on the low price day of the week. Fill up even if don't need to. This is assuming that you have to be out driving for other reasons besides buying fuel.
Buy fuel when it is an easy right turn into the station and another easy right turn out of the station. This is to minimize the time, with the engine idling, while waiting to make a left turn. For those of you who drive British style switch sides for this description.
What do you do to keep your cost of motor fuel low?
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