R.U.G. In The USA

My local Cheap Gasoline store is closed for a while. Don’t know why, but they have taped it off. To find the next cheapest gas, I use “Gas Buddy”. If you have not used it, you likely need to take a look at it. In the USA & Canada for now. I’ve found the next cheapest gas is at COSTCO at the Airport near me. So that’s where I’m going to fill up for a while.

https://www.gasbuddy.com/gaspricemap?lat=37.36040833681443&lng=-121.92816725810273&z=14

GasBuddy Local Gas Prices Map
Gas price average by state can vary greatly across the US and Canada. This is why GasBuddy has created a map so you can access cheap gas by zip code. You can view the map to show gas prices by state or zoom in for a local view of gas prices by county or zip code. When looking at your hometown, the GasBuddy map even has gas stations pinpointed so you can see real-time prices available near you. Click on your local gas station on the fuel prices map to check out reviews and other information about each location.

Using GasBuddy can help you reach the perfect pit stop. With quality gas station reviews at your fingertips, you can stop without worrying about what to expect. This information is perfect for planning trips and vacations. Gas prices can greatly impact your budget depending on where you decide to go. Let GasBuddy help plan a trip that fits your lifestyle and needs.

GasBuddy Map and Tools to Help You Save Money
When you are trying to decide on your next road trip, bring GasBuddy along with you. The GasBuddy Appp is free to download on Android and iOS devices, and when you pay with GasBuddy, you save even more. Connect your checking account to your Pay with GasBuddy Fuel Saver Card and start earning at-the-pump discounts now. The average cost of US gas prices might go up or down, but you can always save when using GasBuddy. Start your next big adventure today on a budget you can afford by joining GasBuddy.

I’ve not signed up for their “discounts if you use our payment system” but do use their cost maps. I have no relationship with them other than being a satisfied user of their maps.

To give you an idea of what it is like here in The Peoples Republic Of California for gasoline, I have 3 maps of gas prices across the nation. Orlando urban area. Around San Antonio, and then the San Francisco / Marin County / Oakland area of the SF Bay Area. (The link above takes you to a live close up of my gas prices near the San Jose Airport)

In particular, note the impact of California having “special” gasoline…

Note that Gasoline is generally cheapest in Texas and goes up in price as you get further away, then rockets up in California.

Click the images to embiggen them so you can read the prices.

Here’s Orlando Florida:

Orlando Florida Gas Buddy Prices 21 Aug 2021

Orlando Florida Gas Buddy Prices 21 Aug 2021

Prices are for Regular Unleaded Gasoline. RUG. About $2.85-$2.99 / gallon US.

Then San Antonio Texas:

About $2.52 to $2.69 / gallon US.

San Antonio Texas Gas Buddy Prices 21 August 2021

San Antonio Texas Gas Buddy Prices 21 August 2021

Finally, the San Francisco Bay Area California:

San Francisco Bay Area Gas Buddy Prices 21 August 2021

San Francisco Bay Area Gas Buddy Prices 21 August 2021

Yup, about $4 to $4.79 / gallon. Super up to $5.10+

Welcome to California; hope you have enough cash to buy your gas back out…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Economics - Trading - and Money, Energy. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to R.U.G. In The USA

  1. philjourdan says:

    THe last time I drove to FLA, SC had the cheapest gas and FLA had the most expensive. THis past week during my 2k mile 36 hour trip, Virginia actually had the cheapest gas and FLA was tied with NC for the most expensive. Go figure!

  2. cdquarles says:

    If I am remembering correctly, FL has one of the highest gas/road use tax, if not the highest, in the South. That’s offset by no income tax and sales tax on food, again, if I am remembering correctly.

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    @PhilJourdan:

    Much of the difference comes down to 2 things:

    Shipping distance (so cost) from the refineries.
    State Taxes.

    There’s also a variation based on the particular chain / store involved and their policies on gas profit levels / discounts.

    Folks along the Colonial Pipeline get gas with modestly low delivery costs so while it does increase with distance from Texas / Louisiana it is at a lower rate per mile than for folks longer truck hauls from the oil terminals. Most of the variation between adjoining States tends to be their tax basis.

    Minor variations do happen, like Nevada being priced almost the same as California due to getting California gas from California refineries as the alternative tends to be a long haul by truck from “Back East” over the Rockies… not cheap. The short run from SF to Reno being a cheaper haul. Then there’s major variations like California requiring “special” gasoline that’s much more difficult to make and so a lot more costly. Boutique Gas is like that… So we (and Reno area) tend to be about $1 / gallon higher than everywhere else.

    For a long time, gas jumped up about 10 ¢ to 20 ¢ / gallon at the Florida Border (so I’d fill up in Alabama on I-10 or Georgia on I-75) but the last couple of trips that has not been the case. Since I doubt Florida dropped their higher gas taxes (“get tourists to pay the taxes”…) I suspect the other States raised theirs. As you go further down the Florida Peninsula, gas prices tend to rise a little with the longer truck haul distance from the Colonial Pipleline.

    There’s also some refineries in the North / Midwest, so price gradients are a bit more complicated there.

    When you “zoom out” the Gasbuddy Price Map, it goes to a color coded area indication of average price ranges and you can see clearly how prices grade higher away from the Gulf and really rise once over the Rockies into a strange and foreign land…
    https://www.gasbuddy.com/gaspricemap?lat=36.60705252449228&lng=-84.72268525693428&z=4
    Here’s an example:

    So I think you can see why I make a Bee Line to Lake Havasue City or Kingman Arizona when leaving the State if at all possible. (NW corner of Arizona on / near I-40) Minimum miles in the California Gas Zone and most rapid arrival at lower gas prices. Then doing I-10 (drop down from I-40) across Texas puts 1/3 of the trip in the land of very low cost Texas Gasoline. (Plus I don’t mind dropping that money in Texas, having BBQ dinner, hitting a bar for Lone Star beer, etc. ;-)

    Generally speaking, Sam’s Club (membership), COSTCO (membership) & Walmart (“Murphy USA” – Buy Walmart GIFT card for 4 ¢ / gallon discount at the pump) have the lowest prices in any one area, but have limited hours (i.e. not open middle of the night). Truck Stops are OK on RUG, but Diesel is now about 20 ¢ to 25 ¢ / gallon higher than little known stations just off the road a ways. Last trip Truck Stop RUG had started to creep up compared with “near the road” smaller stations, so now I “Gas Buddy” RUG too.

    There’s a couple of other odd regional chains that can be OK. Maverik’s, comes to mind. Not as good as Walmart or COSTCO on price, but open middle of the night in rural Arizona near the freeway… You spot them pretty quick on the price map. Circle K and Quiktrip are OK sometimes too. Casey’s Market in the MIdwest.

    Then there’s some odd bits. BJ’s (membership like COSTCO) in the East. “Smith’s” Grocery store in places like Kingman AZ and through the southwest in spots. Safeway Grocery store in some selected places (Club Card). All good but a bit hard to consistently find. The grocery stores tend to close at night but sometimes the pumps are left on for use with cards.

    On a 5600 to 6200 mile round trip, it really adds up. Locally, it has been saving me about 25 ¢ / gallon on every gallon to know who’s the cheapest store near me (or not near me but near somewhere I go from time to time…)

  4. Pinroot says:

    I live in NC and they do seem to have higher gas prices than neighboring states. I imagine it’s mostly due to taxes. I know VA is cheaper, but they have toll roads here and there, where we don’t have any (a few in the Raleigh/Durham area but that’s about it).

    I don’t travel much, just back and forth to work mostly. There’s a Murphy (Wal-Mart) about two miles from the house, and they have the cheapest prices in my area, so I mostly gas up there. I work in a town about 25 miles from home, and gas there is nearly $0.10 higher than by the house, so I always make sure to gas up before leaving for work (or after getting home). There are probably cheaper prices in the area, but at some point it doesn’t make sense to make a special trip to drive across town (or to an adjacent town) just to save a nickel or maybe less.

  5. philjourdan says:

    @Pinroot – true of the toll roads in VA. But then I do remember one NC Governor wanting to put toll booths at either end of 95 in your state! Considering there are more out of state tags on 94 in NC than NC tags, it would have been a smart move. I think the other governors twisted his arm out of it. :-)

  6. H.R. says:

    Hey! I forgot to mention that I filled the truck’s tank with diesel yesterday at $2.87 per gallon.

    I mentioned (on a W.O.O.D.? I can’t recall) that diesel was coming close to parity with regular unleaded and I had not seen diesel equal to or less in price than regular in years. The gang here reminded me of when and why diesel jumped higher than regular. (Low Sulphur mandate, if you don’t recall the answers I got.)

    Anyhow, that $2.87 per gallon is less than the price of regular unleaded at most of the fuel stations around my area.

    I’m still scratching my head over this one. Very odd. What gives?

    I’m not expecting this price anomaly to last long, but who knows?

  7. cdquarles says:

    Here, if I am not mistaken, diesel is still a bit more expensive than regular gasoline. That’s about $2.76 per gallon. Diesel is about $3.00 a gallon. I guess I could pull up gas buddy to check.

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    Per Diesel:

    It is highly variable by station due to long intervals between deliveries at some of them so refinery cost changes not always reflected.

    This is the time of year when Diesel is lowest. It is, essentially, #2 Home Heating Oil with some increased cleaning and road taxes. Every fall, when folks start filling home heating oil tanks, the price rises. Middle / end of Summer with NO heating demand and folks not interested in putting $400 in a hole in the ground for winter heat just yet, but a relatively fixed cut coming out of refineries, you get a price drop.

    I expect this to get increasingly more extreme as “The Green n-Eww Deal” rolls on. Europe had heavily promoted Diesel cars (to cut fuel costs) so there was a cross Atlantic trade – our Diesel for their Gasoline. With Diesel now being vilified in Europe, their demand will drop. With USA bus and garbage trucks and long haul trucks diversifying into Natural Gas, Hybrid Electric, etc. I think we’ll see ever more Diesel to be moved at lower prices, or run through a Cat Cracker to make gasoline et. al.

    Where I am, Diesel is a few cents below to a lot of cents above RUG, depending on station. California added on some extra taxes for Diesel, and for a few years it was priced up near Premium and sometimes a penny or three above. Over time, a whole lot of people just dumped their Diesel vehicles and replaced with “something else”. I left my 240 D parked for most of 3 years (something like one tank of Diesel every 6 months… or about 70 miles a month…), but started using it more regularly as the price has come down. Most folks were not that patient…

    “Drive ’em if you got ’em!”

  9. philjourdan says:

    @HR – not here! Diesel is still about 20% more expensive.

    For the record (since I did not mention prices), in Va, it is 2.799. NC 2.979 SC 2.879, GA, 2.979 and FLA 2.979. So not a ton of difference, But enough that I managed to fill up in SC twice and of course VA twice (made it across the border on fumes coming back). But no getting out of FLA twice as the car only does 400 miles on a tank.

  10. YMMV says:

    R.U.G. (regular unleaded gas) — I was wondering why the U? I thought it was impossible to get leaded gas anymore, so why mention it?

    It turns out that Avgas still contains Tetraethyllead (CH3CH2)4Pb) as an octane booster.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetraethyllead

    But does it? The news report today says that the last refinery producing leaded gas has shut down leaded gas production. Algiers Refinery, managed by Sonatrach, Algeria’s state-owned oil company.

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