Does it Make Sense to Drive Farther to get a Lower Price on Gas?


200299877-001.jpgIt’s another post related to the price of gas. Today I debated on whether or not I would drive to the gas station that had gas for $3.99 a gallon. While this is still outrageous, it’s the lowest that I have found recently. The only problem? It’s a 12 mile round trip to get the gas from my work. I have been him-hawing around on whether it was worth it to go out and get it when, lo and behold, a light bulb went off! and I decided to calculate it. I am a numbers kind of girl, anyway.

I estimated my gas mileage to be around 23 miles to the gallon, which seems pretty good for my 1994 Oldsmobile Achieva. I found out that it supposedly gets around 18 mpg city, 26 hwy, and 21 combined. I wasn’t that far off. Here are my calculations:

At 21 miles per gallon, it costs me roughly half a gallon of gas to drive the 12 miles there and back to get the gas, so $2. My fuel tank capacity is 15.2 gallons. If I get gas for $3.99 versus the $4.09 closer to home, I am saving at the most $1.52. This is also assuming that I can get 15.2 gallons, which is impossible. $1.52 (what I’m saving) – $2 (the cost to get me there and back)= -$.48! It’s actually costing me money to drive there! I’m glad I didn’t bother to make the trip!

This was all pretty surprising to me. At ten cents off a gallon, I thought it would be worth it. The numbers prove otherwise! I’m glad I calculated that first! I guess the lesson learned here is this: just because it sounds like you may be saving money, it’s better off to calculate it to make sure. I am thankful I am still receiving my 4% back on my gasoline purchases!

What’s the cheapest you’ve seen gas in your area lately?

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5 thoughts on “Does it Make Sense to Drive Farther to get a Lower Price on Gas?

  1. Catherine says:

    Gas prices by me are $3.95 – $3.99. No one wants to be the first to break the $4 mark. My boyfriend is predicting that if it continues to go up (which is likely), it’s just going to jump from $3.99 to $4.19 or something like that.

    Oh, I’m in South Central Pennsylvania. And I’m glad that my gas tank holds about 22 gallons. That trip would have been worth it for me!


  2. tiffanie says:

    I’m from the Flint, Michigan area and the lowest gas prices as of today are $4.04 ( Horrible for being the lowest! Most places are around $4.14 though


  3. Mrs Money says:

    Catherine- you have a large tank! I am jealous! I wish it would have been worth it for me. I’ve seen $4.19 a gallon and I think they are afraid to hit $4.20! I am afraid that we are never going to see gas lower than this. 🙁

    Erica- WOW! I’d love $3.89 right now! That is awesome your local Shell offers 5 cents off Tuesdays. I’d make Tuesdays my gas day (as I’m sure you do! :))

    Tiffanie- I’m planning a trip to Michigan next month. I hope gas is cheaper then, but I’m not holding my breath. It sounds like Michigan has some expensive gas!


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