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