California is the third largest state in the United States by square miles. Although some cities have reliable public transportation, it’s easier to get around in the suburban cities if you have a car. Whether you drive a few miles every day for your errands or commute for an hour for your work, we have all seen the gas prices going up recently.
An article written by Kevin Smith, published in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, explores a few reasons why you might be paying more for gas than you should. If you are looking for ways to lower your expenses, consider the following points made in the article titled, “Here are the top money-wasting habits when buying gas, are you guilty of any of them?”
Smith uses a study done by GasBuddy and boiled down the list of these money-wasting habits to a few categories.
The study showed that almost 80% of the respondents have a gas station they regularly go to. It’s not a surprise that many people have a gas station they regularly go to, since it’s probably the most convenient location.
But this convenience comes with a price:
“Drivers are getting lazier, and going to the same location just because it’s convenient can cost you,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. Southern California has some of the biggest price spreads between stations. Many people just assume that their station has one of the lowest prices around. But you could be paying nearly $4 a gallon when there might be another station nearby that’s only charging $2.99 a gallon.
According to DeHaan, even though the price difference may not seem significant, the costs can add up, especially if you need to fill up your tank often. In addition, drivers shouldn’t wait until the last few miles to fill up your tank. Chances are, you feel panicked when that gas light turns on and will pull up to the first gas station you encounter.
The GasBuddy survey found that only 19 percent of drivers decide to fill up when they see a station with a low price. Most (37 percent) wait until they have just a quarter-tank left and 28 percent wait until the gas light comes on.
“Our research shows that having enough fuel in your tank to shop around for the lowest price — especially in major metro areas like Los Angeles…. — could save you upwards of over $60 per month.” Some take that wait-until-the-last-minute approach even further, as more than a third of motorists surveyed said they have run out of gas. DeHaan linked that largely to economics.
“People who drive on fumes are often living paycheck to paycheck,” he said. “They might only be able to put in three or four bucks at a time. They’re trying to make it last, but over time that will catch up with you.”
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Full article written by Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune