Cheaper Gas Is All About Timing

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

August 15, 2005

Regular-grade gas is now up to $2.49 per gallon in Charlottesville. However, experts said you can still save as prices soar. Timing is everything when it comes to saving at the pump.

"I'm horrified," said Christine Cooper, as she was purchasing gas. That's what some are saying about the price of gas going through the roof. The national average price of a gallon of regular is now $2.50.

However, there are things you can do to save money at the pump. For instance, the day and time you buy gas does matter. Experts said through Labor Day try not to buy gas on Mondays and Thursdays which is normally when gas stations change their prices. For that reason it's also a good idea to buy gas before 10 a.m.

"You're competing. You see someone raise [their price] and you have to raise it, too. Also, gas has changed. Companies sell it to us for one price and we have to raise it to try to get a profit," said Fred Green, a Fuel Co. Supervisor.

Experts said consumers should shop at non-name brand gas stations. Mom and pop gas stations like Fuel Co. could save you pennies per gallon. While it may not sound like much, on a long trip every cent helps.

"Our most expensive [gas fill-up] was up in New England [and] for high test we paid $3.09 [per gallon]. It's a little cheaper down here but it's still expensive. It's up everywhere," said Wyatt Coleman.

Coleman and his girlfriend stopped at the Fuel Co. because they sell some of the cheapest gas in the city. They're in the middle of a 1600-mile trip on his motorcycle.

"She has a jeep and it would have cost us double the amount in gas [to take the trip in her car]. Having a motorcycle, for me, is almost critical at this point," said Coleman.

Unfortunately, not everyone has a choice, a choice of what to drive or how much they are going to pay at the pump that day. "What are you going to do? You have to work, so you have to pay what you have to pay," said another Fuel Co. customer.

Hopefully with these tips what you have to pay is a little less.

Experts say don't assume that just because gas stations are right next door to each other that they have the same prices. They can vary as much as 10 cents a gallon.

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