Driving is pretty much inevitable. We have to get around, and most of us do not live close enough to all of our necessary stops. But gas prices keep going up, making it more costly to drive anywhere. For those who want to be conscientious of their spending, they would be best served to use a tool to help them locate the best gas prices. There are a lot of them out there to choose from, here are some of the top picks.
Gasbuddy.com is perhaps the most famous gas price website out there. You can create an account on their website so all of your data is stored and you do not need to keep loading maps and entering in your location. From the website you can download the mobile app so no matter where you are you can find the cheapest gas available. The downside is that without the account, it takes quite a bit of clicking to find your location and to get to a gas price map.
Gasprices.mapquest.com has a great online program to display all the latest gas prices. As soon as you log onto the site a map of your area will pull up with all the latest gas prices listed clearly. Hovering over them gives you the name of the station. The site is easy to use, and there is a mobile app available for download.
On Automotive.com you will see a clear list of states, counties, and cities. It is easy to search and easy to click, however, there is no map feature. There is a list of all the gas stations and their prices, but they are not easy to read.
Very similar to the Automotive.com, the Motortrend site has a list of cities and a list of stations with their prices. However, without a map it is not very valuable to many consumers.
There are many more sites out there that will help you find the best gas prices, but you really only need the first two. Most of the information is going to be the same, and the first two sites have perfected the map feature and mobile app enough that you do not need to sort through others. Using the mobile feature will allow you to find the gas station closest to you that has the best prices.
Finding a great deal on gas is a good thing. But you still have to consider your time before you are really getting a good deal. For instance, if you are getting 10 gallons of gas, and you can save 10 cents per gallon by driving down the road 5 minutes, is it worthwhile? That means you spend 10 minutes (5 there and 5 back) to save $1. Essentially you are valuing your time at $6 per hour.
Saving money on gas is only good if it is convenient. In order to make it convenient, make sure you plan your fill ups for when you will be driving past the cheapest station. But keep in mind, not all gas is equal. Much of it has ethanol added. Gas containing ethanol costs less, but you also get lower fuel economy and it can do damage to your engine.