In its annual “Pump Habits Study,” GasBuddy finds that many Americans are prone to overpaying at the gas pump.
The study found many drivers overpay by as much as $375 each year, due mostly in part to laziness, procrastination, and not taking advantage of loyalty programs. GasBuddy lists three good habits that can save drivers hundreds of dollars:
1. Filling up sooner
Nearly 40% of drivers in GasBuddy’s survey waited until their tank was almost empty to fill up. Those drivers were more likely to pull up to the first gas station they found, even if the price wasn’t great.
“Our research shows that having enough fuel in your tank to shop around for the lowest price, especially in large metro areas including Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago can save upwards of 60 cents per gallon.”
2. Don’t cave to convenience
Almost 80% of those surveyed said they have a gas station they regularly go to, usually the one closest to their home or workplace. Those drivers chose those stations even if the price wasn’t competitive.
“The station around the corner could be as much as 15-30 cents per gallon less. Coupled with other bad habits like running on empty, drivers are missing out on a potential savings of $325 per year.”
3. Use loyalty programs
Almost all gas station brands have reward programs that give discounts at the pump or nearby store. These memberships are usually free, and there’s no downside to signing up for every major brand.
“Stacking loyalty memberships can save drivers upwards of $50 per year.”
These statistics were the result of 7,300 responses from a GasBuddy survey issued on January 25, 2019.