Is It Worth a Further Drive For a Few Cents?

A report in the Charlotte Observer in late July said no. Just a few weeks ago, the average price per gallon in South Carolina was $3.16, the lowest in the nation. Recently, it was the lone state with an average below $3.00 per gallon.

Here in North Carolina, on the other hand, gas prices are typically 20 cents more per gallon and upwards. Why? The taxes on gasoline in North Carolina are higher.

Many of us have driven by gas stations to stop at the one a little further to save a few pennies or a dime here and there. Over time, it may add up. Yet, being the self-proclaimed gas experts we are, we know the price of gas almost by the day. We know how much it costs us to fill our tanks today versus what it used to cost, and since the numbers on signs are so large, these figures are embedded in our minds. This compelling behavior towards filling up has many people driving the extra distance to try and save a few pennies.

The bottom line is that most drivers will only save a few dollars at most by filling up in South Carolina. With only a 20 cent difference in prices between North and South Carolina, if you’re driving more than 20 miles round trip, you’re probably not saving much, if anything at all.

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