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December 13, 2021

Just how far are you willing to drive for cheaper gas?

Just how far are you willing to drive for cheaper gas? About 3 to 5 kilometres, say most MSN readers in a recent poll. Although a few would range as much as 10 kilometres. Ad

Although gas prices are expensive everywhere, some stations do sell it for a bit less than others. But does it really pay to shop around a bit?

In a big city, with a variety of prices available at stations within a few miles and even blocks of each other, maybe. But that takes time, although sites like GasBuddy and Ontariogasprices can at least help you avoid driving around checking out signs. 

Obviously, at some point the price of driving outweighs the savings. Here’s a quick calculator (in gallons, however) that can help you figure things out. And then, of course, there’s the cost of waiting.

After some success around the GTA, Costco, the members-only wholesaler known for its massive quantities of just about everything, has added gasoline to its product line, opening limited-service gas bars in Ottawa. 

Recently, Costco’s price provided a five-cent savings per litre over the price offered at other retailers, driving down the cost of neighbouring outlets in particular.

The line-ups have been crazy though, with some cars waiting 30 minutes to reach the pump, idling their engines and wasting fuel at the same time.

Half an hour later, you would have wasted more than a litre of gas just idling, wiping out a fair chunk of the perceived savings. But business is booming.

Do you shop around for cheaper gas? How far out of your way are you willing to drive ? And how much of a difference in price does it take to pique your interest?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...